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Title: Yesterdays in the Philippines
Author: Stevens, Joseph Earle
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                     YESTERDAYS IN THE PHILIPPINES

                                   BY

                          JOSEPH EARLE STEVENS

                        AN EX-RESIDENT OF MANILA



                              ILLUSTRATED

                                NEW YORK
                        CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
                                  1898



                         IN MEMORY OF MY MOTHER



CONTENTS


    INTRODUCTION                                              Page xiii


    I

    Leaving "God's Country"--Hong Kong--Crossing to Luzon--Manila
    Bay--First View of the City--Earthquake Precautions--Balconies and
    Window-gratings--The River Pasig--Promenade of the Malecon--The
    Old City--The Puente de España--Population--A Philippine Bed--The
    English Club--The Luneta--A Christmas Dinner at the Club,    Page 1


    II

    Shopping at the "Botica Inglesa"--The Chit System--Celebrating
    New Year's Eve--Manila Cooking Arrangements--Floors and
    Windows--Peculiarities of the Tram-car Service--Roosters
    Everywhere--Italian Opera--Philippine Music--The Mercury at 74°
    and an Epidemic of "Grippe"--Fight Between a Bull and a Tiger--A
    Sorry Fiasco--Carnival Sunday,                              Page 22


    III

    A Philippine Valet--The Three Days Chinese New Year--Marionettes
    and Minstrels at Manila--Yankee Skippers--Furnishing a
    Bungalow--Rats, Lizards, and Mosquitoes--A New Arrival--Pony-races
    in Santa Mesa--Cigars and Cheroots--Servants--Cool Mountain
    Breezes--House-snakes--Cost of Living--Holy Week,           Page 43


    IV

    An Up-country Excursion--Steaming up the River to the
    Lake--Legend of the Chinaman and the Crocodile--Santa Cruz
    and Pagsanjan--Dress of the Women--Mountain Gorges and River
    Rapids--Church Processions--Cocoanut Rafts--A "Carromata" Ride to
    Paquil--An Earthquake Lasting Forty-five Seconds--Small-pox and
    other Diseases in the Philippines--The Manila Fire Department--How
    Thatch Dealers Boom the Market--Cost of Living,             Page 60


    V

    Visit of the Sagamore--Another Mountain Excursion--The Caves of
    Montalvan--A Hundred-mile View--A Village School--A "Fiesta"
    at Obando--The Manila Fire-tree--A Move to the Seashore--A
    Waterspout--Captain Tayler's Dilemma--A Trip Southward--The Lake
    of Taal and its Volcano--Seven Hours of Poling--A Night's Sleep
    in a Hen-coop,                                              Page 87


    VI

    First Storm of the Rainy Season--Fourth of July--Chinese "Chow"
    Dogs--Crullers and Pie and a Chinese Cook--A Red-letter Day--The
    China-Japan War--Manila Newspapers--General Blanco and the
    Archbishop--An American Fire-engine and its Lively Trial--The
    Coming of the Typhoon--Violence of the Wind--The Floods
    Next--Manila Monotony,                                     Page 112


    VII

    A Series of Typhoons--A Chinese Feast-day--A Bank-holiday
    Excursion--Lost in the Mist--Los Baños--The "Enchanted Lake"--Six
    Dollars for a Human Life--A Religious Procession--Celebration
    of the Expulsion of the Chinese--Bicycle Races and Fireworks,
                                                               Page 137


    VIII

    A Trip to the South--Contents of the "Puchero"--Romblon--Cebu,
    the Southern Hemp-centre--Places Touched At--A Rich Indian
    at Camiguin--Tall Trees--Primitive Hemp-cleaners--A New
    Volcano--Mindanao Island--Moro Trophies--Iligan--Iloilo--Back
    Again at Manila,                                           Page 149


    IX

    Club-house Chaff--Christmas Customs and Ceremonies--New Year's
    Calls--A Dance at the English Club--The Royal Exposition of the
    Philippines--Fireworks on the King's Fête Day--Electric Lights and
    the Natives--The Manila Observatory--A Hospitable Governor--The
    Convent at Antipolo,                                       Page 173


    X

    Exacting Harbor Regulations--The Eleanor takes French Leave--Loss
    of the Gravina--Something about the Native Ladies--Ways of
    Native Servants--A Sculptor who was a Dentist--Across the Bay
    to Orani--Children in Plenty--A Public Execution by the Garrote,
                                                               Page 195


    XI

    Lottery Chances and Mischances--An American Cigarette-making
    Machine and its Fate--Closing up Business--How the
    Foreigner Feels Toward Life in Manila--Why the English
    and Germans Return--Restlessness among the Natives--Their
    Persecution--Departure and Farewell,                       Page 213


    CONCLUSION                                                 Page 230



    LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                            Facing page

    How We Dressed for $2.50                               Frontispiece
    Our Office and the Punkah under which the Old Salts
        Sat for Free Sea Breezes                                      8
    Plaza de Cervantes, Foreign Business Quarter                     14
    Puente de España. Manila's Main Highway Across the Pasig         20
    The Busy Pasig, from the Puente de España                        26
    A Philippine Sleeping-machine                                    32
    The English Club on the Banks of the Pasig                       40
    The Bull and Tiger Fight--Opening Exercises                      46
    Suburb of Santa Mesa                                             54
    Our Destination was a Town Called Pagsanjan at the Foot of a
        Range of Mountains                                           60
    The Rapids in the Gorges of Pagsanjan                            66
    Cocoanut Rafts on the Pasig, Drifting down to Manila             72
    The Little Native School under the Big Mango-tree                78
    Calzada de San Miguel                                            84
    A Native Village Up Country                                      90
    A "Chow" Shop on a Street Corner                                 98
    Puentes de Ayala, which Help two of Manila's Suburbs to Shake
        Hands Across the Pasig                                      106
    Calzada de San Sebastian                                        114
    Ploughing in the Rice-fields with the Carabao                   122
    Types of True Filipinos Waiting to Call Themselves Americans    130
    On the Banks of the Enchanted Lake                              138
    In the Narrow Streets of Old Manila. A Procession               144
    A Citizen from the Interior                                     152
    How the World's Supply of Manila Hemp is Cleaned                160
    Moro Chiefs from Mindanao                                       168
    Manila Fruit-girls in a Street-Corner Attitude                  176
    A Typical "Nipa" House                                          184
    The Little Flower-girl at the Opera                             192
    Rapid Transit in the Suburbs of Manila                          202
    The Fourth of July, '95. Execution by the Garrote               210
    Paseo de la Luneta                                              220
    Captain Tayler, the Genial Skipper of the Esmeralda             226
    Map of Philippines                                 At End of Volume



INTRODUCTION


By the victory of our fleet at Manila Bay, one more of the world's
side-tracked capitals has been pulled from obscurity into main lines
of prominence and the average citizen is no longer left, as in days
gone by, to suppose that Manila is spelt with two l's and is floating
around in the South Sea somewhere between Fiji and Patagonia. The
Philippines have been discovered, and the daily journals with their
cheap maps have at last located Spain's Havana in the Far East. It is
indeed curious that a city of a third of a million people--capital
of a group of islands as large as New England, New York, Delaware,
Maryland, and New Jersey, which have long furnished the whole world
with its entire supply of Manila hemp, which have exported some
160,000 tons of sugar in a single year and which to-day produce as
excellent tobacco as that coming from the West Indies--it is curious,
I say, that a city of this size should have gone so long unnoticed
and misspelt. But such has been the case, and until Admiral Dewey
fired the shots that made Manila heard round the world, the people of
these United States--with but few exceptions--lived and died without
knowing where the stuff in their clothes-lines came from.

Now that the Philippines are ours, do we want them? Can we run
them? Are they the long-looked-for El Dorado which those who have
never been there suppose? To all of which questions--even at the risk
of being called unpatriotic--I am inclined to answer, No.

Do we want them? Do we want a group of 1,400 islands, nearly 8,000
miles from our Western shores, sweltering in the tropics, swept
with typhoons and shaken with earthquakes? Do we want to undertake
the responsibility of protecting those islands from the powers in
Europe or the East, and of standing sponsor for the nearly 8,000,000
native inhabitants that speak a score of different tongues and live
on anything from rice to stewed grasshoppers? Do we want the task of
civilizing this race, of opening up the jungle, of setting up officials
in frontier, out-of-the-way towns who won't have been there a month
before they will wish to return?

Do we want them? No. Why? Because we have got enough to look after
at home. Because--unlike the Englishman or the German who, early
realizing that his country is too small to support him, grows up
with the feeling that he must relieve the burden by going to the
uttermost parts of the sea--our young men have room enough at home
in which to exert their best energies without going eight or eleven
thousand miles across land and water to tropic islands in the Far East.

Can we run them? The Philippines are hard material with which to
make our first colonial experiment, and seem to demand a different
sort of treatment from that which our national policy favors or has
had experience in giving. Besides the peaceable natives occupying
the accessible towns, the interiors of many of the islands are
filled with aboriginal savages who have never even recognized the
rule of Spain--who have never even heard of Spain, and who still
think they are possessors of the soil. Even on the coast itself are
tribes of savages who are almost as ignorant as their brethren in the
interior, and only thirty miles from Manila are races of dwarfs that
go without clothes, wear knee-bracelets of horsehair, and respect
nothing save the jungle in which they live. To the north are the
Igorrotes, to the south the Moros, and in between, scores of wild
tribes that are ready to dispute possession. And is the United States
prepared to maintain the forces and carry on the military operations
in the fever-stricken jungles necessary in the march of progress to
exterminate or civilize such races? Have we, like England for instance,
the class of troops who could undertake that sort of work, and do we
feel called upon to do it, when the same expenditure at home would go
so much further? The Philippines must be run under a despotic though
kindly form of government, supported by arms and armor-clads, and to
deal with the perplexing questions and perplexing difficulties that
arise, needs knowledge gained by experience, by having dealt with
other such problems before.

Are the Philippines an El Dorado? Like Borneo, like Java and the Spice
Islands, the Philippines are rich in natural resources, but their
capacity to yield more than the ordinary remuneration to labor I much
question. Leaving aside the question of gold and coal, in the working
of which, so far, more money has been put into the ground than has
ever been taken out, the great crops in these islands are sugar, hemp,
and tobacco. The sugar crop, to be sure, has the possibilities that
it has anywhere, where the soil is rich and conditions favorable. The
tobacco industry has perhaps more possibilities, and might be made
a close rival to that in Cuba. But the hemp crop is limited by
the world's needs, and as those needs are just so much each year,
there is no object in increasing a supply which up to date has been
adequate. There are foreigners in the Philippines, who have been
there for years, who have controlled the exports of sugar or hemp or
tobacco, who have made their living, and who from having been longer
on the ground should be the first to improve the opportunities that
may come with the downfall of Spanish rule. There are some things
which the United States can send to the Philippines cheaper than the
Continental manufacturers, but not many. She can send flour and some
kinds of machinery, she can put in electric plants, she can build
railways, but at present she can't produce the cheap implements,
and the necessaries required by the great bulk of poor natives at
the low price which England and Germany can.

The Philippines are not an El Dorado simply because for the first
time they have been brought to our notice. They should not yield
more than the ordinary return to labor, and the question is, does the
average American want to live in a distant land, cut off from friends
and a civilized climate, only to get the ordinary return for his
efforts? To which, even though of course there is much to be said on
the other side, I would answer, No. We have gone to war, remembering
the Maine, to free Cuba, and at the first blow have taken another
group of islands--a Cuba in the East--to deal with. I have not the
space here to discuss the solution of the problem, but, for my part,
I should like to see England interested in buying back an archipelago
which she formerly held for ransom, leaving us perhaps a coaling port,
and opening up the country to such as chose to go there. Then, with
someone else to shoulder the burden of government and protection, we
should still have all the opportunities for proving whether or not the
islands were the El Dorado dreamed of in our clubs or counting-rooms.

At the close of 1893, I went to Manila for Messrs. Henry W. Peabody &
Co., of Boston and New York, in the interest of their hemp business,
and, associated with Mr. A. H. Rand, remained there for two years. We
two were the representatives of the only American house doing business
in the Philippines, and made up practically fifty per cent. of the
American business colony in Manila. The years from 1894 to 1896 were
peculiarly peaceful with the quiet coming before the storm, and we were
fortunate enough to be able to make many excursions and go into many
parts of the island that later would have been dangerous. But as the
short term of our service drew to a close, rumors of trouble began to
circulate. The natives had long suffered from the demands made by the
Church and the tax-gatherer, and there was a feeling that they might
again attempt to throw off the Spanish yoke, as they attempted, without
success, some years before. It was at this period that Messrs. Peabody
& Co. decided it would be to their unquestionable advantage to retire
from the islands and to place their business in the hands of an English
firm, long established on the ground, and well equipped with men who,
unlike ourselves, looked forward to passing the rest of their days
in the Philippines. And the move was a good one, for no sooner had
we left Manila than revolution broke out. The Spanish troops were at
the south, and that mysterious native brotherhood of the Katipunan
called its members to attack the capital. A massacre was planned,
but the right leaders were lacking and the attempt failed. The troops
were recalled, guards doubled, drawbridges into old Manila pulled up
nightly, arrests and executions made. As is well known, one hundred
suspects were crowded into that old dungeon on the river, just at the
corner of the city wall, and because it came on to rain, at night-fall,
an officer shut down the trap-door leading to the prisoners' cells to
keep out the water. But it also kept out the air, and next morning
sixty out of the one hundred persons were suffocated. Then Manila
had her Black Hole. Later, other suspects were stood on the curbing
that surrounds the Luneta and were shot down while the big artillery
band discoursed patriotic music to the crowds that thronged the
promenade. And from then until Admiral Dewey silenced the guns at
Cavité and sunk the Spanish ships that used to swing peacefully at
anchor off the breakwater, the Spaniards had their hands full with
a revolution brought on by their own rotten system of government.

If in place of the more systematic narratives of description, the more
serious presentations of statistics, or the more exciting accounts
of the bloody months of the revolution and the wonderful victory of
our gallant fleet, which are to be looked for from other sources, the
reader cares to get some idea of casual life in Manila, by accepting
the rather colloquial chronicle of an ex-resident that follows, I shall
have made some little return to islands that robbed me of little else
than two years of a more hurried existence in State Street or Broadway.



YESTERDAYS IN THE PHILIPPINES

I

    Leaving "God's Country"--Hong Kong--Crossing to Luzon--Manila
    Bay--First View of the City--Earthquake Precautions--Balconies and
    Window-Gratings--The River Pasig--Promenade of the Malecon--The
    Old City--The Puente de España--Population--A Philippine Bed--The
    English Club--The Luneta--A Christmas Dinner at the Club.


"I wouldn't give much for your chances of coming back unboxed," said
the Captain to me, as the China steamed out from the Golden Gate on
the twenty-five day voyage to Hong Kong via Honolulu and Yokohama.

"That's God's country we're leaving behind, sure enough," said he,
"and you'll find it out after a week or two in the Philippines. There's
Howe came back with us last trip from there; almost shuffled off on
the way. Spent half a year in Manila with small-pox, fever, snakes,
typhoons, and earthquakes, and had to be carried aboard ship at Hong
Kong and off at 'Frisco. Guess he's about done for all right."

And as Howe happened to be the unfortunate whose place in Manila I
was going to take, you know, I heeded the skipper's advice and looked
with more fervor on God's country than I had for some days. For it
was a dusty trip across country from Boston on the Pacific express;
and because babies are my pet aversion every mother's son of them
aboard the train was quartered in my car--three families moving West
to grow up with the country, and all of them occupying the three
sections nearest mine. I got so weary of the five cooing, coughing,
crying "clouds-of-glory-trailers," that it seemed a relief at San
Francisco to wash off the dust of the Middle West and get aboard the
P. M. S. Company's steamer China bound for the far East.

But the Captain, like the whistle, was somewhat of a blower, and liked
to make me and the missionaries aboard feel we were leaving behind all
that was desirable. And how he bothered the twoscore or more of them
bound for the up-river ports of Middle China! When, after leaving the
Sandwich Islands, the voyage had proceeded far enough for everybody on
the passenger-list to get fairly well acquainted with his neighbors,
these spreaders of the gospel followed the custom established by their
predecessors and made plans for a Sunday missionary service. Without so
much as asking leave of the skipper, they posted in the companion-way
the following notice:


                         Service in the Saloon,

                            Sunday, 10 A.M.

                  Rev. X. Y. Z. Smith, of Wang-kiang,
                      China, will speak on mission
                       work on the Upper Yangtse.

                            All are invited.


But they counted without their host. The Captain had never schooled
himself to look on missionaries with favor, and he accordingly made
arrangements to cross the meridian where the circle of time changes and
a day is dropped early on Sunday morning. He calculated to a nicety,
and as the passengers came down to Sabbath breakfast they saw posted
below the other notice, in big letters, the significant words:


                           Sunday, Nov. 29th.

                      Ship crosses 180th meridian

                               9.30 A.M.,

                     After which it will be Monday.


In Yokohama and Hong Kong the wiseacres were free in saying they
wouldn't be found dead in Manila or the Philippines for anything. They
had never been there, but knew all about it, and seemed ready to wave
any one bound thither a sort of never'll-see-you-again farewell that
was most affecting. It is these very people that have made Manila the
side-tracked capital that it is and have scared off globe-trotters from
making it a visit on their way to the Straits of Malacca and India.

Hong Kong, the end of the China's outward run, bursts into view
after a narrow gateway, between inhospitable cliffs, lets the
steamer into a great bay which is the centre of admiration for bleak
mountain-ranges. The city, with its epidemic of arcaded balconies,
lies along the water to the left and goes stepping up the steep
slopes to the peak behind, on whose summit the signal-flags announce
our arrival. The China has scarcely a chance to come to anchor in
peace before a storm of sampans bite her sides like mosquitoes,
and hundreds of Chinawomen come hustling up to secure your trade,
while their lazy husbands stay below and smoke.

Hong Kong rather feels as if it were the "central exchange" for the
Far East, and from the looks of things I judge it is. The great bay is
full of deep-water ships, the quays teem with life, and the streets are
full of quiet bustle. It is quite enough to give one heart disease to
shin up the hills to the residence part of the town, and it took me
some time to find breath enough to tell the Spanish Consul I wanted
him to visé my passport to Manila.

This interesting stronghold of Old England in the East is fertile in
descriptive matter by the wholesale, but I can't rob my friends in
the Philippines of more space than enough to chronicle the doings of
a Chinese tailor who made me up my first suit of thin tweeds. Ripping
off the broad margin to the Hong Kong Daily Press, he stood me on a
box, took my measure with his strip of paper, making sundry little
tears along its length, according as it represented length of sleeve
or breadth of chest, and sent me off with a placid "Me makee allee
same plopper tree day; no fittee no takee." And I'm bound to say that
the thin suits Tak Cheong built for $6 apiece, from nothing but the
piece of paper full of tears, fit to far greater perfection than the
system of measurement would seem to have warranted.

The voyage from Hong Kong to Manila, 700 miles to the southeast, is one
of the worst short ocean-crossings in existence, and the Esmeralda,
Captain Tayler, as she went aslant the seas rolling down from Japan,
in front of the northeast monsoon, developed such a corkscrew motion
that I fear it will take a return trip against the other monsoon to
untwist the feelings of her passengers. On the morning of the second
day, however, the yawing ceased; the skipper said we were under the
lee of Luzon, the largest and most northern island of the Philippines,
and not long after the high mountains of the shore-range loomed up
off the port bow. From then on our chunky craft of 1,000 tons steamed
closer to the coast and turned headland after headland as she poked
south through schools of flying-fish and porpoises.

By afternoon the light-house on Corregidor appeared, and with a big
sweep to the left the Esmeralda entered the Boca Chica, or narrow
mouth to Manila Bay. On the left, the coast mountains sloped steeply
up for some 5,000 feet, while on the right the island of Corregidor,
with its more moderate altitude, stood planted in the twelve-mile
opening to worry the tides that swept in and out from the China
Sea. Beyond lay the Boca Grande, or wide mouth used by ships coming
from the south or going thither, and still beyond again rose the lower
mountains of the south coast. In front the Bay opened with a grand
sweep right and left, till the shore was lost in waves of warm air,
and only the dim blue of distant mountains showed where the opposite
perimeter of the great circle might be located.

It was twenty-seven miles across the bay, and the sun had set with
a wealth of color in the opening behind us before we came to anchor
amid a fleet of ships and steamers off a low-lying shore that showed
many lights in long rows. Next morning Manila lay visibly before us,
but failed to convey much idea of its size, from the fact that it
stretched far back on the low land, thus permitting the eye to see
only the front line of buildings and a few taller and more distant
church-steeples. Not far in the background rose a high range of
velvet-like looking mountains whose tops aspired to show themselves
above the clouds, and on the right and left stretched flanking ranges
of lower altitude.

In due season my colleague came off to the anchorage in a small launch,
and we were soon steaming back up a narrow river thickly fringed
with small ships, steamers, houses, quays, and people. It was piping
hot at the low custom-house on the quay. Panting carabao--the oxen
of the East--tried to find shade under a parcel of bamboos, shaggy
goats nosed about for stray bits of crude sugar dropped from bags
being discharged by coolies, piles of machinery were lying around
promiscuously dumped into the deep mud of the outyards, natives with
bared backs gleaming in the sun were lugging hemp or prying open
boxes, and under-officials with sharp rods were probing flour-sacks
in the search for contraband. Spanish officials in full uniform,
smoking cigarettes, playing chess, and fanning themselves in their
comfortable seats in bent-wood rocking-chairs, were interrupted by
our arrival, and made one boil within as they upset the baggage and
searched for smuggled dollars.

Here, then, was the anti-climax to the long journey of forty days from
Boston, and those were the moments in which to realize the meaning of
the expression made by the Captain of the China as she left the Golden
Gate: "Take a last look, for you're leaving behind God's country."

Before arrival, while yet the Esmeralda was steaming down the coast,
I was resolved to refrain from judging Manila by first impressions. I
felt primed for anything, and was bound to be neither surprised nor
disappointed. At first, I may admit, my chin and collar drooped,
but on meeting with my new associate I gave them a mental starching
and stepped with courage into the rickety barouche that, drawn by two
small and bony ponies, took us to the office of Henry W. Peabody &
Co., the only American house in the Philippines.

And having entered the two upstair rooms, that looked out over
the little Plaza de Cervantes, I was introduced to bamboo chairs,
a quartette of desks, and half a dozen office-boys, who were rudely
awakened from their morning's slumber by the scuffle of my heavy
boots on the broad, black planks of the shining floors. Across the
larger room, suspended from the ceiling, hung the big "punka," which
seems to form a most important article of furniture in every tropical
establishment. On my arrival the boy who pulled the string got down
to work, and amid the sea-breezes that blew the morning's mail about,
business of the day began.

The first thing I noticed was that cloth instead of plaster formed
the walls and ceilings, and seemed far less likely than the mixture
of lime and water to fall into baby's crib or onto the dinner-table
during those terrestrial or celestial exhibitions for which Manila is
famous. For the Philippines are said to be the cradle of earthquake
and typhoon, and in buildings, everywhere, construction seems to
conform to the requirements of these much-respected "movers." Tiles
on roofs, they say, are now forbidden, since the passers-by below are
not willing to wear brass helmets or carry steel umbrellas to ward
off a shower of those missiles started by a heavy shake. Galvanized
iron is used instead, and, while detracting from the picturesque,
has added to the security of households who once used to be rudely
awakened from their slumbers by the extra weight of tile bedspreads.

And Manila houses. Down in the town, outside the city walls, the
regular, or rather irregular, Spanish type prevails, and nature,
in her nervousness, seems to have done much in dispensing with
lines horizontal and perpendicular. The buildings all have an
appearance of feebleness and senility, and look as if a good blow
or a heavy shake would lay them flat. But in the old city, behind
the fortifications, are heavy buttressed buildings of by-gone days,
built when it was thought that earthquakes respected thick walls
rather than thin, and the sturdy buttresses so occupy the narrow
sidewalks that pedestrians must travel single file. The Spanish--so
it seems--rejoice to huddle together in these gloomy houses of
Manila proper, but the rich natives, half-castes, and foreigners all
prefer the newer villas outside the narrow streets and musty walls;
and just as much as the Anglo-Saxon likes to place a grass-plot or
a garden between him and the thoroughfare in front of his residence,
so does the Spaniard seek to hug close to the street, and even builds
his house to overhang the sidewalk. Save for carriages and dogs, the
lower floors of city houses are generally deserted, and, on account of
fevers that hang about in the mists of the low-ground, everyone takes
to living on the upper story. Balconies, which are so elaborate that
they carry the whole upper part of the house out over the sidewalk,
are a conspicuous feature in all the buildings of older construction,
and with their engaging overhang afford opportunities for leaning out
to talk with passers-by below, or a convenient vantage-ground from
which to throw the waste water from wash-basins. Huge window-gratings
thrust themselves forward from the walls of the lower story, and are
often big enough to permit dogs and servants to sit in them and watch
the pedestrians, who almost have to leave the sidewalk to get around
these great cages.

It may be just as well, before going farther, to say something about
this town that is sarcastically labelled "Pearl of the Orient"
and "Venice of the Far East" by poets who have only seen the
oyster-shell windows or back doors on the Pasig on the cover-labels
of cigar-boxes. It seems big enough to supply me with the pianos and
provisions which kind friends suggested I bring out with me in case
of need, and the main street, Escolta, is as busy with life and as
well fringed with shops as a Washington street or a Broadway.

Spanish, of course, is the court and commercial language and, except
among the uneducated natives who have a lingo of their own or among the
few members of the Anglo-Saxon colony--it has a monopoly everywhere. No
one can really get on without it, and even the Chinese come in with
their peculiar pidgin variety.

The city squats around its old friend the river Pasig, and shakes
hands with itself in the several bridges that bind one side to the
other. On the right bank of the river, coming in from the bay and
passing up by the breakwater, lies the old walled town of Manila
proper, whose weedy moats, ponderous drawbridges, and heavy gates
suggest a troubled past. Old Manila may be figured as a triangle,
a mile on a side, and the dingy walls seem, as it were, to herd in
a drove of church-steeples, schools, houses, and streets. The river
is the boundary on the north, and the wall at that side but takes up
the quay which runs in from the breakwater and carries it up to the
Puente de España, the first bridge that has courage enough to span
the yellow stream.

The front wall runs a mile to the south along the bay front, starting
at the river in the old fort and battery that look down on the berth
where the Esmeralda lies, and is separated from the beach only by
an old moat and the promenade of the Malecon, which, also beginning
at the river, runs to an open plaza called the Luneta, a mile up the
beach. The east wall takes up the business at that point, and wobbles
off at an angle again till it brings up at the river fortifications,
just near where the Puente de España, already spoken of, carries all
the traffic across the Pasig. Thus the old city is cooped up like
pool-balls, in a triangle three miles around, and the walls do as
much in keeping out the wind as they do in keeping in the various
unsavory odors that come from people who like garlic and don't take
baths. Here is the cathedral--a fine old church that cost a million
of money and was widowed of its steeple in the earthquakes of the
'80s--and besides a lot of smaller churches are convent schools,
the city hall, army barracks, and a raft of private residences.

Opposite Old Manila, on the other bank, lies the business section,
with the big quays lined with steamers and alive with movement. The
custom-house and the foreign business community are close by the
river-side, while in back are hundreds of narrow streets, store-houses,
and shops that go to make up the stamping ground of the Chinese who
control so large a part of the provincial trade.

Everything centres at the foot of the Puente de España, which pours
its perspiring flood into the narrow lane of the Escolta, and people,
carriages, tram-cars, and dust all sail in here from north, east,
south, and west. As on the other side, the busy part of the section
runs a mile up and down the river and a mile back from it, while out
or up beyond come the earlier residential suburbs. In Old Manila,
the Church seems to rule, but on this side the Pasig the State makes
itself felt, from the custom-house to the governor's palace--a couple
of miles up stream.

As to population, Manila, in the larger sense, may hold 350,000 souls,
besides a few dogs. Of the lot, call 50,000 Chinese, 5,000 Spaniards,
150 Germans, 90 English, and 4 Americans. The rest are natives or
half-castes of the Malay type, whose blood runs in all mixtures of
Chinese, Spanish, and what-not proportions, and whose Chinese eyes,
flat noses, and high cheek-bones are queer accompaniments to their
Spanish accents. Thus the majority of the souls in Manila,--like the
dogs--are mongrels, or mestizos, as the word is, and the saying goes
that happy is the man who knows his own father.

I spent my first night in Manila at the Spanish Hotel El Oriente, and
it was here that I became acquainted with that peculiar institution,
the Philippine bed. And to the newly arrived traveller its peculiar
rig and construction make it command a good deal of interest, if not
respect. It is a four-poster, with the posts extending high enough
to support a light roof, from whose eaves hang copious folds of deep
lace. The bed-frame is strung tightly across with regular chair-bottom
cane, and the only other fittings are a piece of straw matting spread
over the cane, a pillow, and a surrounding wall of mosquito-netting
that drops down from the roof and is tucked in under the matting. How
to get into one of these cages was the first question that presented
itself, and what to do with myself after I got in was the second. It
took at least half an hour to make up my mind as to the proper mode
of entrance, when I was for the first time alone with this Philippine
curiosity, and I couldn't make out whether it was proper to get in
through the roof or the bottom or the side. After finally pulling away
the netting, I found the hard cane bottom about as soft as the teak
floor, and looked in vain for blankets, sheets, and mattresses. In
fact, it seems as if I had gotten into an unfurnished house, and the
more I thought about it the longer I stayed awake. At last I cut my
way out of the peculiar arrangement, dressed, and spent the decidedly
cool night in a long cane chair, preferring not to experiment further
with the sleeping-machine until I found out how it worked.

Next morning my breakfast was brought up by a native boy, and consisted
of a cup of thick chocolate, a clammy roll, and a sort of seed-cake
without any hole in it. How to drink the chocolate, which was as
thick as molasses, seemed the chief question, but I rightly concluded
that the seed-cake was put there to sop it out of the cup, after the
fashion of blotting-paper. Fortified with this peculiar combination,
I started on my second business day by trying to remember in what
direction the office lay, and wandered cityward through busy streets,
often bordered with arcaded sidewalks, which were further shaded from
the sun by canvas curtains.

After beginning the morning by ordering a dozen suits of white sheeting
from a native tailor--price $2.50 apiece--I was introduced to the
members of the English Club, and began to feel more at home stretched
out in one of the long chairs in the cool library. It seems that
the club affords shelter and refreshment to its fourscore members at
two widely separated points of the compass, one just on the banks of
the Pasig River, where its waters, slouching down from the big lake
at the foot of the mountains, are first introduced to the outlying
suburbs of the city, and the other in the heart of the business
section. The same set of native servants do for both departments,
since no one stays uptown during the middle of the day and no one
downtown after business hours. As a result, on week-days, after the
light breakfast of the early morning is over at the uptown building,
the staff of waiters and assistants hurry downtown in the tram-cars
and make ready for the noon meal at the other structure, returning
home to the suburbs in time to officiate at dinner.

At the downtown club is the 6,000-volume library, and after the
noonday tiffin it is always customary to stretch out in one of the
long bamboo chairs and read one's self to sleep. This is indeed a land
where laziness becomes second nature. If you want a book or paper on
the table, and they lie more than a yard or two from where you are
located, it is not policy to reach for them. O, no! You ring a bell
twice as far off, take a nap while the boy comes from a distance, and
wake up to find him handing you them with a graceful "Aquí, Señor!" In
fact, I have even just now met an English fellow who, they tell me,
took a barber with him on a recent trip to the southern provinces, to
look after his scanty beard that was composed of no more than three or
four dozen hairs, each of which grew one-eighth of an inch quarterly.

On the day before Christmas one of the guest-rooms at the uptown
club was vacated, and I moved in. The building is about two and
a half miles out of the city, and its broad balcony, shaded by
luxuriant palms and other tropical trees, almost overhangs the main
river that splits Manila in two. The view from this tropical piazza
is most peaceful. Opposite lie the rice-fields, with a cluster of
native huts surrounding an old church, while, blue in the distance,
sleeps a range of low mountains. To the left the river winds back
up-country and soon loses itself in many turns among the foothills
that later grow into the more adult uplifts on the Pacific Coast,
while to the right it turns a sharp corner and slides down between
broken rows of native huts and more elaborate bungalows.

The club-house is long, low, and rambling. The reading, writing,
and music rooms front on the river, and the glossy hard-wood floors,
hand-hewn out of solid trees, seem to suggest music and coolness. It
is possible to reach the city by jumping into a native boat at the
portico on the river bank, or to go by one of the two-wheel gigs,
called carromatas, waiting at the front gate, or to walk a block and
take the tram-car which jogs down through the busy highroad.

It is very difficult to absorb the points of so large a place at one's
first introduction, so I won't go further now than to speak of that
far-famed seaside promenade called the Luneta, where society takes
its airing after the heat of the day is over.

Imagine an elliptical plaza, about a thousand feet long, situated
just above the low beach which borders the Bay, and looking over
toward the China Sea. Running around its edge is a broad roadway,
bounded on one side by the sea-wall, and on the other by the green
fields and bamboo-trees of the parade-grounds. In the centre of the
raised ellipse is the band-stand, and on every afternoon, from six
to eight, all Manila come here to feel the breeze, hear the music,
and see their neighbors. Hundreds of carriages line the roadways,
and mounted police keep them in proper file. The movement is from
right to left, and only the Archbishop and the Governor-General are
allowed to drive in the opposite direction.

The gentler element, in order not to encourage a flow of perspiration
that may melt off their complexions, take to carriages, but the
sterner sex prefer to walk up and down, crowd around the band-stand,
or sit along the edge of the curbing in chairs rented for a couple
of coppers. Directly in front lies the great Bay, with the sun
going down in the Boca Chica, between the hardly visible island of
Corregidor and the main land, thirty miles away. To the rear stretches
the parade-ground, backed up by clumps of bamboos and the distant
mountains beyond. To the right lie the corner batteries and walls of
Old Manila, and to the left the attractive suburb of Ermita, with the
stretch of shore running along toward the naval station of Cavité,
eleven miles away. To take a chair, watch the people walking to and
fro, and see the endless stream of smart turn-outs passing in slow
procession; to hear a band of fifty pieces render popular and classic
music with the spirit of a Sousa or a Reeves, is to doubt that you
are in a capital 8,000 miles from Paris and 11,000 miles from New
York. Footmen with tall hats, in spotless white uniforms, grace the
box-seats of the low-built victorias, while tastefully dressed Spanish
women or wealthy half-castes recline against the soft cushions and
take for granted the admiration of those walking up and down the mall.

The splendidly trained artillery-band, composed entirely of natives,
but conducted by a Spaniard, plays half a dozen selections each
evening, and here is a treat that one can have every afternoon of
the year, free of charge. There are no snow-drifts or cold winds to
mar the performance, and, except during the showers and winds of the
rainy season, it goes on without interruption.

After the music is over the carriages rush off in every direction,
behind smart-stepping little ponies that get over the ground at a
tremendous pace, and the dinner-hour is late enough not to rob one
of those pleasant hours at just about sunset. There are no horses in
Manila--all ponies, and some of them are so small as to be actually
insignificant. They are tremendously tough little beasts, however,
and stand more heat, work, and beating than most horses of twice
their size.

Our Christmas dinner at the club has just ended, and from the bill
of fare one would never suspect he was not at the Waldorf or the
Parker House. Long punkas swung to and fro over the big tables,
small serving boys in bare feet rushed hither and thither with
meat and drink, corks popped, the smart breeze blew jokes about, and
everyone unbent. Soups, fish, joints, entrées, rémoves, hors-d'oeuvres,
mince-pies, plum-puddings, and all the delicacies to be found in cooler
climes had their turn, as did a variety of liquid courses. Singing,
speeches, and music followed the more material things, and everyone was
requested to take some part in the performance. By the time the show
was over the piano was dead-beat and everybody hoarse from singing
by the wrong method.



II

    Shopping at the "Botica Inglesa"--The Chit System--Celebrating
    New Year's Eve--Manila Cooking Arrangements--Floors and
    Windows--Peculiarities of the Tram-car Service--Roosters
    Everywhere--Italian Opera--Philippine Music--The Mercury at 74°
    and an Epidemic of "Grippe"--Fight Between a Bull and a Tiger--A
    Sorry Fiasco--Carnival Sunday.


                                                            January 7th.

My third Sunday in Manila is a cool breezy day, with fresh winds
blowing down from the mountains. The weather has lately been as
temperate as one could wish, and has corresponded to some of our soft
spring conditions. From noon until three o'clock has usually seemed
warm, but the mornings have made walking pleasant, the afternoons
have given opportunities for tennis, and the evenings have hinted
that an overcoat would not be amiss. One could hardly ask for any
more comfortable place to live in than Manila as it stands to-day,
and although sanitary appliances are most primitive, the city seems
to be healthy and without noisome pestilence.

During the holiday season, just over, foreign business has been
suspended and everyone socially inclined. Shopping has been in
vogue, and on one of my expeditions for photographic materials I was
introduced to the "Botica Inglesa," or English chemist's shop, which
seems to be the largest variety-store in town. Here it is possible
to buy anything from a glass of soda to a full-fledged lawn-mower,
including all the intermediates that reach from tooth-brushes to
photographic cameras.

And speaking of shopping brings mo to the "chit" system, which has
been such a curse to the Far East. In making purchases, no one pays
cash for anything, since the heavy Mexican dollars--which are the
only currency of the islands--are too heavy to lug around in the
thin suits made of white sheeting. One simply signs an "I.O.U." for
the amount of the bill in any shop that he may choose to patronize,
and thinks no more about it till at the end of the month all the
"chits" which bear his name are sent around for collection.

Result: one never feels as if he were spending anything until the first
day of the incoming month ushers in a host of these big or little
reminders. If your chits at one single shop run into large amounts,
the collector generally brings along with him a coolie or a wheelbarrow
with which to lug away the weight of dollars that you pour into his
hands, and when two or three collectors come in together the office
reminds one of a "money-'changer's. Counterfeit money is so prevalent
that one after the other of your callers bites the silver or drops
it on the floor to detect lead, and to listen to the resulting sound
is not to feel complimented by their opinion of your integrity. So
it goes, many of the shop-keepers being swindled out of their dues
by debtors who choose to skip off rather than to pay, and waking up
at the end of the month to find their supposed profits existing only
in the chits whose signers have skedaddled to Hong Kong or Singapore.

New Year's Eve was celebrated with due hilarity and elaborate
provisions. The club bill of fare was remarkable, and when it is
realized there are no stoves in Manila, the wonder is that the cooking
is so complex. A Manila stove is no more nor less than a good-sized
earthen jar, shaped something like an old shoe. The vamp of the shoe
represents the hearth; the opening in front, the place for putting in
the small sticks of wood; and the enclosing upper, the rim on which
rests the single big pot or kettle. In a well-regulated kitchen,
there may be a dozen of these stoves, one for each course, and their
cost being only a peseta, it is a simple matter to keep a few extra
ones on hand in the bread-closet. And so, as one goes through the
streets where native huts predominate, he sees a family meal being
cooked in sections, and is forced to admire the complexity of the
greasy dishes that are evolved from so simple a contrivance.

As the Manila cooking arrangements are rude, so I suspect are the
pantry's dish-washing opportunities. I really should hesitate to enter
even our club-kitchen, for certain dim suggestions which are conveyed
to the senses from spoons and forks, and certain plate surfaces that
would calm troubled waters if hung from a ship's side, all hint at
unappetizing sights. All in all, the less one sees of native cooking,
in transitu, the greater will one's appetite be.

I had expected an early introduction to earthquakes, but none have
occurred so far, and I am almost tempted to get reckless. Soon after
my arrival I was inclined to put my chemical bottles in a box of
sawdust, empty part of the water out of my pitcher, and pack my watch
in cotton-wool in anticipation of some nocturnal disturbance. For the
old stagers who saw the city fall to pieces back in the '80's deem
it their duty to alarm the new arrival, and almost turn pale when a
heavy dray rolls by over the cobblestones in the street near the club,
or make ready to fly out-of-doors at the first suspicion of vibration.

A word or two more about the floors in Manila houses. I don't suppose
there is a soft-wood tree in the islands, and as a result one sees
some very interesting hard-wood productions. The floors come under
this category. Rough-hewn as they are--out of huge hand-sawed hard-wood
planks--they are models. By certain processes of polishing with banana
leaves and greasy rags, they are made to shine like genius itself,
and give such a clean, cool air to the houses that one is compelled
to regard them with admiration. In fact, there is a certain charm
in Manila about many specimens of hand-work that one encounters
everywhere. The stilted regularities--as our good professor used to
say--of machine-made articles are frequently conspicuous by their
absence, and instead one sees the inequalities, the lack of exact
repetition, the informality of lines that are not just perpendicular or
horizontal, all of which make up the charm of work that is handmade,
that reflects the movements of a living arm and mind rather than
those of a wheel or a lever.

The curious windows that are everywhere are likewise instructive. Like
the blinds, they slide in grooves on the railings of the balconies,
and serve to shut out the weather from the interior. They consist
of frames containing a multitude of small lattice-work squares, into
which are placed thin, flat, translucent sea-shells which admit light,
but are not look-throughable. We have all heard of shell-roads, but
never of shell-windows, and one misses the presence of glass until
he has got accustomed to a Manila house, whose sliding sides are one
vast window that is rarely closed.

Manila streets, outside of the city proper, are smooth, hard, and well
shaded by the arching bamboos. They are already proving attractive to
the bicycle, which, though very expensive out here at the antipodes,
is growing in favor, especially among the wealthier half-castes,
or mestizos.

Tram-car service is slow, but pretty generally good. The car is a
thing by itself, as is the one lean pony that pulls it. It takes
one man to drive and one to work the whip, and if the wind blows
too hard, service is generally suspended. The conductor carries a
small valise suspended from his neck, and whistles through his lips
"up-hill" to stop, and "down-hill" as the starting-sign. The usual
notice, "Smoking allowed on the three rear seats only," is absent,
for everyone smokes, even to the conductor, who generally drops the
ash off a 15-for-a-cent cigarette into your lap as he hands you a
receipt for your dos centavos. The chief rule of the road says:

"This car has seats for twelve persons, and places for eight on each
platform. Passengers are requested to stand in equal numbers only on
both platforms, to prevent derailment."

And so if there are four "fares" on the front and six on the back
platform, somebody has to stumble forward to equalize the weight. No
one is allowed to stand inside, and if the car contains its quota
of passengers, the driver hangs out the sign, "Lleno" (full), and
doesn't stop even for the Archbishop. It is just as well, perhaps,
to sit at the front end of the car if you are afraid of small-pox,
for the other morning a Philippine mamma brushed into a seat holding a
scantily clothed babe well covered with evidences of that disease. One
sympathizes with the single pony that does the pulling as he sees
thirty people besides the car in his load, and it is no uncommon
thing on a slight rise or sharp turn for all hands to get off and
help the vehicle over the difficulty. The driver holds the whip by
the wrong end and lets the heavy one come down with double force on
the terribly tough hide of the motive power. Aside from tram-cars
some of these little beasts, however, are possessed of great speed,
and with a reckless cochero in charge, it is no uncommon sight to
see three or four turnouts come tearing down the street abreast,
full tilt, clearing the road, killing dogs and roosters, and making
one's hair stand on end.

Speaking of roosters, they are the native dog in the Philippines. The
inhabitants pet and coddle them, smooth down their plumage, clean
their combs, or pull out their tail-feathers to make them fight,
to their heart's content, and it is a fact that these cackling
glass-eaters really seem to show affection for their proprietors,
in as great measure as they exhibit hatred for their brothers. Every
native has his fighting-cock, which is reared with the greatest care
until he has shown sufficient prowess to entitle him to an entrance
into the cock-pit. In case of fire, the rooster is the first thing
rescued and removed to a place of safety, for babies--common luxuries
in the Philippines--are a secondary consideration and more easily
duplicated than the feathered biped. It is almost impossible to walk
along any street in the suburban part of the town without seeing
dozens of natives trudging along with roosters under their arms,
which are being talked to and petted to distraction. At every other
little roadside hut, an impromptu battle will be going on between two
birds of equal or unequal merit, the two proprietors holding their
respective roosters by the tails in order that they may not come
into too close quarters. The cock-pits, where gatherings are held on
Thursdays and Sundays, are large enclosures covered with a roof of
thatch sewed onto a framework of bamboo; they are open on all sides,
and banked up with tiers of rude seats that surround a sawdust ring
in the centre. Outside the gates to the flimsy structure sit a motley
crowd of women, young and old, selling eatables whose dark, greasy
texture beggars description, while here and there in the open spaces
a couple of natives will be giving their respective roosters a sort of
preliminary trial with each other. As the show goes on inside, shouts
and applause resound at every opportunity, and at the close of the
performance a multitude of two-wheeled gigs carry off the victors with
their spoils, while the losers trudge home through the dust on foot.

Other familiar street-scenes consist of Chinese barbers, who carry
around a chair, a pair of scissors, and a razor wherever they go,
and stop to give you a shave or hair-cut at any part of the block;
or Chinese ear-cleaners, who scoop out of those organs some of the
unprintable epithets hurled by one native at another. Cascades of
slops not uncommonly descend into the street as one walks along
beneath a slightly overhanging second story of some of the houses,
and one is impressed, if not wet, by this favorite method of laying
the street-dust.

Besides the daily afternoon music on the Luneta, a full-fledged Italian
opera troupe has come to town and has begun to give performances in
the Teatro Zorilla. "Carmen" and "The Cavalleria Rusticana" are on
the bill for this week, and many other of the old standbys are going
to have their turn later.

In respect to music, side-tracked though it is, Manila seems to be more
favored than her sister capitals in the Far East, and everyone appears
to be able to play on something. Such of the native houses as are too
frail to support pianos shelter harps, violins, and other stringed
instruments, while some of the more expensive structures contain the
whole selection. Of an evening--in the suburbs--it is no uncommon thing
to hear the strains of a well-played Spanish march issuing from under
the thatch of a rickety hut, or to find an impromptu concert going on
in the little tram-car which is bringing home a handful of native youth
with their guitars or mandolins. Every district has its band, some of
the instruments in which are often made out of empty kerosene-cans,
and the nights resound with tunes from all quarters. In fact, the
Philippine band is one of the chief articles of export from Manila,
and groups of natives with their cheap instruments are shipped off
to Japan, India, and the Spice Islands, to carry harmony into the
midst of communities where music is uncultivated. All in all, it is
extremely curious that out of all the peoples of the Far East the
Filipinos are the only ones possessing a natural talent for music,
and that the islands to-day stand out unique from among all the
surrounding territory as being the home of a musical race, who do not
make the night as hideous with weird beatings of tom-toms as they do
poetic with soft waltzes coaxed from gruff trombones.



                                                           January 18th.

Manila is pretty well, thanks. The weather has been cool and
comfortable. Showers have come every day or two to lay the dust,
and one could not want a more salubrious condition of things. The
sunsets from the Luneta have been more than pyrotechnic, and I now
believe that nowhere do you see such displays of color as in the
Orient, Land of the Sunrise. During these three weeks of my stay,
so far there have been five holidays, and we have had ample time
to take afternoon walks up the beach, or play tennis at the club,
or indulge in moonlight rows on the Pasig.

A week ago on the island just opposite the club, where lies a
good-sized village, containing an old church, there was a religious
festival, which lasted all the week. This was the Fiesta of Pandacan,
and all the natives for miles around came pouring down by our veranda,
in bancas and barges, on their way across the river. Every night
during the week, bands of music played on one side of the stream and
on the other side, and then crossed to their respective opposites,
playing in transitu, and then setting up shop on shore again. Then
there were fireworks, bombs, and rockets galore, so that the early
night was alive with noise and sparks. On the evening of the grand
wind-up we crossed over to see the sights, in one of the usual
hollowed-out tree-trunk ferryboats. Crowds of gayly dressed natives
surged around the plaza, near the old church, while everywhere along
the edges squatted old men and women, cooking all sorts of greasy
"chow" on those peculiar Philippine stoves described in the last
chapter. Everybody smoked, as well as the pots and kettles, and
the air was therefore foggy. The little, low-thatched houses were
jauntily decorated with lanterns and streamers, and at all the open
fronts leaned out rows of grinning natives.

Here and there were small "tiendas," or little booths, where cheap
American toys, collar-buttons, pictures, and little figures of the
Saviour were sold, and great was the hubbub. The houses, as well as
the people, are very low of stature, and as we walked along the narrow,
almost cunning streets, our shoulders level with the eaves of many of
the shanties, and above the heads of many of the people, we felt indeed
like giants. Many were the pianos in those native huts, and peculiar
mixtures of strikingly decent playing fell upon the ear from all sides.

The whole circus wound up with a grand pyrotechnical illumination of
the old church from base to tower, and a score of loud explosions,
caused by the setting off of many dozen bombs at the same time, made up
in noise what the religious celebration lacked in spirituality. Then
all the bands came back and played their lungs out as they crossed
the river, and all the people rushed for bancas, and came chattering
home. Thus did this pretty little religious show consume, in noise
and sparks, the contributions of a very long time.

The grand opera company which is here is doing remarkably well, and
"Faust" was given the other evening to a crowded house. The theatre
Zorilla is round, like a circus, and in the centre of the ring sit
the holders of our regular orchestra seats, facing the stage, which
chops off the segment of the circle opposite the main entrance. In a
rim surrounding the central arena stretches the single row of boxes,
a good deal like small open sheep-pens, separated from each other
only by insignificant railings. Next comes the surrounding aisle,
and in the broad outside section of the circle, rising up in steep
tiers, are the seats for the natives and gallery gods, who invariably
bring their lunch with them, to pass away the time during the long
intermissions. The orchestra is a native one, led by an Italian
conductor, and doesn't tuck its shirt into its trousers. The musicians,
who battle with the difficult score, grind out their music quite as
successfully as some of our home performers, who would scorn the dark
faces and flying shirt-tails of their Philippine brethren.

During the performance the management introduced a ballet, whose
members were native Filipinas. It was too laughable. The faces and
arms of the women who formed the corps seemed first to have been
covered with mucilage, and then besprinkled with flour in order to
bring the dark-brown complexion up to the softer half-tints of the
Italian performers. The native lady, as a rule, is unacquainted with
French shoes or high heels, slippers being the every-day equipment,
and when these flowery beings came forward on to the stage, saw
the huge audience, and tried to go through the mazes of the dance
in European footgear, they felt entirely snarled up, even if they
didn't look more than half so. But this only served to keep the
audience in a good humor, and everybody seemed to enjoy both the
singing and the deviltry of Mephistopheles, whose part was well
taken. The waits between the acts were long, and the drop-curtain
was covered with barefaced advertisements of dealers in pills, hats,
and carriages. But there were cool little cafés across the roadway
running by the theatre, and one forgot the delay in the pleasure of
being refreshed by Spanish chocolate and crisp buñuelos.

In front of the main entrance to the theatre stood two firemen, with
hose in hand, ready to play on anything as soon as the orchestra
stopped or a lamp fell, but otherwise nothing was particularly
strange. The whole structure was oil-lighted with rickety chandeliers,
which shed a dangerous though brilliant glare down upon a large
audience of most exquisitely dressed Spanish people, mestizos and
foreigners. Pretty little flower-girls wandered about trying to dispose
of their wares to the rather over-dressed dudes of the upper half-caste
400, and their mammas often followed them around to assist in making
sales. If it begins to rain in the afternoon, before the performance,
everybody understands that the show is to be postponed, provided
clearing conditions do not follow, and those who hold tickets are,
as a rule, grateful not to be obliged to risk their horses and their
starched clothes to the treatment of a possible downpour.

The Luneta is still a close rival to the opera, and each afternoon a
dozen of us will generally meet there to refresh ourselves with the
music and the passing show. Toward sundown, in the afternoons, of
late, the big guns in the batteries up along the walls of Old Manila,
hard by, have been used in long-distance sea target-practice, and it
has been interesting, on the way from the office to the promenade,
to walk along the beach and see the cannon-balls zip over the water
and slump into it miles from their destination. The same target serves
every afternoon, and seems perfectly safe from being hit. I wish I
could say as much for the fleet of American ships that are lying off
the breakwater, at the anchorage.



                                                           February 8th.

It seems peculiar to see the moon standing directly overhead o'nights,
and casting a shadow of one's self that is without meaning. I never
yet realized we had so little shape before, looking from above,
as when I saw this new species of shadow the other night, and was
really sorry that the angels never had a chance to look at us from
a better point of view.

To be politic, and begin with the weather as usual, a cold snap
lately has given everyone the "grippe." The mercury actually stood
at 74° all one day, and couldn't be coaxed to go higher. Think of the
suffering that such low temperature would occasion among a people who
have no furnaces or open fireplaces. You may think I am facetious,
but 74° in the Philippines means a great deal to people who are always
accustomed to 95°.

The opera-talk continues, and "Fra Diavolo" was most successfully
performed to a crowded house the other evening. "The Barber of Seville"
was given Sunday night with equal éclat, and the prima donna was a star
of the first water, whose merits were recognized in the presentation
of some huge flower-pieces, probably paid for by herself. But the
opera has had a rival, and those who are not so musically inclined
have spent most of their spare moments in discussing the great bull
and tiger fight which took place Sunday afternoon.

It was a queer show, and not altogether edifying. The old bull-ring,
squatting out in the rice-fields of Ermita suburb, was to be used
for the last time, and the occasion was to be of unusual interest,
since the flaming posters announced, in grown-up letters:


                     STRUGGLE BETWEEN WILD BEASTS.

      Grand Fight to the Death between Full-blooded Spanish Bull,
       and Royal Bengal Tiger, Direct from the Jungles of India.


For days before the show came off, conversation in the cafés along the
Escolta invariably turned to the subject of the coming exhibition,
and it was evident that the managers fully intended both to reap
a large harvest of heavy dollars and to wind up the career of the
bull-ring association in a blaze of blood and glory.

The steaming Sunday afternoon found everybody directing his steps
toward the wooden structure which consisted of a lot of rickety
seats piled up around a circular arena. The reserved sections
were covered with a light roof, to keep off the afternoon sun,
but the bleaching-boards for those that held only "billetes de sol"
were exposed to the blinding glare. The audience, a crowd of three
thousand persons, with dark faces showing above suits of white
sheeting, found the centre of the ring ornamented with a huge iron
cage some two rods square, while off at the sides were smaller cages
containing the "fieras," or wild beasts.

The show opened amid breathless excitement, with an exhibition of
panthers, and a man dressed in pink tights ate dinner in the big cage,
after setting off a bunch of firecrackers under one of the "fieras,"
who didn't seem inclined to wake up enough to lick his chops and
make-believe masticate somebody. The daring performer lived to digest
his glass of water, with one cracker thrown in, and a deer was next
introduced into the enclosure. The panther, at command of the keeper
to get to business, seemed unwilling to attack his gentle foe, and
on continued hissing from the big audience, the two animals were at
length withdrawn.

Then great shouts of "El toro! El toro!" arose, as off at the small
gate, at one side, appeared the bull, calmly walking forward, under
the guidance of two natives, who didn't wear any shoes. And renewed
applause arose, as the small heavy cage containing the R. B. tiger was
rolled up to a sliding-door of the central structure. The bull was
shoved into the iron jail, the gate closed, a dozen or more bunches
of firecrackers were set off in the small box holding the tiger, in
order to waken him up, the slide connecting the two was withdrawn,
and, with a deafening roar, the great Indian cat rushed forth and
tried to swallow a man who was standing outside the bars waving a
heated pitchfork. The bull stood quietly in one corner wagging his
tail, and after blinking his eyes once or twice, proceeded to examine
his antagonist, in a most friendly spirit. In fact, there seemed to
be no hard feeling at all between the two beasts, and the tiger only
wanted to get at the gentleman outside the cage, not at the bull. The
audience howled, jeered at the tiger, bet on the bull, and criticised
the man with the pitchfork as he gave the tiger several hard pokes
in the ribs. This served to anger the beast so that he finally did
make a dive at the bull, and promptly found himself tossed into the
air. But as he came down, he hung on to the bull's nose, and dug his
claws into the tough hide. Curiously enough, the bull didn't seem to
mind that in the least, and the two stood perfectly still for some
five minutes, locked in close quarters.

To make a long story short, there occurred four or five of these mild
attacks, always incited by the man with the pitchfork, during which the
bull stepped on the tiger, making him howl with pain, and the latter
badly bit the former on the legs and nose. After the fourth round,
both beasts seemed to be in want of a siesta. It was growing dark,
and the dissatisfied audience cried for another bull and another
tiger. The first animal was finally dragged away, after the tiger
had retreated to his cage, and a fresh bull with more spirit was
introduced. Now, however, the tiger was less game than ever, and no
amount of firecrackers or pitchforkings could induce him to stir from
the small cage. He seemed far too sensible, and literally appeared
to be the possessor of an asbestos skin.

It had now got pretty dark, and the audience joined in the pandemonium
of howls coming from the various cages. People began to light matches
to see their programmes, and the circus-ring looked as if it were
filled with fireflies. Then the programmes themselves were ignited
for more light, and cries of "Give us back our money," "What's
the matter with the tiger?" and others of a less printable order,
arose. Men jumped into the ring, but the tiger refused to move for
anybody. In the hope of stirring things up, a couple of panthers
were again hastily wheeled up and pushed into the cage, where the
bull was standing with an expression of wonder on his face. But the
bull merely licked one panther on the nose and wagged his tail at the
other, while the show was declared off on account of darkness. Then
everybody filed out in disgust, and the man with the tiger, panthers,
and pitchfork made arrangements to sail for foreign shores by the first
steamer. Such was the last performance in the Plaza de Toros de Manila.

It was a pleasant contrast after the fight to adjourn to the
Luneta. The day was Carnival Sunday, and all the young children
of the community were rigged up in many sorts of inconceivable
gowns. Clowns and ballet-dancers, devils and angels, all wandered
up and down the smooth walk, and the crowd was immense. Numbers of
the older people also took part, and many of the smart traps were
occupied with grotesque figures. The artillery-band rendered some of
its finest selections. The ships off in the bay were almost completely
reflected in the calm water. The mountains rose blue, like velvet,
in the distance, and a red glow in the Boca Chica told where the sun
had gone down for us, only to rise on the distant snows of New England.



III

    A Philippine Valet--The Three Days Chinese New Year--Marionettes
    and Minstrels at Manila--Yankee Skippers--Furnishing a
    Bungalow--Rats, Lizards, and Mosquitoes--A New Arrival--Pony-Races
    in Santa Mesa--Cigars and Cheroots--Servants--Cool Mountain
    Breezes--House-snakes--Cost of Living--Holy Week.


                                                          February 16th.

News to begin with. I have engaged a Philippine valet, price $4.50
per month; a man with a wife, two children, and a fighting-cock,
who buys all his better half's pink calico gowns and all the food for
the party on this large salary. It is a wonder what revolutions have
taken place in my wardrobe. My heavy clothes, already grown musty
from disuse, have been taken out, sun-dried, and laid carefully
away. I no longer have to decide what to wear each morning, for it
is settled for me beforehand. Everything that my "boy" wishes me to
don is laid out on a chair during my early pilgrimage to the bath,
and all that is necessary to do on my return is to get into them. It
is quite a luxury, and I shall certainly be inclined to bring this
cheap gentleman back with me when I return to Boston. My neckties,
which have hitherto snarled themselves up in the corner of a drawer,
now are hanging from a neat clothes-line, side by side. My books and
papers on the centre table are arranged with unnatural formality,
and the smaller articles, such as lead-pencils, buttons, pin-cushions,
are all adjusted in definite geometrical formation. At breakfast and
dinner in the club-house I no longer have to whistle to be waited on,
for my slave is always behind the chair, ready to spill the soup on
my coat or pass the plum-pudding. These serving-boys all belong to
the Tagalog race, which seems to include in its numbers most of the
native inhabitants in Manila and the adjacent towns. They all have
straight, thick black hair, speak their peculiar Tagalog language,
and only pick up enough Spanish to carry them through the performance
of their simple duties.

And still the holidays, more or less, continue. About this time of
year there is one a week, and just now the Chinese New Year occupies
about three days. The business part of the town is quiet. All the
Chinese merchants have driven off on a picnic, and it is impossible
to hire carriages of any sort.

Manila, on the whole, is waking up, and besides the opera we now
have the marionette troupe, something entirely new to the average
citizen. It seems there are four sisters travelling around the
world with their little collection of string-pulled puppets, giving
exhibitions in all the larger centres. Their fame had preceded them,
and so the other night when the doors of the Teatro Filipino were
thrown open, a huge crowd assembled to see the performance. The stage
was a fairly large one, but so arranged optically that it made the
figures appear larger than they really were. The actors (puppets) were
remarkable for their lifelikeness, and if one had not seen the strings
stretching upward he would have taken them to be animate beings. Their
costumes were complete and elaborate in every particular. First came
a tight-rope walker, then an acrobat balancing a pair of chairs,
and then Old Mother Hubbard, out of whose voluminous petticoats
jumped half a dozen little men and women, all of whom danced and
cut up as if they were really reasoning bipeds instead of material,
loose jointed, wax-faced dolls. Old Mamma was especially good, and
as she stirred up her little children with a long staff, looked at
first this one and then that, shook her head, pointed her finger,
and danced with the others, she brought down the house with applause.

Later on came a minstrel troupe, with two end-men, a leader who waved
a baton, a harpist, and two other musicians. They all played, and the
end-men cracked jokes. Next came a clog-dance between two darkies,
and it was difficult to believe that they were not alive. Further on
came a bulldog, which grabbed a policeman by the nether breeches and
pulled a huge piece out of them; a bull, who chased a farmer and threw
him over a rail fence (this took wonderfully well, for the Spaniards
go crazy over anything with a bull in it); then a boarding-house
scene, with a folding-bed that shut up its occupants inside; next,
a balloon ascension, in which a man on the ground was suddenly
caught up into the air by an anchor thrown out from the balloon;
then the death of the two aëronauts, who fall from a dizzy height;
next, a ride in a donkey-cart by two lovers, who find themselves
run away with and get snarled up on the wagon, to be kicked black
and blue by the donkey. Finally came a very complete little play of
"Bluebeard," with complete scenery, costumes, and ballet. All of the
scenery was of the lightning-change sort, and the Spaniards, mestizos,
and natives in the audience sat and looked on with open-mouthed wonder,
too astonished to laugh, too senseless to cry, and able but to clothe
their faces with expressions of wonder.

To change the subject rather abruptly, the captain of the Esmeralda,
the little steamer on which I came from Hong Kong, has been good
enough to ask me on board his vessel to tiffin as often as she comes
into port. As Captain Tayler's table is noted both for its excellence
and profusion, the very few of us who comprise the American colony,
as well as all the Englishmen in town, always covet an invitation to
spend Sunday in his company and enjoy various dishes that are not to
be procured in Manila markets.

Besides the several steamers that ply between ports on the neighboring
coast, there is now a large fleet of American ships at anchor in the
bay, and our office, which shelters the only American firm in the
Philippines, is a great centre for the various Yankee, nasal-twanged
skippers, who, dressed in hot-looking, ready-made tweeds, come
ashore without their collars to ask questions about home topics and
read newspapers six weeks old. They delight to enjoy the sea-breezes
generated by our big punka, and only leave the office on matters of
urgent necessity. Several of the captains have their whole families
with them, and one, who is especially well-to-do, owns his own ship,
carries along a bright tutor, who is preparing some of the skipper's
sons for college, and has transformed the vessel into a veritable
institution of learning. On nearly every evening the whole fleet
in a body go to some one ship, sing songs and have refreshments,
and the other night Governor Robie was the host. Being invited to
partake of the festivities, we two Yankees went off into the bay at
about sunset, ate a regulation New England dinner, with rather too
much weight to it for hot climates, and met all the belles of the
fleet. The moon overhead was full, and with a good piano, violin,
hand-organ, and a couple of ocarinas, giving vent to sweet sounds,
we had an impromptu dance on the quarter-deck. We stayed out on the
ship of our host and hostess all night. They apologized because the
bunks in the state-rooms assigned to us were so hard, little realizing
that we couldn't sleep worth a continental on account of their being
so ridiculously soft after our Philippine cane arrangements.

Everybody is talking horse now, and business will be at a standstill
during the first few days of the coming month, when the pony races
take place at the suburban course in Santa Mesa. As a result,
every afternoon that some of us do not go rowing or play tennis, we
adjourn to the race-track, and, in company with groups of Spaniards
and wealthy mestizos, watch the smart ponies circle around the track.

And, speaking of the race-course, I have just made arrangements with
one of my new friends to take a bungalow situated on a low rise that
backgrounds the track at the quarter-mile post. It stands, prettily
shaded by bamboo-trees, on practically the first bit of upland that
later grows into the lofty mountains of the interior, and the view
off over the race-course and low-lying paddy-fields, squared off into
sections, toward the city, is most picturesque. On another side we
look off over the winding river toward the mountains, which hardly
appear five miles away, and still another view is a bamboo grove,
against which is backed up our little stable with various outbuildings,
including the kitchen. A broad veranda runs entirely around the main
building, where the living-rooms are located, and Venetian roll-blinds
let down from the piazza-roof keep off the afternoon sun.

Yesterday I had my first experience in making extensive purchases
of furniture, and was interested to see about twelve coolies start
off from the city toward our country residence, three miles away,
loaded down with beds, tables, chairs, and other articles. Four of
them started off later on with the upright piano balanced on a couple
of cross-sticks resting on their shoulders, and trotted the whole
distance without sitting down to play the "Li Hung Chang March" more
than twice. These living carriers rather take the place of express
wagons in the East, and a long caravan of furniture-laden Celestials,
solemnly going along through the highway at a jog-trot, is no uncommon
sight. We shall need dishes, knives, pots and kettles, and a whole
World's Fair of trumpery, before we get started, and I shall have to
be busy with a Spanish dictionary, in order to get familiar with the
right names for the right things.

You have asked me how the mosquitoes fare upon the newly arrived
foreigner. To tell the truth, I have not seen more than half a dozen
since coming to Manila, and those all sang in tune. Everybody sleeps
under nettings, of course, but so far I have not seen as many biters
flying around at night as there are in the United States of America. To
be sure, one sees a good many lizards hanging by the eye-teeth to the
walls, or walking about unconcernedly up-side-down on the ceilings,
but they do good missionary work by devouring the host of smaller bugs,
and it is one of our highest intellectual pursuits here in Manila to
stretch out in a long chair and go to sleep gazing upward at these
enterprising bug-catchers pursuing their vocation. And, now and then,
from some piazza-roof or ceiling will drop on your face a so-called
hairy caterpillar whose promenade on one's epidermis will cause it
to swell up in great welts that close one's eyes and ruffle the temper.

Rats are more numerous than mosquitoes, and the other day, on my
opening a drawer in some of our office furniture, three jumped
out. The office was transformed into an impromptu race-course, and
all hands were called to take part in the slaughter. But Manila doors
are loose-jointed, and the rodents escaped somewhere into the next
room. Since then I have had the legs sawed off of my desk, so that
these literary beggars, who delight to eat up one's valuable papers,
should not climb in and make a meal off of my private cable code--a
thing which they started to do some time ago. They have already several
times run off with the candle which was used for heating sealing-wax,
and possess such prowess that they even took it out of the candlestick.

We had a new arrival at the club lately in the person of a young
Englishman who came fresh from Britain. Someone had stuffed him
with tales of indolent life in the Far East, for he came in to his
first dinner at the club clad only in pajamas and green carpet-bag
slippers. He also thought that the Spanish language consisted in adding
final a's to words in the English tongue and shouted all over the club
next morning for sopa, sopa, with which to cleanse himself. But the
servant brought him a plate of soup, and he is now trying to remember
that soap in Spanish is translated by jabon, not sopa. Jamon, the
word for ham, however, is close enough to give him trouble and he
will no doubt ask for soap instead of ham at our next repast.



                                                             March 16th.

The pony races came off with great éclat on the first four days of
this month, and were decidedly interesting. All Manila turned out,
and such a collection of carriages I have never seen. All the Spanish
ladies put an extra coat of paint on their complexions, and, dressed
in their best bibs and tuckers, made somewhat of a ghastly show in
the searching light of early afternoon. The high, thatched-roofed
grand stand presented a duly gay appearance as the bell rang for the
first event, and the dried-up paddy-fields, far and near, crackled
with natives directing their steps toward the centre of attraction.

In front of the grand stand groups of Spaniards, Englishmen, and
sea-captains formed centres for betting, and off at the sides were
refreshment-booths to which everyone made pilgrimage as often as the
articulatory muscles were in need of lubrication.

Some of the ponies were splendid-looking little "critters" and made
almost as fast time as their larger brethren, the horses. During
race-afternoons, business in the city was entirely suspended, and
everyone who had a dollar took it to the race-course to gain other
dollars. As the currency system is all metal, bets were paid in hard
coin, and if you happened to buy a lucky ticket in that gambling
machine, the "totalizator," you would perhaps have a whole hatful
of heavy silver cart-wheels shoved at you on presenting the winning
pasteboard. And it was no uncommon sight at the close of the races
to see some of the thinly clad natives whom fortune had favored go
trudging home across the rice-fields, carrying a load of dollars in
a straw hat or a bright bandana.

One by one the vessels are dropping away from their anchorage in the
bay, and by Saturday our Vigilant will heave up anchor and start on
her twenty-thousand-mile journey to Boston via the Cape, with her big
cargo of hemp. Thanks to our attentions to the captains, they have
seemed willing to take home for us any amount of souvenirs and curios,
and I have sent along quite an assortment of stuffed bats, lizards,
and snake-skin canes, which I feel sure will cause somebody to creep
on their arrival.

Manila's best cigar, made of a special, selected tobacco, wrapped
in the neatest of silverfoil and packed in rosewood boxes tied with
Spanish ribbon, costs about five cents and is considered a rare
delicacy. One scarcely ever sees these cigars, the "Incomparables,"
outside of the city itself, and the brand is so choice that but few
smokers are acquainted with it. The foreigner in Manila thinks he
is paying dear for his weed at $20 per thousand, and some of our
professional smokers limit themselves to those favorite "Bouquets"
which correspond to our "two-for-a-quarter" variety but sell here for
$1.80 a hundred. Below these upper grades come a various assortment of
cheaper varieties, including the cheroots, big at one end and small
at the other, and the $3-a-thousand cigars which are made of the
first thing that comes handy, to be sold to the crews of deep-water
merchantmen. A native of the Philippines wants his cigarette, and
gets it. Packages of thirty are sold on almost every corner for a
couple of coppers, and to my mind the Manila cigarette is far superior
to the variety found in Cuba. Smoking is, of course, encouraged by
prices such as these, and one finds it perfectly good form to borrow
a cigarette, as well as a light, from his neighbor in the tram-car
or on the plaza. Even on the toll-bridge which spans the Pasig you
pay your copper for crossing, and get in change a box of matches;
and if you are queer enough not to want the matches, the man will
give you instead a ticket that avails for the return trip.

Sunday I left my room at the club and moved into our new house out
in the suburb of Santa Mesa. It is just a week now since the Chinese
cook came and began to christen the pots and saucepans, whose Spanish
names I shall never get to remember. He began by rendering me a small
account of the "extras" provided for our table, and I was floored the
first thing on an item of five cents put down as "Hongos." I asked him
what that was. He spluttered around in Spanish and looked about the
room to see if he couldn't find a few growing in one of our pictures of
still life on the walls. At length, being struck with an inspiration,
he seized a small fan, excitedly stuck it into one of our flower-pots,
balanced on top of it an inverted ash-tray, and danced around, pointing
first to the item on the bill and then to the peculiar growth in the
flower-pot. I confess I didn't follow his reasoning, till suddenly it
struck me that for our first dinner in the new house we had partaken
of mushrooms. Not far off from an ash-tray balanced on a Japanese fan
growing out of a flower-pot--are they? The style of decoration in our
house is especially Japanese, and, needless to say, artistic, since
there are large Japanese and Indian shops in Manila, where one can
get all sorts of gimcracks at low prices. Our servants number seven,
a small quota for two of us. Although their wages are small, amounting,
as a rule, to $4 apiece per month, yet it is necessary to have plenty
of them, in order that a certain few shall be awake when wanted.

The fresh breeze, which in the evenings and early mornings blows
down direct from the lofty mountains, is so cool that often several
blankets have been necessary in the sleeping contrivance. Mosquitoes
are still conspicuous by their absence, but the rats up in the roof
sound tremendously numerous. All night they seem to be pulling boxes
to and fro, taking up boards and nailing them down, and having a
general all-hands-round sort of a dance.

Nearly all of the older bungalows in Manila possess what are called
house-snakes; huge reptiles generally about twelve or fourteen feet
long and as thick as a fire-engine hose, that permanently reside up
in the roof and live on the rats. These big creatures are harmless,
and rarely, if ever, leave their abodes. Judging from the noise over
my cloth ceiling, a pair of these pets find pasturage up above, and I
can hear them whacking around about once a week in their chase after
rats. They are good though noisy rat-catchers, but since they must
needs eat all they catch, their efficiency appears to be limited
to their length of stomach, and one night of energetic campaign is
generally followed by several days of rest, during which the snake
sees if he has bitten off more than he can chew. If the Philippine
cats were more noble specimens of the quadruped, I should try to
place half a dozen up in this midnight concert-hall, but they are so
feeble that I fear their lives would be in danger. It is hardly to
be wondered at that these native cats are modestly retiring, when
you wake at night to hear your shoes being dragged off across the
floor by some huge rice-fed rodent, and I don't blame them at all
for having right angles at the end of their tails.

The only way to get rid of the rats seems to be to buy more snakes,
and this is simple enough, for you often see the natives hawking
them around in town, the boas curled up around bamboo poles, to which
their heads are tied.

Some of our other domestic pets are lizards, supposed to be about four
feet long, who sing every evening at 8.30 P.M., from somewhere off
down in the shrubbery; several roving turkeys and pigs that belong to
the boys that serve us, a cluster of fighting-cocks, and a family of
puppies. It is easy to be seen that our establishment is thus somewhat
of a tropical menagerie, and a performance is almost always going on
in some quarter or other.

I have just completed the purchase of a horse and carriage complete,
including the coachman, for $100, and on the first trial we passed
everything on the road. The pony is a high-stepper, and rattled along
over the ground at a terrific speed, as a good Philippine animal
should. The coachman seems to know how to drive, which is a rare
attainment among the natives, and so far, though he has run over two
boys, he has not taken off any wheels in the car-tracks.

They say it costs a good deal to live well out this way, but that is a
mistake, and if one lived at home in the same style the bills would be
at least ten times as large. To be sure, it would be possible to come
to Manila, board with a Spanish family in the old city, avoid joining
the club, and live almost for nothing. However, this is a custom not
much encouraged in the Orient, and one cannot properly take his place
among the colony of English and other Europeans without spending a
certain reasonable amount.

Business is done more on a social scale than at home, and the lowest
English clerk in the large houses feels that he must enter into the
free and easy expenditure of his better-paid chief. After office hours
are over everyone stands on the same social plane, and all business
talk is tabooed. The office-boy often calls his lord and master
"Bill," and frequently has a better-looking horse and carriage.

The U.S.S. Concord has just come into the bay and been saluted by the
fort. Some of her officers will probably come ashore to breakfast
at the club, and it will probably devolve on the four Americans
in the city to do what is needful in the way of courtesy to our
fellow-countrymen.

To-day is the beginning of Easter Week, nearly all of whose days are
holidays or holy days. This is one of the closest-observed seasons
of the year, and on next Thursday and Friday, if you will believe it,
no carriages are allowed to appear in the streets either of Manila or
of the other cities. The tram-cars, to be sure, have of late years
been allowed to run, and the doctor's carriage and the ice-carts
can obtain permits. Beyond them, however, everybody has to stay at
home or walk; and in former times tram-cars were forbidden and no
one was allowed to carry an open umbrella. It seems the proper thing
to do to make arrangements with some of the English colony to take a
trip off into the mountains, and my chum and I expect to start off
by launch on Wednesday afternoon. Our party will consist of five,
not including half a dozen servants, who are to make arrangements
for bringing the provisions and bedding.

On my return I hope to have some fodder for my pen and relate some
of our experiences in the up-country districts.



IV

    An Up-country Excursion--Steaming up the River to the
    Lake--Legend of the Chinaman and the Crocodile--Santa Cruz
    and Pagsanjan--Dress of the Women--Mountain Gorges and River
    Rapids--Church Processions--Cocoanut Rafts--A "Carromata" Ride to
    Paquil--An Earthquake Lasting Forty-five Seconds--Small-pox and
    other Diseases in the Philippines--The Manila Fire Department--How
    Thatch Dealers Boom the Market--Cost of Living.


                                                         March 27, 1894.

The Easter holidays have come and gone, and one of the favorite
vacation trips from Manila has been brought to a close. Five of us have
seen lake, mountain, and river scenery; have been taking interesting
walks, drives, swims; have camped out in a good house and enjoyed the
hospitality of our native Indian friends. Whistling for the punka-boy
to go ahead, I will now set down the record of our trip.

The week from the 18th of March to the 25th was practically one long
holiday, but it was Wednesday, the 21st, in the afternoon, that we
left Manila for the interior. Rand and I got up the trip by procuring
a large and commodious steam-launch for five days--gratis. Having
done our share, we left our three companions to look after the "chow"
and other kindred topics. To my "boy" I merely said, "Wednesday we are
going up to the laguna; prepare what is necessary for four days." That
was all, and on Wednesday afternoon I found him at the launch with my
clothes and bedding all ready to start. Here also were assembled hams,
boxes of ice, and other provisions, big bundles of personal effects,
and the four "boys" (a "boy" may be seventy years old if he likes)
whom we were going to take along.

The whistle blew, the special artist with his camera ambled aboard,
amidst a pile of sun-hats, oranges, and excitement, and soon the
Vigilante was steaming up the river on her sixty-mile trip. Familiar
objects were first passed, but soon after leaving the uptown club new
scenes presented themselves. The launch stirred up large waves astern
that washed both banks of the river with great energy, and the first
incident was the swamping of three banca-loads of grass that were on
their way down to Manila under charge of Indian pedlers. Turn after
turn opened up new scenes; our house on the hill began to fade away,
and soon we skimmed through native villages where white blood was
"not in it." The hills increased in size, the river lessened, and
great bamboo-trees hung over toward the central channel. At one point,
high up on the bluffs, perched a Chinese pagoda-like chapel, said to
have been constructed by a wealthy Celestial as a thanks-offering for
his escape from a crocodile. He was bathing in the river, so the story
goes, when suddenly he saw the monster making for him. He threw up his
hands and vowed to build a monument to his patron saint if escape was
vouchsafed him. And no sooner had he spoken than the crocodile turned
to stone and lies there to-day, a long, low black mass, fretting the
current that ripples over it. As we passed the rock it looked as if
it had never been anything else, but the afternoon was too pleasant
to doubt the veracity of the legend. On we went. The mountains ahead
grew more to look like masses of rock and trees and less like soft
blue velvet. Pasig, an important town, was left behind, the lowlands
came again, a multitude of fish-weirs stuck up ahead, and before we
knew it the great lake was holding us on its rather muddy waters just
where it slobbered into the mouth of the river, its only outlet.

On all sides save the one by which we had entered rose the mountains
right out of the water, and I was reminded of Norway or Scotland. It
was like a sea, and the farther shore was below the horizon. The sun
had set and the full moon rose just ahead as we kept along the coast
to the north. At half after eight o'clock we anchored off a little
town called Santa Cruz that seemed to be backed up by two very lofty
mountain-peaks, and we were soon surrounded by two bancas filled with
natives who began to transfer our many effects. And so we left the
launch, were slowly poled ashore, and next found ourselves on a sandy
beach surrounded by much people and baggage. Dispatching two of our
retinue up into the town to fetch enough of the two-wheeled covered
gigs called carromatas for our assembly, in about three-quarters of
an hour we had the felicity of seeing seven come racing down the road
to the lake shore. Our destination, by the way, was a town called
Pagsanjan, about three-quarters of an hour from Santa Cruz, and
situated just at the foot of a range of mountains. The chattels were
soon loaded, there was a cracking of whips, a creaking of harness,
and the long procession started off at a rattling gait through the
town and out into the rich cocoanut groves beyond.

At Manila, outside of bamboo and banana trees, there is no sign of
really equatorial vegetation, but up in the mountains there was no
deception, and Nature did her best to let us know that the temperate
zone was far away. We bounced along at a terrific pace and presently
saw the lights of our little village. Rattling through an old stone
archway, we drew up before the house of a certain Captain Feliz,
to whom we had been recommended. The genial old man, whose face and
corporosity were charmingly circular in their rotundity, welcomed us
with open-armed hospitality, and saying he knew of just the house
that would accommodate our party, started to lead us to it. After
a few steps he suddenly stopped, apologized smilingly, said he had
forgotten his set of false teeth, and must return for them. And coming
back shortly after, he took out his teeth, commented on their grace
and usefulness, and said he could speak much better Spanish with than
without them.

In due season we drew up at a very thick-walled stone house on the high
bank just above the river, and were invited to take possession. Our
"boys" got out the provisions in short order, for a late supper; our
pieces of straw matting were spread out around the edges of the shining
floor of the large "sala" which had been placed at our disposal for a
dormitory; pillows and light coverings were duly regulated, and after
eating a bit, we said good-night to our new friends and turned in on
the floor to rest. I found the hardwood planks so soft after my bed
at Manila that before long I arose, arranged eight chairs in facing
pairs, spread out my sleeping-arrangements, and soon fell asleep in
a very good improvised bed which was high enough from the floor to
keep cockroaches from using me as a promenade. Thursday morning we
arose early, washed ourselves on the balcony that overlooked the
fashionable avenue of the village, and, as is the true Philippine
custom, sprinkled the street with solutions of soapsuds.

Now, as I have said before, the Thursday and Friday before Easter are
tremendously sacred days in the Philippines, and no carriages of any
description are permitted to move about. The little town was still as
death, and the early-morning hush was only broken now and then by the
weird caterwaulings of the peculiar Passion songs which the natives
in these parts sing off and on during Lent. Later on, as we finished
breakfast, groups of women began coming out of the various houses and
directed their steps church-ward. Most of them were gorgeously dressed
in all colors of the solar spectrum--with a little cloth added on--and
it was instructive to see an expensively gowned Indian woman emerge
from a shabby little nipa hut that didn't look as if it could incubate
such starched freshness. For the dresses that some of these people
wear are costly; and even their piña neckerchiefs often cost $100.

After breakfast we went down to the river and got into five
hollowed-out tree-trunks, preparatory to the start up into the
mountain-gorges. It was worse than riding a bicycle, trying to balance
one of the crazy affairs, and for a few moments I feared my camera and
I would get wet. However, nobody turned turtle, and we were paddled
up between the high cocoanut-fringed banks of the wonderfully clear
river before the early morning sun had looked over the mountains into
whose cool heart we were going.

Then came the first rapids, with backgrounds of rich slopes showing
heavy growths of hemp and cocoa palms. Another short paddle and the
second set of rapids was passed on foot. A clear blue lane of water
then stretched out in front of us and reached squarely into the
mountain fastnesses through a huge rift where almost perpendicular
walls were artistically draped with rich foliage that concealed
birds of many colors, a few chattering monkeys, and many hanging
creepers. Again it seemed like a Norwegian fjord or the Via Mala,
but here, instead of bare rocks, were deeply verdured ones. Above,
the blue sky showed in a narrow irregular line; below, the absolutely
clear water reflected the heavens; the cliffs rose a thousand feet,
the water was five hundred feet deep, the birds sang, the creepers
hung, the water dripped, and we seemed to float through a sort of
El Dorado, a visionary and unreal paradise. At last we glided in
through a specially narrow lane not more than fifty feet wide;
a holy twilight prevailed; the cliffs seemed to hold up the few
fleecy clouds that floated far over our head, and we landed on a
little jutting point for bathing and refreshments. It seemed as if we
were diving into the river Lethe or being introduced to the boudoir
of Nature herself. In an hour we pushed on, passed up by three more
rapids, and halted at last at the foot of a bridal-veil waterfall
that charmed the eye with its beauty, cooled the air with its mists,
and set off the green foliage with its white purity. Here we lunched,
and in lieu of warm beer drank in the beauties of the scenery.

The return was a repetition of the advance, except that we shot
one or two of the rapids, and that the banca holding the boy and
the provisions upset in a critical place, wetting the crackers
that were labelled "keep dry." We got back to our house by
early afternoon, and all agreed that an inimitable, unexcelled,
wouldn't-have-missed-it-for-the-world excursion had passed into
history.

Good old Captain Feliz took us to call on some of the native
villagers in the late afternoon, who exhibited quite a bit of Indian
hospitality. At one house was a pretty Indian girl who spoke Spanish
very well and entertained our party of six with as much grace as an
American belle. Of course the presence of five "Ingleses" in town
was quite an event in a place fifty miles from Manila, and as we
walked through street after street each house-window presented at
least seven curious faces; dogs barked, fighting-cocks crowed, and
the occupations of the moment were suspended.

After dinner we sat out on the balcony to watch the procession
that wound around through the various streets, starting from
the fortress-like church and finally bringing up there. These
church parades are a good deal like our torch-light processions,
except that here images, not mud-besprinkled men, carry most of
the torches. In this affair there were a dozen or more floats,
each one bearing a saint, an apostle, or somebody else, and each
decorated with very costly drapery, ornaments, and elaborate candelabra
illuminators. Scattered all along between the floats straggled natives
carrying poles on which were images of a candle, a hand, a spear, a
pair of nails, a cock, a set of garments, and other symbolic articles
relating to the crucifixion. Then came Peter on a very elaborate
moving pedestal, and in his hand he held the traditional bunch of
keys. Then a Descent from the Cross, with two apostles standing up
on step-ladders. Next came the band of the procession--three men
singing to the tune of an old violin--and finally the Virgin Mary
with glass tears rolling down her wax cheeks. On each side of the
line from start to finish trooped the populace, mostly women dressed
in black and carrying candles.

Next day was Good Friday. No traps of any description to be had, as
none were allowed to run, and so we spent the day about the town and in
walking up into the hills. A look into the great, solid old church in
the morning showed us a fragrant and gaudily dressed audience kneeling
in various postures on the tiled floors, while numerous dogs of various
cross breeds and tempers meandered in through the door and among
the worshippers. From the church we strolled across a very primitive
bamboo bridge over a branch river, and wandered through a luxurious
cocoanut grove beneath whose tall trees were situate a couple of very
rudimentary cocoanut-oil mills and the houses of the operators. The
machinery was very crude. One might think he was back in the days of
stone knives, seeing these simple contrivances, the awkward levers,
the foot-power grindstones, and the old pots and kettles. In the river
near the mills were thousands of cocoanuts ready to be tied together
in rafts for floating down to Manila, and everybody's business up this
way seemed to consist in watching this oily fruit fall from the trees.

In the early evening, just before another religious procession started,
we heard a great clatter up in the belfry of the old church, and
learned that the hubbub was made by "devil-frighteners." On inquiring
as to the nature of this weird clap-trap symphony, it seems that on
these especially holy days men are stationed up in the bell-towers
with huge wooden rattles, which they so manipulate from time to time
that the noise is said to act as a scare-crow to the various devils
who are supposed to be hovering about seeking whom they may devour.

After another peaceful night's rest, some of us took our morning jump
into the river, and all prepared for a twelve-mile carromata drive out
along the lake shore beneath the mountains, to a little village called
Paquil, said to be possessed of a crystal spring bathing-pool. The road
for a good bit of the way was of the Napoleon-crossing-the-Alps style,
and it got to be so bad I rather thought we were in for a walk. Not a
bit of it. The carromatas are built strong as the rocks themselves,
the wheels are huge and solid, the ponies tough as prize-fighters,
and the driver urges the whole affair along at a tremendous pace. So
we bounced along, and most of our time was spent, not on the seat,
but midway between it and the roof, which occasionally came down
and thumped our heads. On the way we passed through numerous little
villages, and in one out-of-the-way place we called on an American,
Thomas Collins, who has been practically shut in out here for
twenty-five years. It seems that he got cheated out of a hundred and
fifty thousand dollars' worth of valuable wood a good while ago by
the officials of a certain provincial district, and has been trying
to get the claim paid ever since. He was a queer chap, and had almost
forgotten how to speak American; but at last he managed to remember
the word "hell," and then his ideas began to flow more freely.

When we arrived at Paquil our conductor, the genial Captain Feliz,
walked up to the house of an acquaintance and asked him to put it
at our disposal. As before, the request was father to the grant,
and we dumped our chattels down into a parlor full of wax virgins
and crucifixes. The bath, for which the village is quite famous, is a
large pool five feet deep, with a pebble bottom. At one end a stream
of clear water gushes forth from the hillside, while at the other an
overflow brook carries off the surplus and goes bubbling down through
the village to the lake. We had our swim after all the native bathers
had left, and got back to our house in time for a tiffin that had
been brought with us in the baskets. In the early afternoon we took
our siesta, in the later hours started for our jogglety return drive,
and at Pagsanjan found prepared for us a feast of sucking pigs.

On Sunday morning we were ready for our return to Manila. The seven
gigs arrived, we said hearty farewell to our friends, presented Captain
Feliz some empty bottles and two teapots, and rattled out through the
town toward Santa Cruz, where our launch was in waiting. The trip was
cool and pleasant across the lake, but it was hot when in about four
and a half hours we got to the low river-country again. The sail down
was like the sail up, and by dinner-time we backed water to bump into
the portico of the club, where all hands disembarked for dinner. Thus
ended what I suppose is the most popular and most delightful excursion
which the foreigner can make from the capital of the Philippines in
the few days which the church feasts at Easter put at his disposal.



                                                              April 6th.

The other night I dreamt I was climbing up a long hill on a
bicycle. Once at the top, I started down over the other side at a
terrific pace. Somehow or other, by mistake, the wheel ran off into a
gutter at the side of the road, and bounced around in such a dangerous
manner that it all but upset. However, with tremendous exertion,
I managed to jump the mechanism back onto the smooth ground again,
and continued safely down to the bottom of the hill at a two-forty
gait. Arrived at the bottom, I conveniently woke up, and heard a rat
under the bed trying to slide one of my shoes off across the floor.

Next morning, on coming down to the office, several of my business
friends asked me if I had felt the severe earthquake shock during the
night. I said "No," and inquired as to the particulars. It seems that
the shock lasted some forty-five seconds, and my chum was awakened by
his bed commencing to rock around and by the four walls of his room
attempting to move in different directions. Nothing in the city was
much injured, I believe, and next day the really excellent observatory,
conducted by the Jesuits, gave out a full illustrated description of
the affair.

Up at our new bungalow, the only incidents worthy of note have been
the attempted stealing of my pony and the consumption of my best
shoes by one of our house-rats.

A Philippine burglar, curiously enough, takes off his clothes, smears
his dark skin with cocoanut-oil, and prowls around like a greased
pig that cannot be caught. One of these slippery thieves got into our
stable, unhitched my pony, and took him almost to the front gate before
the sleepy coachman found his wits. But prompt action saved the day,
and the lubricated robber escaped, leaving his booty pawing the ground.

But with my shoes I was not so fortunate. I woke up suddenly to
hear something being dragged across the floor. Thinking it was only
a rat making off with a boot-jack with which to line his nest, I
refrained from tempting Providence by leaving the protection of the
mosquito-netting. Next morning I found that one of these rodents had
pulled a pair of my patent-leather shoes off a low shelf beneath the
bed, dragged them out into the hallway behind a hat-rack, and eaten up
the most savory portions of the bindings. Complimentary to the prowess
of the rat or to the lightness of my shoes--which? I keep them now as
articles on which the patent has run out--worthless, but curiosities.

Otherwise things have run smoothly, and each evening we lie in the
long chairs on the broad veranda, watching the Southern Cross come
up over the hills, or the score of brush-fires of dried rice-stalks
that illuminate the darkness away off toward the mountains. The
music from our piano seems to give much delight to the members of
the servants' hall, now nine in number, besides several puppies and
game-cocks. The other night, although in the midst of the hot season,
we had a prodigious cold snap again, when the thermometer went down
to sixty, after being ninety-five during the day, and two blankets
were not at all uncomfortable.

I see by the papers that there are at least two cases of small-pox
in Boston, that everybody is alarmed and hundreds are getting
vaccinated. Curious state of affairs--isn't it?--when every day out
here you see small children running around in the streets, covered with
evidences of this disease. Nobody thinks anything about small-pox in
Manila, and one ceases to notice it if a Philippine mamma sits opposite
you in the tram-car, holding in her lap a scantily clothed child whose
swarthy hide is illuminated with those unmistakable markings. Some
weeks ago there were even four hundred deaths a week in Manila from
this disease alone; and from the way in which the afflicted mix with
the hale and hearty, you can only wonder that there were not four
thousand. But small-pox flourishes best in the cool, dry days of our
winter months, and is now being stamped out by the warmer weather. An
effort is being made to have everybody vaccinated, and the steamers
from Japan have brought down whole cargoes of lymph, but the natives
do not see any reason why they should undergo this experiment, and
would much prefer to have the small-pox than to be vaccinated. And this
being the case, it is no wonder that almost seventy-five per cent. of
them bear those uncomplimentary marks of the disease's attention.

Now that I have inoculated my page with a reference to this rather
unpleasant subject, it is only a bit of sad truth to tell of
the only fatality caused by the malady in our little Anglo-Saxon
colony. Recently I went into the Bay with a young Englishman who
had always lived in terror of this one disease, and had avoided
both contact with the natives and excursions into the infected
districts. The launch took me to the vessel which we were loading, and
then carried him on to that receiving cargo from his concern. Later
she returned with him, picked me up, and together we went ashore to
stop a moment at the club before going home for the day. I never saw
him again, poor chap, though I did take over his stable, for next
morning he was taken with black small-pox and died in a week.

The families of the lightermen in the Bay--crowded as they are into
the hen-coops over the stern of the bulky craft--are full of it, and
hence the fatal ending to our little afternoon excursion. As a rule,
however, the members of the English-speaking colony get so used to
this disease that they have no especial fear in suddenly turning a
sharp corner of running into some native sufferer.

In days gone by, when cholera decimated Manila's numbers, when
people died faster than they could be buried, when business was at
a standstill and the city one great death-house, were the times that
tried men's souls. But now that those big water-mains which run along
the ground bring fresh water from far up into the hills, the natives
have given up the deadly practice of drinking from the river, and,
thanks to the good supply system, no longer give the cholera free
admittance.

Besides small-pox, then, fever is about the greatest enemy, and certain
types of the malarial variety seem so common that the sufferers from
them often walk into the club, drop into a chair, and say, "Got the
fever again. Means another lay-off." If they can keep about, the old
stagers never give up; but novices buy thermometers and cracked ice,
and either go through a terrific siege, like my friend, whose eight
weeks' struggle shrunk his head so that in convalescence his hat
touched his ears, or escape with a week's initiation. Typhoid seems
also common, and there is generally one member of the colony, for
whom the rest are anxious, stretched out in ice-baths and wishing
he had never seen the Philippines. The old hands--who, by the way,
seem to be regular sufferers from the fever--all say the only way to
be safe is to drink plenty of whiskey, but so far I have found that
the less one takes the better off he is.

Someone in the States has suggested that if things get too hot it would
be well to run over to Hong Kong for a change of scene. But if there
is any place in the world that is hotter, stickier, more disagreeable
than Hong Kong, in the months from May to October, let us hear from
it. It is far worse in summer than Manila, for, completely shut in
as it is by the mountains, it does not receive the benefit of the
southwest monsoon, which blows with great force over the Philippines
during the above months. Even Japan itself gets a good roasting for
the two or three months of the hot season, and there is not much left
to do but to seek cold weather in Australia. Our only very hot months
here are said to be April and May; sometimes part of June. The sun now
is directly overhead and going fast to the north of us, but so far the
temperature has never been unbearable. The mercury stands at about
ninety-five from twelve to three each day, but somehow or other one
does not feel it so much in the cool white suits, unless he attempts
to fall asleep on some of the sheet-iron roofs. The nights are still
cool and comfortable, and what with a cold snap now and then, such
as I spoke of above, fans are having a poor sale. In the afternoon,
walking, rowing, and tennis are still possible, and the bands of the
Luneta still have enough wind left to give us the "Funeral March" or
"Prize Song."



                                                             April 28th.

Manila fare, like Manila life, is not unwholesome, but it lacks
variety, and one rather tires, now and then, of soup, chicken,
beefsteak, and toothpicks--four staples. But fortunately for us who
like variety, though unhappily for five or six hundred other people,
there occurred a vast conflagration yesterday afternoon that sent
about five or six hundred houses sailing off through the air in the
form of smoke.

As we were getting ready to leave the office for the day, clouds of
smoke suddenly began to rise over the iron house-roofs to the eastward,
and we knew that one of Manila's semi-annual holocaustic celebrations
was in progress. The church bells began to ring, and all sorts of
people and carriages started toward the centre of interest.

The Manila Fire Department consists of about six hand-engines and a
few hose-carts, and if a fire gets started it generally burns along
until an open field, a river, or a thick mass of banana-trees stops
its progress. The English houses, to be sure, have recently gotten out
from home one of their small steam "garden-pumps," and many of the
young Britons have had weekly practice in manipulating its various
parts. When the alarm for the present fire rang you might have seen
several servants, employed in their respective homes by the members
of the new Volunteer Fire Department, slowly wandering toward the
shed where the engine was kept, with some nicely folded red shirts,
coats with brass buttons, helmets with Matterhorn-like summits, and
axes that shone from lack of work. These youths did not seem to be in
any hurry, and it turned out that when they reached the engine-house,
when their masters had togged up sufficiently well to impress the
spectators, and when the engine finally got to the fire, the buildings
had been translated into their new and rather more ethereal form.

The fire was two miles, more or less, from the centre of the town. The
Volunteer Fire Brigade had to haul the engine the entire distance,
as they feared that if the usual carabao oxen were hitched on, the
speed over the pavements would be too great. After reaching the centre
of action, an hour was spent in waiting for the man who brought some
spare coal in a wheelbarrow and in choosing a location which would
not be uncomfortable for the brigade. Consequently, the "London Garden
Pump" was stationed to windward of the fire, on a side where it could
not possibly spread any farther, and thus all stray flames and smoke
were avoided. A hose was stuck down into the creek, and steam turned
on. A stream of water about large enough to be clearly visible with
a microscope suddenly jumped forth into the middle of the street,
wetting the spectators. Somebody had forgotten to attach the extra
pieces of hose that were to lead down to the fire, and steam had
to be turned off. After everything was ready to get to business,
a tram-car came along, and it wasn't allowable to stop its progress
by putting a hose across the track, even if there was a fire. And so
it went from grave to gay, the swell brigade furnishing the humorous
part of the otherwise rather sad spectacle.

A Philippine fire is like any other, except that with the many nipa
houses it does its work quickly and well, and in this instance the
whole affair lasted but a couple of hours. Hundreds of families moved
out into the wet rice-fields, with all their chattels, and there were
many curious-looking groups. In saving various articles of furniture
and other valuables, the fighting-cock, as usual, was considered the
most important, and it was interesting to watch the natives trudging
along with scared faces, holding a rooster by the legs in one hand and
a baby or two in the other. Pigs, chickens, and dogs seemed to come
next in value, and after them ice-chests and images of the Virgin
Mary. The sun went down on a strange spectacle, and it was hard
not to pity all the crowd that were thus rudely thrown out of their
habitations. Myriads of spectators there were and myriads of carriages,
of all ages and sizes, some loaded with chattels ready to take flight,
and others waiting to be. At dusk, however, all danger was over;
the mobs departed north, east, south, and west; the brigade carefully
brushed the dust off their boots and shirts, and the poor burned-out
unfortunates looked with moistened eyes on the ruin of their homes.

The wags go far enough to say that the dealers in thatch are
responsible for many of the big fires both in the capital and smaller
villages and that, when times are bad or prices for thatch low, they
arrange to "bull" the market by means of a conflagration. A lamp is
tipped over--a thousand houses go up in smoke, and as go the houses
so rise the prices for nipa thatch.

The second series of pony races occurred during the middle days of
this month, at the race-track down below our bungalow, and all Manila
again came rolling up through the dust to see the performances of
the smart ponies. The events were but a repetition of those which
took place in March, except that in many respects the running-time
was better and the races far more close and interesting.

Some of the old stagers are beginning to complain of the heat. We
take afternoon tea now and then, as is customary in all the business
houses, with some of our friends, in an office on the other side of
our building. Yesterday afternoon a thermometer placed outside of
our window registered 125° F., I suspect this was owing to some of
the reflected heat coming from the iron roofs. Inside the room the
mercury stood at 97° F., but we drank our hot tea and enjoyed the
coolness which resulted from consequent perspiration.

I have now been settled in Manila long enough to find out what it
costs to live, and the general cheapness of existence is more appalling
than I first thought. Our house is a good one, with all the comforts
of home, and is surrounded by an acre or two of land. We have stables
for our horses and outbuildings for the families of our servants. At
the end of the month all expenditures for house-rent, food, wages,
light, and sundries are posted together and divided by three, and
with everything included my monthly share comes to twenty-nine gold
dollars--less than one of our American cart-wheels--per diem.

Where in the States could you rent a suburban house and lot, keep
half a dozen servants, pay your meat bill, your drink bill, and your
rent all for less than a single dollar a day! You can scarcely drive a
dozen blocks in a hansom or buy a pound of Maillard's for that money at
home and yet, in Manila, that one coin shelters you from the weather,
ministers to the inner man, and keeps the parlor in order.

Our cook, for instance, gets forty cents each morning to supply our
table with dinner enough for four people, and for five cents extra
he will decorate the cloth with orchids and put peas in the soup. To
think of being able to get up a six-course dinner, including usually
a whole chicken, besides a roast, with vegetables, salad, dessert,
fruit, and coffee, for such a sum seems ridiculous in the extreme.

The methods of marketing are almost as noteworthy as the low prices for
"raw materials." All meat must be eaten on the same day it is killed,
since here in the tropics even ice fails to preserve fish, flesh,
or fowl. As a result, while the beef and mutton are killed in the
early morning--a few hours before the market opens--the smaller fry,
such as chickens and game, are sold alive. From six to ten on any
morning the native and Chinese cooks from many families may be seen
bargaining for the day's supply among the nest of stalls in the big
market. After filling their baskets numbers of them mount the little
tram-car for the return trips to their kitchens and proceed to pluck
the feathers off the live chickens or birds as they jog along on the
front or rear platform. By the time they have arrived home the poor
creatures are stripped of foliage, and, keenly suffering, are pegged
down to the floor of the kitchen to await their fate. Then, when
the creaking of the front gate announces the return of the master,
it is time enough to wring the necks of the unfortunates and shove
them into the boiling-pot or roasting-pan that seems but to accentuate
a certain toughness which fresh-killed meat possesses.

The washing-bill, again, is far from commensurate with the fulness of
one's clothes-hamper, and for two gold dollars per month I can turn
over to my laundry-man--who comes in from the country once a week--as
much or as little as I please. Two full suits of white sheeting clothes
a day for thirty days make one item of no mean dimensions, and yet the
lavandero turns up each week with his basketful, perfectly satisfied
with his remuneration. Then, too, he washes well, and although, when
I see him standing knee-deep in the river whanging my trousers from
over his head down onto a flat stone, I fear for seams and buttons,
nothing appears to suffer. And although he builds a small bonfire in
a brass flat-iron that looks like a warming-pan and runs it over my
white coats all blazing as it is, the result is excellent, and one's
linen seems better laundered than in the mills that grind away at home.

As servants, these boys of ours could teach much to some of their
more civilized brethren from Ireland or Nova Scotia now holding sway
in American families. They take bossing well, and actually expect
to have their heads punched if things go wrong. They don't put their
arms akimbo and march out of the house if we mildly suggest that the
quality of ants in the cake or the water-pitcher is not up to standard,
and actually make one feel at liberty to require anything of them.

And speaking of ants, these little creatures are everywhere ready to
eat your house or your dinner right from under you. The legs of the
dining-table, the ice-chest, and the sideboard must be islanded in
cups of kerosene, and even the feet to one's bed must undergo the same
treatment, in order that the occupant may awake in the morning to find
something of himself left. Cockroaches are almost equally fierce and,
endowed with wings, these creatures, sometimes four inches long,
go sailing out the window as you close your eyes and try to step
on them. They prowl around at night, with a sort of clicking sound,
seeking something to devour, and are apparently just as satisfied to
eat the glue out of a book-cover as they are to feed on the rims to
one's cuffs or shirt-collars, moist with perspiration.

What the ants don't swarm over the cockroaches examine, and what
they reject seems to be taken in charge by the heavy green mould
that beards one's shoes, valise, and tweed suits at the slightest
suggestion of wet weather.



V

    Visit of the Sagamore--Another Mountain Excursion--The Caves of
    Montalvan--A Hundred-mile View--A Village School--A "Fiesta"
    at Obando--The Manila Fire-tree--A Move to the Seashore--A
    Waterspout--Captain Tayler's Dilemma--A Trip Southward--The Lake
    of Taal and its Volcano--Seven Hours of Poling--A Night's Sleep
    in a Hen-coop.


                                                            May 9, 1894.

The other day the yacht Sagamore dropped anchor in the bay, her owner
and his guests, all Harvard men, having got thus far on their tour
around the world. I was sitting on the Luneta, Sunday evening, when I
saw those familiar Harvard hat-ribbons coming, and in behalf of our
little American colony welcomed the wearers of them to Manila. In
return for a dinner or two at the club and a visit to the huge
cigar-factories, where three or four thousand operators pound away
all day at the fragrant weed, I spent a noon and afternoon aboard the
yacht, glad to enjoy a change of fare. The Sagamore is a worthy boat
and seems to be loaded up with gimcracks and curios of all classes
and descriptions. A collector would positively be squint-eyed with
pleasure to see the old vases, carved wood-work, plaques, knives,
sabres, pots and kettles that her passengers have picked up all along
the way; and it is indeed the only method by which to scour curios
from the Orient. The boys thought the Luneta was the best place in
its way they had yet seen, and it was as much as I could do to get
them away from listening to the artillery-band and looking at the
crowds of people in carriages. Three men in a boat of the Sagamore's
size make a pretty small passenger-list for a pretty long voyage.

We've kept up our record as tripsters by having gone again up into
the mountains, seen pounds of scenery, breathed fine air, and received
great hospitality from the natives. Monday was a bank-holiday, so late
on Saturday afternoon four of us started in two-horse carromatas for a
mountain village called Montalvan, about twenty miles from Manila. Two
boys had been sent along a day ahead, with provisions and bedding,
to find a native hut and provide for our arrival. We had a delightful
drive out of Manila, passed through numerous native villages, forded
three rivers, saw a fine sunset, and at about eight o'clock, after
a three hours' journey, pulled up at a little native house situated
in a village at the foot of a lofty mountain-range. The occupants
seemed willing and glad to turn out of their little shanty and put
it at our disposal, and we were very comfortable. The house was not
large, but it had a very neat little parlor--curious name for a room
out here--and in the corner, covered with a light bed-quilt, stood
a wax figure of the Virgin Mary, with the usual glass tears running
down her cheeks. The family of about fourteen slept somewhere out
in the rear regions of the building, leaving us to spread out around
the floor of the little sala, like unmounted club sandwiches.

One of the party, more sensitive than the rest, woke about one in the
morning and disturbed us by finding some four-inch spiders stringing
cobwebs from the end of his nose to his ear and down to one finger. He
was for the moment embarrassed enough to shout for joy and throw his
slippers somewhere. But except for this, and a few rats that now and
then tickled our toes, we slept well, and next morning before breakfast
we went down to the shallow river for a swim. After a jolly good bath,
a hearty breakfast, and a few preparations, our party of four, with
the two boys and two guides, started up a steep valley that wound in
among lofty mountains to the so-called Caves of Montalvan.

One of our guides was the principal of a village school, who held
sway over a group of little Indian girls under a big mango-tree,
and he shut up shop to join our expedition.

In about two hours and a half our caravan reached the narrower defile
that pierced two mountains which came down hobnobbing together like
a great gate, grand and picturesque. From a large, quiet pool just
beneath the gates, we climbed almost straight up the mouth of the
stalactite caves that run no one knows how far into the mountains,
starting at a point about two hundred feet above the river. The guides
made flare-torches of bamboos, and we entered the damp darkness,
bounded by white limestone walls from which hung beautiful stalactites
that glistened as the light struck them. In we went for a long way,
now crawling on hands and knees and now stumbling into large vaulted
chambers. Blind bats flew about and water trickled. It was ghostly,
uncanny, but interesting. It seemed as if we were going into the very
heart of the mountain, or were reading "King Solomon's Mines," and this
impression was further carried out when we came to a small subterranean
river that coursed down through a dark outlet and disappeared with
weird gurglings. Unpleasant but perhaps imaginary rumblings suggested
that a sudden earthquake might easily block our exit, and, retracing
our steps, we breathed more freely on coming to the first glimmer of
light. Once more in the air, we descended, took a good swim in the
pool, lunched, and lay around for an hour. After another bath later
on, we donned our sun-hats and trudged homeward over the long, rough
path. A good walk, a good supper, a little dancing and music by the
natives who occupied our house, and we went to sleep upon the floor.

Next morning, after another early bath in the river, our party started
to climb the mountain back of the town for a little experience in the
bush. The work was hard and warm, but at the top came the reward of a
superb view for a hundred miles around. Manila and the great plain,
the bay and mountains beyond, were glorious before us, and behind
the great mountain wilds that reached to the Pacific stretched off
and up in great overlapping slabs of heavy greenness.

The plain was cut up into the regulation checker-board farms of
the richest looking description, and the scene was very much like
an English one. Far away at the edge of the Bay could be seen
the glistening white houses and steeples of Manila. Away to the
northwest and southwest were the great fertile stretches of country
that produce tons and tons of rice and sugar, reaching to the sky
or distant mountains. We had luncheon in a leafy grotto; the guides
found water, and brought it in lengths of bamboo which they cut down;
deer ran past now and then down below us, and a short siesta on a bed
of leaves finished off our morning's work. The return was so steep
that it seemed as if we should go heels over head. However, we hung
on to the long grass, and painted our once white suits with dust in
the effort to reach level ground again. After a long descent, we came
to the big mango-tree where the rural school was in session, and the
little Filipinos were immediately given a recess. They rushed about,
got benches and water for us, and the old schoolmaster, who had left
his wife to do the teaching while he went with us, set two or three
of the shavers at work mopping off his ebony skin. Our visit at the
school was in the order of an ovation. The children opened their almond
eyes almost to the extent of turning them into circles, and when the
camera was pointed at them for the first time in their young lives,
their mouths so far followed suit that recitations had to be suspended.

After thoroughly disorganizing discipline in the establishment,
we accompanied the half naked president of the seminary--who had
been our guide--to the river, and there washed off such of the day's
impressions as went easily into solution.

And finally, after returning to our hut for tea, we packed up our
baskets, whistled for the carromatas and jolted back to Manila through
a flood of dust and sunset.

Although the hot season is trying to do its best to scorch us, it has
but dismally succeeded, and we have had scarcely any severe weather
at all. The thunder-showers, harbingers of the southwest monsoon and
the wet season, began two weeks ago, and it rains now nearly every
afternoon. The nights are all delightfully cool, and a coverlet is
always comfortable. The sun is going well to the north to make hot
June and July days for people in the States, and our season of light
is growing shorter. When he gets back overhead again, heavy clouds
will protect us from his attentions.

Owing to the outbreak of black plague or something else among the
Chinese in Hong Kong, the quarantine regulations here in Manila
will cause the steamer by which I was going to send the mail to miss
connections. It was at first reported there were three thousand deaths
in Hong Kong in six days, but I believe they have now taken off one
or two ciphers from that amount. At all events Manila seems to be
below the zone of this peculiar epidemic and is much better off at
this time of the year than Hong Kong, which swelters away in that
great unventilated scoop in the mountains.

The men of the big artillery-band that plays at the Luneta twice a
week have all been vaccinated lately, and are too broken up to blow
their trumpets. The people are objecting, because the infantry band
doesn't make nearly as good music, and only plays twice a week at
most. The third regimental band is still fighting the savage Moros
with trombones down at the south, although it is rumored they will soon
return, and so at present about all the music and fireworks we have are
derived from the thunder-storms that play around the sheet-iron roofs
as if they meant business. But in spite of the terrific cannonade of
sound and the blinding flashes of lightning nothing seems to get hit,
and the iron roofs may act as dispersers of the electric fluid even
though attracting it.



                                                               June 6th.

Several days ago, a number of us went up the railroad line to see
a "fiesta" at a little village called Obando. It was a religious
observance lasting three days, and pilgrims from many villages thought
it their duty to go there on foot. A great dingy old church with
buttressed walls yards thick, a large plaza shaded by big trees,
and beyond, on all sides, the native houses. Such a crowd I have
rarely seen. Everybody seemed to think it his duty to dance; and
men, women, old men and children, mothers with babies and papas
with kids, shouted, jumped around, danced, joggled each other,
and rumpussed about until they were blue in the face, dripping with
heat, and covered with dust. Then they would stop and another crowd
take up the play. As the circus proceeded the crowds increased;
the old church was packed with worshippers who brought candles, and,
receiving a blessing, spent an hour or so on the stone pavements in
positions of contrite humility. Around the walls of the church were
placed realistic paintings of the chromo order, representing hell
and the river Styx, and as the natives looked at portraits of devils
driving nails into the heads of the tormented, of sulphurous flames
that licked the cheeks of the wicked in this world, or serpents that
twined themselves into square knots around the chests of a dozen
unfortunates, and of countless horned demons who plucked out the
heartstrings of the condemned, they counted their beads with renewed
vigor and mumbled long prayers.

Countless little booths stood like mushrooms round about outside,
and cheap jewellery, made in Germany, found ready sale. The dancing
and shouting increased as the sun sank in the west, until the ground
fairly shook and the dust arose in vast clouds. Around the edge of
the church, under the porticoes, slept sections of the multitude
who were preparing themselves to take part in the proceedings when
others were tired out. It was a motley crowd, a motley scene, and an
unforgettable collection of perfumes.

We left after a few hours' stay, and got back to Manila to find water
a foot deep in some of the streets, as a result of one of the tropical
thunder-storms which have now begun in real earnest. And speaking of
rain, everything is looking fresh and green, now that the dusty days
of the hot season are a thing of the past. All the bamboo-trees have
leafed out anew, flowering shrubs have taken life, and all nature
seems to have had a bath.

One of the most showy trees in Manila is the arbol de fuego (fire-tree)
and this product of nature resembles a large oak in general and
a full-blown Japanese cherry blossom in particular. Many of the
streets in the city are bordered with groups of these fire-trees,
of large and stately dimensions, and at present they are simply
one mass of huge flaming red blossoms growing thickly together and
showing a wonderful fire-like carnation color. Scarcely any leaves
make their appearance on these trees during the season of blossom,
and although now and then bits of green look out from the mass of red,
yet the general effect is a vast blaze of burning color.

We have left our country house on the hills of Santa Mesa, and have
moved down to a little villa on the seacoast. The third man of our
party, like many of his brother Englishmen who are burdened with
small salaries but large debit balances, has at last decided to save
money and room at his office. The house had too many regular boarders
in the form of rats and snakes, was too large and too far off for
the two of us left, and we decided to make a move to the seashore
district. Our army of servants successfully solved the transportation
problems involved, and we are now settled in new quarters. Although we
miss the view of the mountains, and even the paddy-fields, we now get
the salt air first hand, look out over the waters of the Bay, and are
lulled to sleep by the rhythmic beating of the waves on the beach. Our
view seaward leads the eye across a beautiful garden belonging to one
of the rich house-owners living directly on the shore front, and the
green of the trees, with the scent of somebody else's flowers, temper
both the excess of glare and the brackish qualities of the sea-breeze.

In Malate, where we now are, things are much civilized. We find we
miss the snakes in the roof, but we have running water in the house
and a shower-bath in the bath-room; two rooms on the first floor; a
parlor, two bed-rooms, dining-room, large hallway, kitchen, bath and
"boys'" rooms on the second floor; a small garden at the front and a
stable at the back, and all included in a rent of $15 a month. The
stable accommodates two ponies, and it is a jolly drive downtown
in the morning or home in the evening. The road leads all the way
along by the sea, Luneta, and Malecon Promenade, that runs under the
yawning mouths of the old muzzle-loaders in front of the grim walls
of the old city, between them and the beach. The salt-water bath in
the early morning is often very pleasant, though the temperature of
the liquid is somewhat too high to be exhilarating. Now and then some
of the Britons living in the neighborhood will issue a summons for
a sunrise swimming-party, and one of them will perhaps punctuate the
ceremonies by supplying a typical breakfast of fresh fish and boiled
rice, on the veranda of a house that perhaps overlooks the Bay. These
seaside houses are particularly cool and fresh now that the winds of
the southwest monsoon come blowing into the front windows directly
off the water, but later on, when typhoons become epidemic, it looks
as if we should have the wind in more than wholesale doses.



                                                              June 12th.

Although the San Francisco steamer does not sail for Hong Kong until
the 21st, it is necessary, on account of this quarantine business,
to post our letters in the Manila office to-day.

Two of our latest vessels have come in together and begun to take
in their cargoes of hemp for Boston. The captains are ruddy-faced
veterans who seem to have taken part in the Civil War. One of them,
who wears false teeth when he is ashore, and hails from New Hampshire,
is particularly fond of cooling off under our big punka. The other
may be of French descent, though he comes from Ireland, and looks
something like one of our distinguished Boston statesmen. They both
climb up the stairs to our counting-room daily, call our big clock a
"time destroyer" and so vie with each other in their efforts to handle
the truth carelessly that it is often a question who comes off victor
in these verbal contests. However, the skipper with the false ivories
generally fails to get the last word, for he often loses his suction
power by fast talking, and has to leave off to prevent his teeth
from slipping down his oesophagus. Once again the air in the office
assumes a nautical aroma, and we shall be well employed and well
talked to death. A whole parcel of American ships are now about due,
and the Bay will liven up again with the Stars and Stripes as it did
some two months ago.

It rains every afternoon now, at about a quarter past three, and just
after tiffin is over we begin to look for the thunder-clouds that
predict the coming shower. The other day a huge waterspout formed out
in the Bay, swirled along, gyrated about, scooted squarely through the
shipping, and broke on the beach between our house and the Luneta. The
cloud effects were extremely curious, and the whole display was a
number not generally down on the day's programme.

The company who are putting in the new electric lights seem to be
doing good work, and it is expected that everything will be running
by the end of the year. So far, Manila has been favored only with the
dull light given by petroleum, previously brought out from New York,
or over from China, and, curiously enough, the empty tins in which the
oil has come seem to be almost as valuable as their contents. They are
used here for about everything under the sun, the natives cover their
roofs with tin from these sources, and some of those more musically
inclined even make a petroleum can up into a trombone or cornet.

Our house by the sea continues to prove very pleasant, and, peculiarly
enough, the surf seems to beat on the beach with the same sound that it
has on the New England coast. The southwest breeze blows strong from
the Bay each afternoon, and the cumulus clouds are becoming heavier
and more numerous day by day. The artillery-band still favors us with
music at the Luneta, but before long it looks as if the rains would
interrupt the afternoon promenade.

The black plague at Hong Kong does not seem to diminish, as was
expected, and it is said that many people are leaving the city. All
steamers coming from that port to this suffer a fortnight's quarantine
down the Bay, and, if the difficulty continues much longer, Manila
markets will be destitute of two of their chief staples--mutton and
potatoes--both of which have to come across from China, or down from
Japan. And speaking of sheep, Captain Tayler, of the Esmeralda,
has had another of his usual interesting experiences with the
custom-house. Just as his vessel, fresh from quarantine and Hong Kong,
had been visited by the doctor, on her way to her berth some distance
up the river, one of the sheep died. Rule number something-or-other
in the Code of the Sanidad says that anything or anybody dying during
the day must be buried before sundown, under penalty, for neglect,
of $50. Rule number something-else in the Customs Code, however,
says that the captain of any vessel turning out cargo short or in
excess of the amount called for by the manifest shall be fined $100
for each piece too many or too little. If my good friend, the Captain,
buried the sheep, he would be fined $100 at the custom-house for short
out-turn. If he didn't bury it, the Board of Health would come down on
him for $50, for neglecting regulations. The Captain, being a wise man,
decided that it was more politic to be in the right with the doctor
than with the officials at the custom-house, and at some considerable
expense sent the sheep on shore and had it buried with due honors. He
could not have thrown it into the river, for this would have been
to incur an additional fine. Next morning, he presented the ship's
manifest and a sheep's tail at the custom-house and the discharge of
the live stock was begun. But, tail or no tail, the officials found
the ship one sheep short and the Esmeralda was fined $100. Not quite
so barefaced as the swindling of the poor skipper who came over from
China with a load of paving-stones for Manila's Street Department. His
vessel turned out seven paving-stones too many, and the fine was $700.

In the language of Daniel Webster, I "refrain from saying" that a few
dollars or a good dinner, bestowed upon the right person, in Manila,
often go a long way toward throwing some official off the scent in
his hungry search for irregularity, but am willing to admit that, in
dealing with customs men who frequently "examine" cases of champagne
by drinking up the contents of a bottle from each one in order to
see that the liquid is not chloroform or cologne, one must keep his
purse full, his talk cool, and his temper on ice.



                                                          June 25, 1894.

Last Monday was the monthly bank-holiday again, and three of us had
previously decided to take a journey southward for the purpose of
seeing one of Luzon's active volcanoes and getting a little change
of air and "chow."

So, late on Saturday afternoon, we went aboard a dirty little steamer,
which was to take us ninety miles down the coast. She wasn't as big
as a good-sized tug and was laden with multicolored natives, who were
on their way back to the provinces after a brief shopping expedition
to the capital. We were soon sailing out past the fleet of larger
vessels in the Bay, with our dull prow pointed to the mouth of the
great inclosed body of water. At nightfall we reached the Corregidor
light-house, at the Bay's entrance, and thence our course lay to
the south. At half-past two that night our craft reached a place
called Taal. During our trip down we had become acquainted with a
very pleasant Indian sugar-planter, who is as well off in dollars
as rich in hospitality. At Taal he took us to one of the three big
houses he owns, and, although only three o'clock in the morning,
gave us a delicious breakfast. We talked and chatted away comfortably,
and as the first streaks of dawn appeared I played several appropriate
selections on one of the two very good-toned pianos belonging to his
establishment. This brought out his family, and before we set out
for the river from which our start to the volcano was to be made,
quite a social gathering was in progress.

The natives all through the islands seemed indeed most courteous
and hospitable to foreigners, and although a Spaniard hesitates to
show his face outside of any of the garrison towns, yet any of the
other European bipeds is known in a minute and well treated. Our
good friend at Taal went so far as to harness up a pair of ponies
and drive us down to the river at four o'clock in the morning, and
we found a large banca, previously ordered, waiting to take us up to
the Lake of Taal and across to the volcano.

Our banca was of good size, was rowed by seven men and steered by one,
and had a little thatched hen-coop arrangement over the stern, to keep
the sun off our heads. We had brought one "boy" with us from Manila,
with enough "chow" to last for two days, and soon all was stowed
away in our floating tree-trunk. The river was shallow, and for most
of the six miles of its length poles were the motive-power. It was
slow work, and both wind and current were hostile. In due course,
however, the lake came into view, and in its centre rose the volcano,
smoking away like a true Filipino. The wind was now blowing strong
and unfavorable, and we saw that it was not going to be an easy row
across the six or seven miles of open water to the centre island. But
the men worked with a will, and although the choppy waves slopped over
into our roost once or twice so jocosely that it almost seemed as if
we should have to turn back, we kept on. Benefitting by a lull or two,
our progress was gradual, and at half after twelve, seven hours from
Taal, we landed on the volcanic island and prepared for an ascent.

The lake of Taal is from fifteen to twenty miles across, is surrounded
by high hills and mountains, for the most part, and has for its
centre the volcanic island upon whose edges rise the sloping sides
of an active cone a thousand feet high. The lake is certainly good
to look at, reminding one forcibly of Loch Lomond, and the waters,
shores, and mountains around all seem to bend their admiring gaze on
the little volcano in its centre.

Filling our water-jug, we set off up the barren lava-slopes of this
nature's safety-valve, sweltering under the stiff climb in the hot
sun. Happily, the view bettered each moment, the smell of the sulphur
became stronger, and we forgot present discomfort in anticipations of
the revelation to come. After banging our shins on the particularly
rough lava-beds of the ascent, near the top, we saw a great steaming
crater yawning below us and sending up clouds of sulphurous steam. In
the centre of this vast, dreary Circus Maximus rose a flat cone
of red-hot squashy material, and out of it ascended the steam and
smoke. All colors of the rainbow played with each other in the sun,
and farther to the right was a boiling lake of fiery material that
was variegated enough to suit an Italian organ-grinder.

It was all very weird, and if we had not been so lazy we should
probably have descended farther into this laboratory of fire than
we did. But it was too hot to make matches of ourselves and the air
smelt like the river Styx at low tide. So we were contented with a
good view of the wonders of the volcano from a distance, enjoyed the
panorama from the narrow encircling apex-ridge, and cooled off in the
smart breeze. Once more at the lake, and it was not long before we were
in it, tickling our feet on the rough cinders of the bottom. The bath
was most rejuvenating after a hot midday climb, and just to sit in the
warmish water up to one's neck gave one a sort of mellow feeling like
that presumably possessed by a ripe apple ready to fall on the grass.

The wind was now fresher than ever and more unfavorable to our
course. The captain of the tree-trunk, in a tone quite as authoritative
as that manipulated by the commander of an ocean liner, said we could
not proceed for some time, so the boy arranged the provisions and
we had a meal in our little hen-coop. After a provoking wait until
four o'clock the old banca was pushed off again and the struggle
renewed. The seven men, who had now been poling and rowing since early
morning, seemed pretty well beat, but there was no shelter on the
volcanic islands and we had to push on. The other shore looked far
away and we slopped forward sluggishly. The sun set, the moon rose,
and still we were buffeting with the choppy waves. It reminded me a
good deal of the sea of Galilee; and it did seem as if the dickens
himself was blowing at us and trying to keep us from ever getting to
that farther shore.

At last we reached the lee of a lofty perpendicular island part way
across the lake, and, although its upright sides offered no chance
to land, yet they kept off that southeast wind. The men shut their
teeth hard, and in due course moved our bark around the point and
out into more moonlight and breeze. The lights and shadows on the
great lump of rock standing a thousand feet out of the water behind
us were worth looking at, and in many places huge basaltic columns
seemed to be holding up the mass above. Not to put as much labor into
these lines as our men put into the oars, at half after ten we came
to land, seven hours from the shore of the volcano, a distance which
in fair wind ought to be covered in a little over one.

On shore there seemed to be about four huts, two pig-sties, and nothing
more. Stared at by a crowd of natives whom our arrival suddenly
incubated from somewhere, and who swarmed down to see who we were,
we talked with our boatman, but only succeeded in finding out that
we had come to a place not down on the map or on the highroad to the
next village whither we were bound. It was simply a collection of
huts, children, and pigs, situated at the lake's edge and connected
with the outer world by a foot-path that led up over the hills eight
miles to the nearest pueblo. To walk those eight miles at eleven
o'clock was out of the question, and to sleep in one of those little
dirty huts ashore was just as bad. The crowd of natives had grown,
and so, to avoid being overrun with the eminently curious, we pushed
off from shore and anchored out in the lake, to eat a little "chow"
and decide what to do. Weariness tempered our decision, which was to
sleep where we were, in the banca, under the hen-coop, and, having
made it known to our trusty but hard-looking crew, they fell down
like shots and, in less than a minute, were asleep in all sorts of
jackstraw positions. One slept on the oars, another on the poles,
a third on our collection of volcanic rocks, a fourth in the bottom
of the boat, a fifth sitting up, and a sixth--I don't know where.

We three lay down side by side in the little cooped-over roost,
and found there was just room to reside like sardines in a box. Our
feet were out under the stars at one side, our heads at the other, and
there we were, and there we slept, in an unknown wilderness. Though no
one could change his position we all rested fairly well, and nothing
happened to mar the beauty of the night. As the sun reddened the east,
feeling more like awakened chickens than anything else, we packed up,
paid out some of the heavy dollars, that made each of us feel like
sinkers on a fish-line, and loaded what little luggage we had upon a
bony pony ashore. Adieus were said to the lake and to our crew, and our
little caravan started up a broad foot-path for the village of Tanauan,
about eight miles away. It was a long walk, on no refreshment save a
night's sleep in a hen-coop, but after passing over hills and dales,
by nipa huts of all sizes and descriptions, and after being stared
at by curious natives, we arrived at our destination, a good-sized
village, in two and a half hours. We responded to an invitation
of the captain of the pueblo, to take possession of his house, and
got up a very decent breakfast out of our fast depleting stock. The
old captain treated us most cordially, and after a three-hours' stay
helped us to load ourselves and our chattels aboard two stout-wheeled
carromatas each hitched to two ponies.

Off again, once more, our course was shaped overland toward the
other great lake up back of Manila, by which the return was to
be made. The road was fearful, the ruts two feet deep in places,
and the bad sections far more numerous than the good pieces. We got
stuck in the mud, had to pry our conveyances and the ponies out, and
I fear did not enjoy the beauties of the rather tame scenery on the
way. At last the crest of a hill brought the Laguna de Bay in sight,
and in less than an hour we reached the village of Calamba, on its
shores. A shabby little native house was put at our disposal after
we boldly walked up and took possession of it; a swarm of children
were shoved out of the one decent room, and in a short time our boy
was giving us canned turtle-soup and herrings. In the afternoon we
merely lounged about the town and took a swim in the lake, while in
the evening, early after the very good little dinner gotten up by
our servant there was nothing to do but to turn in, even though the
house was surrounded by the curious, who had looked in at the windows
to watch people dining with knives, forks, plates, and napkins.

The floor of our room was of bamboo slats, just below whose many
openings were four fighting-cocks and when bed-time came we were tired
enough to tumble down on the canes just as we stood. The cock who sang
out of tune woke us at about sunrise Tuesday morning, and after one
more swim in the lake we packed up our traps and prepared ourselves
to take the little Manila steamer that left at eight o'clock on its
thirty-mile return trip. The sail down the lake and into the Pasig
River was cool, delightful, and without incident, and at noon Tuesday
we pulled up at the wharf at Manila, having completed an almost perfect
circle of travel one hundred and fifty miles in circumference, to be
heartily congratulated on having successfully made a trip which few
perform but many covet. My own cane sleeping machine seemed good again
after hen-coops and bamboo floors, and smooth roads and civilization
far better than ruts and rickety carromatas.



VI

    First Storm of the Rainy Season--Fourth of July--Chinese "Chow"
    Dogs--Crullers and Pie and a Chinese Cook--A Red-Letter Day--The
    China-Japan War--Manila Newspapers--General Blanco and the
    Archbishop--An American Fire-Engine and its Lively Trial--The
    Coming of the Typhoon--Violence of the Wind--The Floods
    Next--Manila Monotony.


                                                               July 4th.

The mails have been badly snarled up lately, and although nobody
has received any letters for nearly two weeks, none are expected
for about ten days. The other morning began the first real storm
of the rainy season, and we came very near having a bad typhoon,
but someone turned the switch, and it swirled up the back coast on
the Pacific side and crossed through a notch in the mountains, some
distance to the north of Manila, giving the city only four days of
monstrous winds and floods of rain. The streets were two feet deep
with water in the business section, and down at our house by the
sea the wind blew so hard that it carried the tin from our roof off
to visit the next suburb. Then it was that those sturdy windows of
small sea-shells set into hardwood lattice seemed far more secure
than glass, and I doubt if anything less well constructed would have
stood the blast that surged in from the broad bay.

Going downtown in the morning, my carriage was slid clean across the
road by the force of the wind, and once it seemed as if I might be
lifted up into the low clouds that scudded close to the tops of the
bamboo-trees. Huge seas came tumbling ashore on the beach, and the
vessels in the great exposed Bay had all they could do to hang to their
anchors, as the surf sometimes dashed as high as their lower foreyards.

The natives never carry umbrellas in the rain, but march along and
do not seem to mind getting wet to the skin. They do indeed look
bedraggled in their thin clothes, that cling like sticking-plaster,
and it seems as if they would get the fever. During the present blow,
the single pony hitched to a tram-car often found his load moving
him astern, and it was only by leaving the whole car wide open, so
that the air could have free passage through from end to end and side
to side, that he now and then made headway against the blast. This
was not pleasant for the passengers, but made less demand on the
motive-power. The bands at the Luneta have played when they got a
chance, but the wind howls in from the Bay, as a rule, louder than
the tunes bowl out of their brass instruments.

To-day seems to be the Glorious Fourth, and my colleague and I have
just come back from the shipping, where the Captain of the Helen
Brewer asked us to eat a celebrative dinner. All the ships in the
Bay were dressed with flags, and the Brewer, which possessed more
than her share, had a long line stretched from the bowsprit over the
three masts down to the stern. Everybody was interested in the feast,
and the Captain with the false teeth, who comes from New Hampshire,
sent over a goose and some mince-pies. Eight of us sat down in the cozy
saloon and partook of a meal altogether too hearty for the climate. The
day was cool and overcast, and we spent a lazy afternoon on deck,
listening to yarns told by two old salts who seemed to have had more
than their share of wrecks, typhoons, and other adventures.

When we came ashore, at about sunset, there was gathered up from the
remains of the feast the "seven basketsful," and we each went back
in the launch, decorated with a bag of doughnuts under one arm and
a bag of mince-pies under the other.

One of our small family of dogs was run over by the tram-car the
other morning, in front of the house, and now rests in peace in a
little grave down on the beach, hard by the rhythmic cadence of the
waves. His little brother, who was suffering at the time from the
distemper, was so grieved at the loss that he too speedily faded away,
and now lies close beside the other victim of circumstances. On the
tombstone is a touching epitaph:


           "Pompey and Nettie, here they lie;
            Born to live, they had to die.
            The wheels of fate ran over one,
            The other was by grief undone."


Most of the large army of dogs that make a Manila night hideous
are of that mongrel order, which is always looking for something to
eat, but now and then one sees a good many of the so-called Chinese
"chow"-dogs about the streets, and with their black tongues, long
hair, and peculiar bushy tails that curl sharply up over their backs,
they are quite as interesting, as unaffectionate. Over in China they
make very good eating up to the age of three months, and from this
fact derive the "chow" part of their name. Although they are very
susceptible to changes of locality and climate, we are now making
negotiations to have one brought over to take the place of the dear
departed eulogized above. And later, I may even try the experiment
of having one for Sunday dinner--if he doesn't make a good pet.

The doughnuts which I brought home from the Brewer have proved very
interesting to my cook, and I have been obliged to count them each
day for purposes of security. He now watches me closely as I make away
with one or two for breakfast, to see just what effect these marvellous
looking "fried holes" have on my intellect. I notice he looks to see
if there are any crumbs left, from which he might gather an inkling as
to the composition of these curios; but so far there haven't been any
crumbs. As he is cooking for us now, instead of the Chinese gentleman
that we originally had, this curiosity is but natural, and some day he
will probably try to furnish us with the native-made article. In fact
he has already tried the experiment of concocting a mince-pie after the
general appearance of one of the earlier donations made by a captain
in the Bay, and the result was worthy of description. As I arranged
to measure the original pie after each meal, before locking it up in
our safe, in order to protect it from disappearing, my faithful cook
could only guess as to its composition by sundry glances from afar. But
being of an inventive mind he conceived the idea of chopping up some
well-done roast beef, mixing with it some sugar and raisins, roofing
it over with a thatch of pastry, and serving it for dessert. And then
as we came to the course in question he stood in the doorway waiting
for our verdict. His effort was worthy of all praise, but his pie
was damnable, and pieces of it went sailing out the windows.



                                                              July 28th.

On the 20th instant a steamer arrived from Hong Kong, and had the
honor of being the first vessel to come in from that port in thirty
days. She was supposed to have three American mails aboard, but it
turned out that they were down to arrive by the vessel coming in six
days later. I came to the office the other morning, and looking toward
my desk, found it almost invisible. It looked as if somebody in the
neighborhood were the editor of a paper, and as if all the spring
poets in the universe had sent their manuscripts for inspection. The
desk groaned beneath the bulky chaos of three mails from the United
States, delayed in transmission by the black plague, and fumigated
together down the bay. But no sooner had we gotten through the first
course of an epistolary feast than the captain of a large four-masted
ship shuffled into the room and deposited a huge pot of steaming baked
beans, just fresh from his steward's galley-stove, on the table. What
with beans, letters, magazines, and comic papers, it might be said
our day was a red-letter one.

The other day my colleague and I took dinner off aboard the Nagato
Maru, a smart steamer just in from Japan, and captained by an American
who knows what it is to set a good table. It seems that the China-Japan
war has actually broken out in all its glory, and as there is a vague
rumor that a Chinese war-ship is waiting outside to capture this very
same steamer, she is going to stay here for awhile.

The Japanese have sunk several Chinese transport ships already,
and one of the unfortunate craft used to come here to Manila. In
other directions the Chinese are said to have beaten the Japs badly
on land, but over in this slow old moth-eaten place the daily papers
will publish cablegrams from Spain by the page, that give out nothing
but official stuff and Government appointments; and when it comes to
something of real interest, like a war, they will either be without any
news whatever, or tell the whole story wrong side out in a single line,
that may or may not be true. And so you are probably getting better
news of this whole affair, twelve thousand miles away, than we are,
who are almost on the field of action.

Our Manila papers consist of four pages, the first two of which are
especially reserved for advertisements. Half of one of the inside
leaves is likewise reserved, and the remaining half is covered with
blocks full of gloomy sentiments which relate to the decease of this
or that person. There is a little black frame of type around each
square, and at the top is a cross, with a "R.I.P." or "D.O.M." under
it. Below comes the name of the defunct, with hour, minute, day,
and year of his birth and death, and below his virtues are extolled
and his friends invited to pray for the repose of his soul. Every
year, each person that has died the year before has his anniversary,
both in church and in the newspapers; and when you recollect that
out of a population of 350,000 a good many depart each twelvemonth,
it is hard to see why the whole paper shouldn't consist of these
notices. The other inside page contains the news, and we learn that
a bad odor has been discovered up some side-street; that a dog fell
into the river and was drowned; that a perfumery store has received a
new kind of liquefied scent; that it will probably rain in some part
of the island during the day; and that the band on the Luneta ought
not to be frightened off merely by a few drops that fall from some
passing cloud. And so it goes until the French or English mail comes
in, and then the progressive dailies copy all the news they can find,
out of the foreign papers, and serve it up cold, æt. one month.

I met General Blanco, Governor of the islands, the other evening,
and he seemed to enjoy the good music and good supper which one of
our popular bank-managers and his wife provided for some of us in
the colony on the occasion of a birthday. He is an elderly man, and
kindly, and appears milder in disposition than would seem advisable
for one occupying so important a position. I should think he might
let some of those sharp eyed little ministers of his run him, and he
appears almost too modest, too kind-hearted, to be the ruler that
he is. Suffice to say the General is modest in dress and modest in
manner. He often walks up and down the Malecon promenade by the Bay
in the afternoon, saluting everyone that passes, and when the vesper
bells ring out the hour of prayer from one of the old churches inside
the city walls he stops, removes his tall gray stove-pipe and, as
do a host of other pedestrians, bows his head. To tell the truth he
has little of the Spanish aspect about him and is just the kind of
a man one would go up and speak to on the Teutonic or Campania. In
sharp contrast is he to the Archbishop, who drives about behind
his fine white horses and looks as keen as well-nourished. But who
knows! Appearances are deceitful, and foolish he who trusts to them.



                                                            August 11th.

Two steamers have just come in from Hong Kong and are tied up in
quarantine down at Marivelis, at the mouth of the Bay. The mail ought
to be here in forty-eight hours, but two days is a very short time to
give Manila postal authorities, for they really are slow enough to
desire four--one in which to make up their minds to send a launch,
two in which to go, three in which to come back, and four in which
to distribute the results of their camphorated fumigation.

The most noteworthy thing that has happened in the way of excitement
since the last mail was the operating of the new American fire-engine,
which we imported from the States for the wealthy proprietor of our
hemp-press, who is part Spaniard, part native, and part Chinese. It
seems he was up in our office one day, and on the centre-table
saw a catalogue containing pictures of a collection of our modern
fire-fighters. He asked what those things were, and, on being told
that they were used to put out fires, said he wanted one at once,
the biggest we could get him, in order that he might reduce the
insurance he was paying on his large store-houses and still go on
collecting the premiums from those whose goods were in his charge.

Although ours is an exporting business, and we do not know much about
fire-engines, yet the occasion seemed auspicious, the prospect of
payment sure, and the outlook interesting. The result was that we
forwarded the order to New York by the first mail, and the other
day, after four months of waiting, the pieces of the big engine came
over on the Esmeralda, in big cases. They were very heavy, and the
natives began the exhibition by nearly dropping the boiler into the
river as they attempted to hoist it into a lighter. To skip over the
difficulties which were encountered in hoisting the cases onto the
quay in front of the offices of our well-to-do purchaser, we come to
the mental hardships that were encountered in putting the machine
together; for no one in Manila had ever seen a Yankee fire engine
before, and although we had a full description of the complicated
mechanism, with drawings of the parts, and numbers where each piece
was to fit onto some other piece, there was no one in town who could
help us much in getting it into working order.

Fortunately, the hemp business was dull and my colleague and I were
thus enabled to give more attention to this Chinese puzzle than if
the fibre market had been booming. The red wheels with gold stripes
were the first thing to be adjusted, and the eyes of the onlookers
who happened to be strolling up and down the quay opened to large
dimensions as the covering was stripped from the nickel-plated boiler
and the process of establishment went on. At last the big machine
was on its feet, with valves and gear adjusted, and with the slight
assistance which we got from a Spanish engineer who knew something
about marine machinery, we found out that the whistle ought not to
be screwed onto the safety-valve.

Several Englishmen who happened to come by in the early stages of
our efforts made sarcastic comments on the appearance of our new toy,
and could not see how an affair with so much gold paint on the wheels
and so much nickel on the boiler was going to work successfully. But
we did not say much, since we were well occupied in trying to find out
the proper way to fill the boiler. Someone suggested pouring the water
down the whistle, and so, mounted on a step-ladder, one to us began
the interesting experiment. The water seemed to run in all right,
as it gurgled down through the pipes, and did not leak out of the
bottom. As there did not seem to be any other loophole to the boiler,
we concluded this must be the right method, and took turns for an hour
in emptying the contents of an old kerosene tin into the whistle-valve.

Next, with great trepidation, we started a fire in the grate, and were
rejoiced to see that the new engine was soon fuming away like an old
veteran. It quite spruced us up to hear the fire crackle under the
boiler; but our heads became even more swelled when steam enough was
generated to tickle the feed-pump into taking care of all the vacant
lots in the boiler-tubes.

When our friend Don Capitan found that the engine was going to work
and knew its business, he said we must have a big trial and let all
Manila see the show. To this end he sent around printed programmes
of what was going to take place, to all the prominent people in the
city--for he was an Alderman, by the way--inviting them to inspect
the working of the engine and partake of a collation afterward in
the spacious buildings of the hemp-press.

Wednesday, the fatal day, arrived, and the great American fire-engine
stood out on the quay glistening in the sun, the centre of an admiring
crowd of open-mouthed natives. The Englishmen in the background rather
put their heads together and shook them the wrong way, as they often
do at anything American, but the natives allowed their lower lips to
drop from overwhelming admiration. Everybody was curious, and all were
expectant, from the small kids dressed in nothing but the regulation
Philippine undershirt, who played shinney with the coal for the boiler
and looked down the hose-nozzle, to Don Capitan himself, who went
around shaking by the hands all the high and mighty officials who had
come to see his latest freak. My associate and I felt fairly important
as we gruffly ordered the police to clear the ground for action and
blew the whistle to scare the audience. The huge suction-hose was run
into the river, and our host made his pet servant jump in after it to
hold the strainer out of the mud. Ten natives were stationed at the
nozzle of the four-inch hose, which was pointed up the small plaza
running back from the quay, and while I poked up the fire to give us
a little impressive smoke, Rand rang the bell and turned on steam.

The affair worked admirably, and the big stream of yellow water went
so far as to gently soak down a lot of baled tobacco that was lying
on a street-corner at the next block, supposedly beyond reach. The
owner of the tobacco, thinking that a thunder-storm had struck
the town, came to the door of his office, just behind, to see what
was up, and, as the engine suddenly began to work a little better,
the stream of water somehow knocked him over and played around the
entrance to his store-house. At the rate things were going it looked
as if the exhibition would prove expensive and, to avoid diplomatic
complications, we shut off steam long enough to shift the hose over
for a more unobstructed spurt along the river.

In a few moments after the change had been made an open throttle made
a truly huge torrent belch from the long nozzle with such force as
to make the ten hose-men feel decidedly nervous, but it did not stop
them from turning the stream toward a lighter which was being polled
down the Pasig by two Malays. The foremost was washed backward into
the lighter, and the hindmost swept off into the river as if he had
been a cockroach. A Chinaman who was paddling a load of vegetables to
the Esmeralda in a hollow tree-trunk suffered the same fate. He and
his greens were swished out of the banca, in an instant, and he found
himself sitting on his inverted craft floating helplessly down-stream.

Then suddenly, as we opened the throttle to the last notch, the hose
men, in their excitement to wet some coolies loading hemp, far up
the quay, tried to turn the torrent back onto the pavement, but,
with its force of fifteen hundred gallons to the minute, it was too
quick for them, and with one mighty "kerchug" broke away to send the
nozzle flying around like a mill-wheel. Before they knew what struck
them the ten men holding the nozzle were knocked prostrate, and two
small boys in undershirts, who were playing around in the mud-puddles
near by, were whisked off into the river like so much dust. A dozen
lightning wriggles of the hose, and the frenzied cataract shot a
third boy through the wire door into the office of our friend, Don
Capitan. Inside the door, on a wooden settee, were sitting some of the
family servants holding their infants, and the same stream on which
the boy travelled through the door washed the whole party, settee
and all, across the hallway into a heap at the foot of the stairs.

Outside, the audience stampeded, and the man in the river, holding
on to the suction hose, had hard work to prevent being drawn up
through the strainer and pumped out the other end in fragments. All
this took place in a quarter of the time it takes to tell of it, and
events followed each other in such quick succession that the hose had
started to turn over on its back and charge on the engine before one
of us rushed in to shut off steam. The two boys washed into the river
were fished out more dead than alive, but more frightened than hurt,
and the native Philippine policeman on duty at the front arrested
them promptly for daring to be drowned. The boy blown through the
screen-door had his ear badly torn, and was likewise arrested for
not entering the house in a more civilized manner. The natives nursed
their bare feet stepped on in the rush; the Englishmen, who had been
sarcastic several days before, said nothing; but the Spaniards asked
where the collation was, and, waterlogged though they were, began to
eat like good ones. The policeman marched the three boys in undershirts
to the station-house, and next morning the daily newspapers devoted
more space than was usual in describing the wonderful machinery that
came from America, for the benefit of their readers, who, like that
English dude of old, "didn't weahlly dweam that so much wattah could
come out of such a wehwey diminootive-looking affaiah."

Otherwise, in Manila we are now enjoying the so-called veranillo,
or little summer, which every year comes along about the middle of
August, and which consists of two or three weeks of cool, pleasant
weather, that comes between the rains of July and the typhoon season of
September. And fine weather it is, with a jolly breeze blowing in from
the China Sea all day, with delightful afternoons, moonlight nights,
and fresh mornings.



                                                         September 20th.

There has been no opportunity to start letters off for the other side
of the globe since the early days of the present month, on account
of a typhoon which has visited our fair capital, and which has so
delayed steamers that all connections seem to have been scattered to
the four winds. I have long been waiting to become acquainted with
one of these aërial disturbances, and at last the meteorological
monotony has been broken.

Early in this eventful week, warnings came from our most excellent
observatory, run by the Jesuit priests, that trouble was brewing down
in the Pacific to the south and east, and by Friday signal No. 1 of the
danger system was displayed on the flagstaff of the look-out tower. The
news about the storm was indefinite, but the villain was supposed to be
slowly moving northwest, headed directly for Manila. Saturday up went
signal No. 2, and in the afternoon No. 3, and by evening No. 4. Still
everything was calm and peaceful, and Sunday morning dawned pleasant
but for the exception of a dull haze. Early in the afternoon up
went signal No. 5, which means that things are getting pretty bad,
and which is not far from No. 8, the worst that can be hoisted.

Everybody now began to get ready for the invisible monster. All
the steamers and ships in the river put out extra cables, and the
vessels in the Bay extra anchors. No small craft of any kind were
permitted to pass out by the breakwater, and later navigation in the
river itself was prohibited. Still everything was calm and quiet,
but the haze thickened and low scud-clouds began to sail in from the
China Sea. Shortly after tiffin at our residence by the seaside, our
gaze was attracted by a native coming down the street, dressed in a
black coat with shirt-tails hanging out beneath, and wearing white
trousers and a tall hat. He carried a decorated cane, wore no shoes,
and marched down the centre of the street, giving utterance to solemn
sentences in a deep musical voice. In short, he was the official crier
to herald the coming of the typhoon, and as he marched along the bells
up in the old church beyond our house rang out what poets would call
"a wild, warning plea."

The natives opposite began hastily to sling ropes over the thatch of
their light shanties, and one of the Englishmen who lived not far back
of us had already stretched good solid cables over the steep-sloping
roof of his domicile. A sort of hush prevailed, and then sudden
gusts began to blow in off the bay. The scud-clouds increased and
appeared to be in a fearful hurry. The roar of the surf loudened, and
one after the other of our sliding sea-shell windows had to be shut
and bolstered up for precaution. The typhoon seemed to be advancing
slowly, as they often do, but its course was sure. Our eight o'clock
dinner-hour passed and the wind began to howl. Before turning in for
the night, we moved out of our little parlor such valuable articles as
might be most missed if they decided to journey off through the air
in company with the roof, and later tried to sleep amidst a terrific
din of rattlings. But slumber was impossible. Our house trembled like
a blushing bride before the altar, and for the triumphal music of the
"Wedding March" the tin was suddenly stripped off our rain-shed roof
like so much paper. And then the racket! Great pieces of tin were
slapping around against the house like all possessed; the trees in the
front garden were sawing against the cornices, as if they wanted to
get in, and the rush of air outside seemed to generate a vacuum within.

At 3 A.M. things got so bad that it seemed as if something were
going to burst, and my chum and I decided to take a last look into
the parlor before seeking the safety of the cellar. No glass would
have withstood the gusts that came pouncing in from the Bay, but
our sea-shell windows did not seem to yield. The rain was sizzling
in through the cracks like hot grease when a fresh doughnut is
dropped into the spider, and the noise outside was deafening. As
our house seemed to be holding together, however, we gave up going
to the regions below, and turned in again, thankful that we were not
off on the ships in the Bay. Now and then the wind lulled somewhat,
and blew from another quarter, but by early morning came some of the
most terrific blowings I have ever felt, resulting from the change
of direction. Down came all the wires in the main street; over went
half a dozen nipa houses to one side of us, and "kerplunk" broke off
some venerable trees that for many years had withstood the blast. The
street was a mass of wreckage, as far down as the eye could see, and
few signs of life were visible. During the rest of the day the wind
blew most fiercely, but from the change of direction it was easy to
see that the centre of the typhoon was passing off to the northwest.

I sallied out later in the afternoon, dressed in not much more than a
squash-hat, a rubber coat, and a pair of boots, whose soles were holy
enough to let the water out as fast as it came in. It was as much as
one could do to stand against the blast, but I managed to keep along
behind the houses, cross the streets, and reach the Luneta, where
all the lamps bent their heads with broken glass, and where the huge
waves were flying far up into the air in their efforts to dispose
of the stone sea-wall. The clumps of fishing and bath houses which
stood perched on posts out in the surf were being fast battered to
pieces, and those which were not minus roof and sides were washed up
into the road as driftwood. The natives were rushing gingerly hither
and thither, grabbing such logs as they could find, while some of the
fishermen's families were crouching behind a stone wall watching their
wrecked barns, and sitting on their saucepans, furniture, and babies,
to keep them from sailing skyward. The surf was tremendous, the vessels
in the bay were shrouded in spray, and several of them seemed almost
to be ashore in the breakers. A steamer appeared to have broken adrift
and was locked in the embrace of a Nova Scotia bark. But everything
comes to an end and as night drew on the winds and rain subsided and
comparative quiet succeeded a season of exaggerated movement and din.

The typhoon was wide in diameter, perhaps two hundred miles, and so
was not destructive, like the one that laid Manila low way back in the
'80's. It seems that the larger the diameter of one of these circular
storms, the less its intensity, and although the wind at any given
time is moving with tremendous velocity within the circle, the whole
disturbance is not advancing at a pace much over a dozen miles an hour.

After the typhoon came the floods, and the old Pasig covered the
adjacent country. The water concealed the road to the uptown club
at Nagtajan under a depth of several feet, and one could without
difficulty row into the billiard-room or play water-polo in the
bowling-alley. Two of my friends were nearly drowned by trying to
drive when they should have swum or gone by boat. The pony walked
off with their carriage into a rice-field, in the darkness, and was
drowned in more than eight feet of water. The boys only crawled
out with difficulty, and just managed to reach "dry land" (that
with three feet of water over it) in the nick of time. As it was,
one of them practically saved the other's life, and has since been
presented with a gold watch, which does not run.

One of the bank-managers was to give a dinner-dance at his house
next evening, to which everyone was invited, when word came that
his bungalow could only be reached by boats, and that the festivities
would have to be put off until the parlor floor appeared. To the north,
where the actual centre of the typhoon passed, the railway was swept
away, the telegraph line that connects with the cable to Hong Kong
torn down, and the country in general laid under water. But the show
is now concluded, and business, which had been paralyzed for a week,
once more starts up with the coming of the cablegrams.

Manila life goes on as ever, and it is curious to note how fast the
days and weeks slip backward. Everyone agrees that the most rapid
thing in town, except the winds of the typhoons, is the speed with
which the Philippine to-day becomes yesterday. The secret seems to
lie in the fact that there are no landmarks by which to remember
the weeks that are gone. The trees are green all the year round,
and there are no snow-storms to mark the contrast between winter and
summer. There are no class-days, no ball-games, and no coming out
in spring fashions to break the orderly procession of the sun, moon,
and stars. We wear our white starched suits every day in the year, and
one's wardrobe is not replete with various checks, plaids, and stripes
that mark an epoch in one's appearance. We cannot, like Teufelsdröch,
in "Sartor Resartus," speculate much on the "clothes philosophy,"
though we may do so on the centres of indifference; for our garments
are not complex enough to invite transcendental theorizing. Manila
food is alike from Christmas morn to the following Christmas eve, and
so, take it all in all, the past is practically without milestones,
and seems far shorter than one in which many events make the measured
steps more clearly differentiated.

At present everybody dates his ideas from the typhoon, and that
will remain a landmark for some time, if the fire which took place
the other evening on the banks of the river does not usurp its
position. Ten thousand bales of hemp, and a lot of copra, sugar,
and cocoanut-oil were sent aloft in less earthly form. Æsthetically
the sight was beautiful, and the eye was charmed by the mingling of
vast tongues of blue, green, red, and yellow flames, some of which
burst forth from the very waters of the river itself on which the
inflammable materials had excursioned. Our new fire-engine was on
hand for the first time, in actual service, and, together with the
small English engine brought out from London, did its duty. America,
as usual, was in the lead, and everybody stood aghast to see the big
five-inch stream mow down the brick walls of the burning houses like
grain before the reaper. One native in particular, whose frail hut was
washed to splinters by that big cataract played upon it to save it from
the flames, said he'd rather lose his property by fire than to stand
by and see the blooming bomba (fire-engine) blow it all to bits. The
local department, as usual, lost their heads, and while some began to
chop the tiles off the roofs of neighboring houses, others directed the
streams from the hand-pumps onto the choppers. Even our gallant friend
the American broker, who helps swell the number of Yankee business
men in Manila to four, almost got roasted alive by being shut into an
iron vault as he tried to rescue some valuable papers belonging to a
customer and had to be soused with water, after his miraculous escape,
to lower his temperature. But at length Providence and water prevailed,
and the damage did not come to more than half a million dollars.



VII

    A Series of Typhoons--A Chinese Feast-day--A Bank-holiday
    Excursion--Lost in the Mist--Los Baños--The "Enchanted Lake"--Six
    Dollars for a Human Life--A Religious Procession--Celebration of
    the Expulsion of the Chinese--Bicycle Races and Fireworks.


                                                            October 5th.

Phew! We have hardly had time to breathe since the last mail, for
we have been in the midst of typhoon after typhoon, shipwrecks,
house-wrecks, and telegraph-wrecks, both simplex and duplex. Manila
had scarcely gotten over talking of the war of the elements, above
spoken of, before another cyclone was announced to the south, and
soon we were going through an experience similar to that related
the other day. When that was over, everybody began to draw breath
again, but before the lungs of the populace were fully expanded,
the wind suddenly went into that dangerous quarter, the northwest,
and up went signal No. 5 again. The blow came on more suddenly than
the former one, and all hands left the business offices to go home
and sit on their roofs. The tin was again stripped like paper from
our portico, and great masses of metal banged around outside with
the clash of cymbals. It was a terrific night. The ships in the Bay
dragged their anchors nearly to the breakwater, and in the morning
four Spanish brigs were a total wreck. One in particular went ashore
on the bar at the river's mouth, and at daylight was being swept fore
and aft by the great seas. Eight men were hanging on for dear life,
and it looked as if they would be swallowed up in the great drink, but
two big lifeboats were got out, and as the sea moderated somewhat, the
sailors were at length rescued, just as their ship went all to smash. A
thousand houses were blown down, many of the streets in Manila were
flooded, telegraph lines prostrated, and tram-car service interrupted.

But things have now quieted down, and Sunday was a big feast-day
in the Chinese quarter. All the wealthy Chinamen were celebrating
something or other, and they invited all the foreign merchants, as
well as their local friends, to the celebration. They served tea and
refreshments in their various little junk shops, and some of the more
influential members of the colony of fifty thousand gave elaborate
spreads, followed by dances and concerts. The streets were filled
with peculiar processions of men carrying banners and graven images,
and the sidewalks were lined with spectators.

I went to one of the most pretentious of the indoor functions, found
myself in a gorgeously furnished suite of apartments, decorated
in true Chinese fashion, and was royally entertained by a shrewd
Celestial who was supposed to be worth several million dollars. He
began conversation with me by saying that, in his belief, bathing was
injurious, and that he had not taken a bath in thirty years. From all
I could judge, others of his brethren seemed to hold the same views
as he, and the long rooms, halls, and corridors in due season got to
be so warm and fragrant that it was a relief to escape.

Now and then the bells in the big church rang lustily, and many
lanterns lighted it up from cornice to keystone. Hundreds of carriages
drove through the streets, apparently bound nowhere in particular,
and the bands played in all quarters.

It almost seems as if each week in the calendar brought in a religious
display of some sort in some one part of the town, and every Sunday
evening finds a big church somewhere blazing with light or a street
blinking with candles.



                                                          November 13th.

The Monday after the departure of the monthly direct mail from Manila
to the Peninsula is always devoted to our old friend "bank-holiday,"
and all the foreign merchants close their doors. This event occurred
the first of this week, and on Saturday afternoon last some of the
more energetic of us, deciding to take another little outing into the
hills, started up the river on a small launch, bound for the big lake
at the foot of the mountains. A drizzling rain was falling and the
weather did not look propitious, but we pushed on, left the mouth of
the river where the lake empties into it, and sallied out on the broad
waters of the Laguna de Bay. Numerous serving-boys, boxes of china,
food, ice, and bedding ballasted the stern of our little steamer,
and as it grew dark a feast was prepared for us on deck. In going up
the lake, the pilot, who was accustomed only to navigating the launch
along the quays of Manila itself, got quite at sea and lost his way in
the evening mist. Some of us, however, more nautical than the rest,
procured a chart, consulted a compass which the native mariner in
his stupidity chose utterly to disregard, and by dint of perseverance
brought the frail bark back into her proper course, without further
mishap than running through a series of fish-weirs.

We anchored near a little settlement, Los Baños, shortly before
midnight. The deck planking did not make a soft bed, but nevertheless
the snoring soon became hard likewise, and Sunday morning found us
refreshed by the bracing air of the provinces. The rain had cleared
away, and after an early breakfast the pilot ran the launch slowly
ashore on a smooth beach, beneath a high bank fringed with bamboo. The
gang-plank was run out, and several of our little party started off
with guns to get some duck, snipe, and pigeons, which were plentiful
in the jungle beyond.

Those of us who were left, with a couple of native guides, climbed
up the steep slopes of an extinct volcano to explore a so-called
"Enchanted Lake" that occupied the low crater. The way led past several
ponds filled to overflowing with pink pond-lilies, and, as we wound
up along the rising knolls, the air was as fragrant as that of a
greenhouse. Then came a short climb which brought us to the crater's
edge. The Enchanted Lake lay like a mirror below, and the rich foliage
all about was almost perfectly reflected in the still, green water.

The locality being romantic, it is quite regular that there should
be connected with it an interesting story which seems to bear on its
face the evidences of truth. It seems there used to live a fisherman
and his wife hard by the sloping banks that surround the Enchanted
Lake. One day, so the story goes, the fisherman's spouse had reason
to suspect the fidelity of her husband, and aflame with pious rage,
she concocted a scheme to rid herself of her worser half. Calling
upon two rival fishermen whose hut was not far distant, she promised
them the large amount of twelve dollars if they would put her husband
out of the way. This being a pot of money to them, they agreed to her
proposition, and during one of the next excursions out to the distant
fish-weirs in the parent lake below, contrived to tip him overboard
and hold him under. Coming back in the afternoon, they went to the
hut of the freshly made widow and demanded the twelve dollars.

"I can give you but six," said she, "for I'm hard up."

"But you promised us twelve if we would do the business," said they.

"But I tell you I can give you but six," responded the widow. "Take
that or nothing."

Angry at having been thus deceived, the two murderers excitedly
paddled over to the neighboring village of Los Baños, went to the
cuartel, presided over by a Spanish official, and addressed him with
these words:

"A lady over there by the Enchanted Lake promised us twelve dollars
if we would kill her husband. We have done the job and asked her for
our money, but she will only give us six. We want you to arrest her."

The official, thinking the whole thing a joke, laughingly said he
would attend to the matter. The two simple-minded criminals went off,
apparently satisfied, and disappeared.

Later, our friend the official thought there might be some truth behind
the apparent absurdity of the yarn, and on investigation found that a
murder had actually been committed. But someone more credulous than
the Spaniard gave a friendly warning to the committers of the deed,
and they were not brought to justice until some months afterward. Such
is the comparative esteem in which the native holds human life and
Mexican dollars.

Later we descended again to the bold coast-line of the Laguna de
Bay and, to the accompaniment of banging guns, which showed that
some of the rest of our party were really on the war-path, returned
launch-ward. The hunting-expedition came in soon after with large bags
of snipe and pigeon, and all hands then joined in a series of dives
off the stern of our boat, or soused around in the tepid water. The
group of savages living in the huts near by were much startled at our
taking plunges headlong. They themselves never dive otherwise than
feet first, for it is a common superstition among the Filipinos that
the evil water-spirits would catch them by the head and hold them
under if this article came along before the feet put in an appearance.

At noontime our native cooks did themselves proud in getting up a game
breakfast, and in the afternoon the launch backed off and steamed
across the narrow bay to Los Baños itself, a little town clustering
around some boiling springs whose vapor floats over a good hotel
and some elaborate bathing-establishments. This seems to be a rather
favorite resort for the Spanish population of Manila at certain times
of the year, and once or twice a week the old side-wheeler Laguna de
Bay stops here on her way up from the capital to Santa Cruz.

Behind the town the land slopes steeply up to the mountain heights
of still another extinct volcano, whose ghost exists merely to give
life to the hot waters of the springs below. In front it runs off
to the lake shore, and, all in all, the scenery is as picturesque
as the air is healthy. From Los Baños we crossed the lake, cruised
down along the abrupt mountainous shores between the two fine old
promontories of Halla Halla, that jut out like the prongs to a W,
and stopped every now and then at some particularly attractive little
native village coming down to the water's edge. At about sundown on
Monday afternoon, the prow was turned Manilaward, and after a cool
sunset sail of twenty miles we drew in at the portico of the uptown
club, all the better for our two day's trip, which cost us each but
a little over five gold dollars.

Last night there occurred another one of those religious torch-light
processions which are so common in the streets of Old Manila. It
started after sunset, inside the city walls, from a big church brightly
illuminated from top to bottom with small candle-cups that gave it
the appearance of a great sugar palace. The procession consisted of
many richly decorated floats, containing life-size figures of saints
and apostles dressed in garments of gold and purple and borne along
by sweating coolies, who staggered underneath a draping that shielded
from view all save their lower limbs and naked feet. The larger floats
were covered with dozens of candelabra and guarded by soldiers with
fixed bayonets. Other rolling floats of smaller magnitude were pulled
along by little children in white gowns, while troops of old maids,
young maids, and Spanish women marched before and behind, dressed in
black and carrying candles. The black mantillas which fell gracefully
from the heads of many of the torch-bearers gave their faces a look of
saint-like grace, except at such times as the evening breeze made the
candle-grease refractory, and one might easily have imagined himself
a spectator at a celebration in Seville.

Many bands all playing different tunes in different times and keys,
rows of hard-faced, fat-stomached priests trying to look religious
but failing completely to do so, and five hundred small boys, who,
like ours at home, formed a sort of rear guard to the solemnities,
all went to make up the peculiar performance. The whole long affair
started from the church, wound through the narrow streets, and finally
brought up at the church again, where it was saluted by fireworks
and ringing of bells.

In the balconies of the houses that almost overhung the route were
smiling crowds of lookers-on, and Roman candles and Bengola lights
added impressiveness to the scene, or dropped their sparks on the
garments of those promenading below. As the various images of the
Virgin Mary and the Descent from the Cross passed by, everyone took off
his hat and appeared deeply impressed with religious feeling. After the
carriers of the floats had put down for good their expensive burdens
in the vestry of the church, a few liquid refreshments easily started
them quarrelling as to the merits of their respective displays. One set
claimed that their Descent from the Cross was more life-like than that
carried by their rivals, and they almost came to blows over which of
the Virgin Marys wore the finest clothes.

Yesterday was the celebration of the expulsion of the Chinese invaders
from the Philippines, about a hundred years ago, and the whole city
was aglow with flags and decorations. In the afternoon everybody
went to the Luneta to see the bicycle races and to hear the music. A
huge crowd surged around the central plaza, and the best places in
the band-stand were reserved for the Spanish ladies and Government
dignitaries. The races were slow, but the crowd cheered and seemed
perfectly satisfied as one after another of the contestants tipped over
going around the sharp corners. After the races a beautiful Spanish
maiden, whose eyes were so crossed that she must have easily mixed
up the winning bicycle with the tail-ender, distributed the prizes,
and the police had hard work to keep the crowd from overwhelming the
centre of attraction. Then everybody listened to the music, walked or
drove around in carriages, and waited for the fireworks, which were
set off not long after sunset. The costly display was accompanied
by murmurings of "Oh!" from hundreds of throats. There was an Eiffel
Tower of flame, several mixed-up crosses that twisted in and out of
each other, numerous scroll-wheels, fountains, and a burst of bombs
and rockets. Some of the parachute stars gracefully floated out over
the Bay and descended into the water, causing startled exclamations
from the natives, who are not accustomed to look on fireworks with
equanimity. But as of old, everything finally ended in smoke, and the
multitude melted away, thoroughly satisfied with the celebration of
the anniversary of the victory over the Chinese.

As it seems about time to take a longer rest than usual from the labor
attendant on waiting for a boom in the hemp market, I hope next week
to start off on one of the well-equipped provincial steamers, that
makes a run of two thousand miles south, among the sugar-islands and
the hemp-ports, and in the next chapter there ought to be a rather
long account of what is said to be a very interesting voyage.



VIII

    A Trip to the South--Contents of the "Puchero"--Romblon--Cebu,
    the Southern Hemp-Centre--Places Touched At--A Rich Indian
    at Camiguin--Tall Trees--Primitive Hemp-Cleaners--A New
    Volcano--Mindanao Island--Moro Trophies--Iligan--Iloilo--Back
    Again at Manila.


                                                      December 23, 1894.

I have just returned from the south, and feel able enough to begin
the narrative. On Saturday, December 1, thick clouds obscured the
sky, and gusty showers of rain continued to fall until evening,
when they formed themselves into a respectable downpour. It was
objectionable weather for the dry season just commencing, but the
northwest monsoon was said to be heavy outside, and the rain on
our east coast evidently slid over the mountains back of Manila,
instead of staying where it belonged. Such was the day of starting,
while, to cap the climax, just before the advertised leaving-time of
the Uranus, word came from the Jesuit observatory that a typhoon was
apparently getting ready to sail directly across the course we were
to take, and up went signal No. 3 on the flag-staff at the mouth of
the river. Philosophers, however, must not be bothered by trifles,
and although my friends predicted a miserable voyage, and told
me to take all my water-proofs and sou'westers, I went aboard the
steamer with a smiling countenance only, followed by three "boys"
who deposited my traps in a state-room of lean proportions.

At half after seven in the evening the whistle blew, the visitors
departed, and the Uranus slowly began to back down the narrow river
into the black night. She is one of the largest and newest "province
steamers" in the Philippines, and it took a great deal of manipulation
to turn her around and get her headed toward the Bay. As large,
perhaps, as one of our coasting boats that runs to the West Indies,
she has a flush deck from stem to stern, and is ruled over by a very
jolly, stubby, little Spanish captain who looks eminently well fed
if not so well groomed.

We got out of the river at eight o'clock, saw the three warning,
red, typhoon lanterns glaring at us, and started full speed ahead for
Romblon, our first calling-port, eighteen hours away. Dinner was served
on deck from a large table formed by closing down the huge skylights
to the regular dining-saloon below, and the eaters took far more
enjoyment in their Spanish bill of fare under the awnings than they
would have done had the same victuals been dished up downstairs. I
say "victuals," for the word seems to be the only invention for just
such combinations as were set before us, and "dished up" suggests
the scooped-out-of-a-kettle process far better than "served." Spanish
food is rather too mixy, too garlicky, too unfathomable for me, but
as one can get used to anything I accommodated myself to the puchero
(a mixture of meat, beans, sausages, cabbage, and pork), and was soon
eating fish as a fifth course instead of a second. The feast began
with soup and sundries, and was continued by the puchero which was
merely an introduction to the fish course, the roast, and all the
cheese and things that followed. Every dinner was practically the
same, differing slightly in details, and the deck each time played its
part as dining-room. Early breakfast came at six, late breakfast came
at ten, and dinner poked along at five--a combination of meal hours
which was enough to give one indigestion before touching a mouthful.

During the night we all waited in vain to hear the sizzling of the
typhoon that came not, and got up next morning to find the scare
had been for nothing. The clouds and rain were clearing away, and
the prow of the Uranus was headed directly for a region of blue
sky. By breakfast-time there was hardly a cloud in the heavens,
the rooster up for'ard began to crow, the mooly-cow which we were
soon to eat began to moo, the islands in front drew nearer, and the
scene became fairer each moment. At noon we steamed below a great
mountainous island, crossed a sound between it and another group,
entered a narrow channel, and at one o'clock dropped anchor in
the small land-locked harbor of Romblon. Everywhere the hills fell
abruptly into the water, and houses looked as if they had slid down
off the steep slopes to hobnob with each other in a mass below. There
was a public bath down beside a brook, where everybody came to wash,
an old church, the market-place, and a prodigious long flight of steps
leading up to the upper districts, where the view down back over the
low nipa houses toward the bay was most extensive.

We stayed in this little Garden of Eden until after three o'clock,
then pulled out to the steamer, and left again for the south, over
a calm sea and beneath a glorious sky. Some of us slept on deck in
the moonlight, but, finding it if anything too cool and breezy, were
up betimes to see the island of Cebu looming on our right hand. Our
early six-o'clock breakfast finished, we sat up on the bridge in
easy-chairs, beneath the double awning, as the Uranus poked down along
the mountainous coast toward the city of Cebu. At ten o'clock we passed
through the narrow channel that leads between a small island and its
big brother Cebu, and soon saw the white houses of the town lapping
the harbor's edge. Two American ships were apparently taking in their
cargoes of hemp, and beside them a small fleet of native craft and
steamers smudged the little bay. Anchor was dropped again and those of
us who cared to go ashore met some of our former friends from Manila on
'change and took a look over this great hemp-centre of the South.

The local excitement was limited, and, except that a Chinaman had
been beheaded by some enemy the night before as he was walking home
through the street, news was scarce. Numerous people, however, were
gathered together outside the police-station, looking at the remains,
and several sailors from the American ships, who had swum ashore
during the night to get drunk, were being returned to their vessels
in charge of the civil guard.

The Uranus was not to stop long, and most of the through
passengers returned early to the steamer to enjoy a view tempered
by rather more breeze and less smell than that which the narrow
streets afforded. Cebu, from the deck, was worthy of a sonnet; the
white houses and church spires were set off against the dark-green
background of mountains, and as the sun got lower the place did not
have the broiled-alive aspect that it bore during the middle of the
day. At four the stubby little Captain came aboard, and soon we turned
northeast for our next stopping-place, Ormoc. Another colored sunset,
another dinner in the golden light, another moonrise, another sail up
among the islands, and at eleven on the evening of Monday we entered
the harbor of Ormoc. Here two or three ponies were hoisted overboard to
be taken landward, a can of kerosene was loaded into the purser's boat
as he went ashore with the papers, and a little chorus of shoutings
concluded our midnight visit to the second stop of the day.

Tuesday morning the sun rose over the lofty mountains on the island
of Leyte, and the Uranus shaped her course for Catbalogan, another
of the larger hemp-ports. The steam up the bay blotched with islands
was perfection, and by ten o'clock the anchor hunted round for a
soft bed in the ooze, some eight hundred yards off a sandy beach,
above which lay the town. Those of us who had energy enough to bolt
our hearty breakfast were taken by the jolly-boat onto the mud flats,
and were carried through the shallow water on oars to dry land. On
the slopes of the higher mountains, behind the town, the hemp-plants
(looking exactly like banana-trees), grew luxuriously, and in front
of many of the houses in Catbalogan the white fibre was out drying
on clothes-lines. A short taste of the hot sun easily satisfied our
curiosity as to Catbalogan, and we were off to the ship again for more
breakfast, just as several hungry-looking Spanish guests, including
the Governor's family, came aboard from the town to partake of a meal
hearty enough to last them till the arrival of the next steamer.

From Catbalogan to its sister town, Tacloban, four hours to the south,
the course leads among the narrow straits between high, richly wooded
islands, and the scenery was most picturesque. Here and there little
white beaches gleamed along the shore, and in front of the nipa
shanties that now and then looked out from among the trees hung rows
of hemp drying in the sun. Off and on the big waves, kicked up by the
forward movement of the Uranus in the land-locked waters, woke up the
stillness resting on the banks, and nearly upset small banca loads of
the white fibre which was perhaps being paddled down to some larger
centre from more remote stamping-grounds. From the bridge our view
was most comprehensive, and it wasn't long before the steamer actually
entered the river like strait that separates the islands of Samar and
Leyte. We twisted around like a snake through the narrow channel,
on each side of which were high hills and mountains, richly treed
with cocoanuts and hemp-plants, and, just as the sun was getting low,
hauled into Tacloban, situated inside an arm of land that protects
it from the dashing surges of the Apostles' Bay beyond.

At Tacloban there was little to see. A high range of hills rose
behind the town, and in the evening half-light everything looked more
or less attractive. We climbed a small knoll that looked off over
the Bay of St. Peter and St. Paul to the south and down over the
village. The strait through which we came stretched up back among
the hills like a river, and in the foreground lay the Uranus. A
number of hemp store-houses lined the water-front, and as usual the
ever-present Chinese were the central figures of the commercial part
of the community. At eight the anchor came up once more, and we left
Tacloban to steam religiously down the bay of St. Peter and St. Paul
for Cabalian, eight hours to the south.

Cabalian is another little hemp-town, at the foot of a huge mountain;
but in the starlight of the very early morning we stopped there only
long enough to leave the mail and drop a pony overboard. Sunrise caught
us still steering to the south, but nine o'clock tied our steamer to
a little wharf in Surigao, directly in front of a large hemp-press
and store-house belonging to the owners of the ship on which we were
journeying. Some of the best hemp that comes to the Manila market
is pressed at Surigao, and all around were stacks of loose fibre
drying in the sun or being separated into different grades by native
coolies. Several of us left the ship and walked to the main village,
but, as before, found little to note except the intense heat of a
boiling sun.

There was the customary hill behind the town, and at the risk of
going entirely into solution during the effort, two of us climbed to
the top for a breath of air and a panoramic view.

Dinner came along as usual at five; but I must say that the more I
ate of those curiously timed meals the less I could accommodate my
mental powers to the comprehension of what I was doing. Everybody
knows what a difficult psychological problem it is to determine the
exact numerical nature of the feeling in the second and third toes of
his feet, as compared with that in the fingers of his hands. On your
hands you can distinctly feel the first finger, the middle finger, and
the fourth finger; but on your feet your second toe doesn't feel like
your first finger nor as a second toe should naturally feel. The great
toe corresponds in sensation to one's first finger, and all the other
toes save the last seem to be muddled up without that differentiated
sensation which the fingers have. And so with these meals aboard
ship. A ten o'clock breakfast was neither breakfast nor luncheon,
and it bothered me considerably to know what in the dickens I was
really eating. In fact, it affected my mind to such a degree that
somehow the food tasted as if it did not belong to any particular
meal, but came from another order of things; and I spent long,
serious moments between the courses in trying to locate the repast
in my library of prehistoric sensations, just as I have often tried
to locate the digit which my second toe corresponds to in feeling.

We left Surigao an hour before midnight, sailed away over moonlit
seas toward the island of Camiguin, and when I stuck my head out of
the port-hole at half after five next morning, the two very lofty
mountain-peaks which formed this sky-scraper of the Philippines
were just ridding themselves of the garb of darkness. Three of us
went ashore at seven, and were introduced to a rich Indian, who,
although the possessor of four hundred thousand dollars, lived in a
common little nipa house. He invited us to see the country, fitted
us out with three horses and a mounted servant, and sent us up into
the mountains, where his men were working on the hemp-plantations.

We started up the sharp slopes, and were soon getting a wider and
wider view back over the town and blue bay below. First the path was
bounded with rice-fields, but, as we rose, the hemp plants which, as
before said, look just like their relatives, the banana-trees, began to
hem us in. Now and again we came to a little hut where long strings of
fibre were out drying in the sun, but our boy kept going upward until
we were rising at an angle of almost forty-five degrees. Everywhere the
tall twenty-five-foot hemp-trees extended toward the mountain summit as
far as the eye could carry, and we were much interested in seeing so
much future rope in its primogenital state. Up we went across brooks,
over rocks, beneath tall, tropical hardwood trees, nearly two hundred
feet high, that here and there lifted themselves up toward heaven and
at last came to the place where the natives were actually separating
the hemp from strippings by pulling them under a knife pressed down
on a block of wood. The whole little machine was so absurdly simple,
with its rough carving-knife and rude levers, that it hardly seemed
to correspond with the elaborate transformation that took place from
the tall trees to the slender white fibre separated by the rusty
blade. One man could clean only twenty-five pounds of hemp a day,
and when it is remembered the whole harvest consists of about 800,000
bales, or 200,000,000 pounds per year, it seems the more remarkable
that so rude an instrument should have so star a part to play. We
each tried pulling the long, tough strippings under the knife that
seemed glued to the block, but there was a certain knack which we did
not seem to possess, and the thing stuck fast. All in all this visit
to the hemp-cleaners will supply us with strong answers to letters
from manufacturers who have written us to make efforts in introducing
heavy machines for separating hemp from the parent tree, but who have
failed to understand that a couple of levers and a carving knife are
far easier to carry up a steep mountain-slope than a steam engine,
and an arrangement as big as a modern reaper. We lingered about all
the morning on these up-in-the-air plantations, and at noon picked
our way slowly back again over the stony path to the village, glad
that we didn't have to earn fifty cents a day by so laborious a method.

Leaving our host with a promise to come ashore again and use his
horses in the afternoon, we went down to the long pier and rowed
off to the Uranus in one of the big ship's boats that was feeding
her empty forehold with instalments of hemp. In the early afternoon
we again went ashore, took other ponies and started off up the coast
toward a remarkable volcano, which, though not existing in 1871, has
since been business-like enough to grow up out of the sandy beach,
until it is now a thousand feet high. A whole town was destroyed
during the growing process, but to-day the signs of activity are not
so evident. The path up the mountain-side was terrifically stony and
somewhat obscure. Long creepers frequently caught us by the neck,
or wound themselves about our feet, in attempts to rid the ponies of
their burden. It was a laborious undertaking, and it didn't look as
if we should reach the crater before dark, but we kept on ascending,
thinking each knoll would give us that longed-for look into the
business office of the volcano. But in vain. It was now getting so
near sunset that we feared to lose the way, and, instead of pushing on
farther, we reluctantly turned about and went full speed astern. The
descent was unspeakable; the horses' knees were tired; they stumbled
badly; the vines and creepers snarled us up, and everyone muttered
yards of cuss-words. On the way down we saw several wonderful views
over the hemp-trees to the coast below, met numerous natives cleaning
up their last few stalks of fibre for the day, and at last came out
once more on the rough pasture-road leading to Mambajao, off which
the Uranus was anchored. It was now moonlight, we all broke into a
gallop for the three-quarter-hour ride to the village, and everybody,
including the jaded ponies, thanked Heaven when we reached the first
lights of the town.

Late the same evening the Uranus left, sailed around the island's
western edge in the moonlight, and turned southward for Cagayan, on
Mindanao Island, the last of the Philippines to resist subjection
by the Spanish and now the scene of wars and conflicts with the
bloodthirsty savages who are indigenous to the soil.

Morning introduced us to a shaky wharf and to a group of gig-drivers,
who said the town was fully three miles away. We were in the enemy's
country, but nevertheless two of us started off to walk to the village,
following quite a party who had already taken the road. It was an
hour's plod along beneath tall cocoanut-palms before we came to the
main part of the settlement, surrounding the jail, court-house, and
residence of the Spanish Governor. Hard by ran a river spanned by a
curious suspension-bridge. It carried the high road to the village
and country on the other bank, and in our party from the steamer was
an engineer who had come down to inspect this structure, which but
a short time ago had utterly collapsed under the strain of its own
opening exercises, killing a Spaniard, and cutting open the head of
the Governor's wife. Of late, however, the bridge had been repaired,
and the question seemed to be, was it safe? For my benefit, as I walked
over the long eight-hundred-foot span, the old bridge wobbled around
like a bowl of jelly, and considering that there were alligators in
the reflective waters below, I did not feel I was doing the right
thing by my camera and friends to stay longer where I was. Some of
the secondary cables were flimsy affairs, and inspection revealing
the fact that the structure was just one-twentieth as strong as it
ought to be, placards were put up to the effect that the bridge was
closed except for the passing of one person at a time.

At the bridge we fell into talk with a pleasant Spaniard, who was the
interventor or official go-between in affairs concerning Governor and
natives. We asked him as to the prospects of finding some Moro arms,
knives, and shields in the settlement for being in a district upon
which a recent descent had been made it seemed as if the town should
be rich in bloody curios. He gave us some encouragement, and off we
trotted across the central plaza with its old church, on an expedition
of search. It seems that all the houses around this plaza were armed
to the teeth, and in time of need the whole place could be transformed
into a fort. Every house in the pueblo had one of the newest type
of Mauser rifles standing up in the corner, and in fifteen minutes
fifteen hundred men could be mustered ready armed to fight the savage
Moros. We really felt as if we were in one of the Indian outposts of
early American days, and were quite interested in the conversation
of our guide, who seemed to take a great liking to two foreigners. We
went into several little huts where knives and spears were hung upon
the doors, and succeeded in exchanging many of our dollars for rude,
weird weapons with waving edges or poisoned points. We passed several
"tamed" Moros in the street and took off some bead necklaces, turbans,
and bracelets which they had on. Further search revealed shields and
hats, and before the morning turned to afternoon we had visited nearly
half the houses in the village. Sometimes a tune on the ever-present
piano, coaxed out by yours truly, would bring a shield from off the
wall, and at others the more telling music coming from the jingling
dollars was more effectual.

For dinner we went to the house of the interventor to lunch on some
grass mixed with macaroni, canned fish, bread and water, and if I
hadn't been so much occupied with our Spanish conversation I might have
felt hungry. After the meal our host wanted me to take a photograph
of him and his wife dressed up in a discarded theatrical costume,
and it was quite as ludicrous as anything on the trip. An upholstered
throne--part of the stage-setting in their play of the week before--was
rigged up in the back yard, and the señor and señora, robed as king and
queen of Aragon, put on all the airs of a royal family as they stood
before the camera. These good people pulled the house to pieces to
show us wigs, crowns, and wooden swords, and it seemed as if we should
never get away. Later, however, our good friend borrowed a horse in
one place, a carriage in another, helped us to go around and collect
our various purchases, presented me with a shield which he took down
off his own wall, and drove us back to the steamer. Here we unloaded
all the stuff, and, surrounded by a curious throng of questioners,
went aboard to stow our possessions away. The day had been a prolific
one, and, although we had not expected to go into the curio business
on the excursion, our respective staterooms were now loaded up with
gimcracks that would interest the most rabid ethnographer.

Toward midnight the Uranus steamed out of the Bay of Cagayan and
headed for Misamis, still farther south. Another calm night, and
Saturday morning saw us approaching a little collection of nipa huts
presided over by an old stone fort and backed up by the usual high
range of mountains. Two Spanish gunboats, the Elcano and Ulloa, all
flags flying, in honor of Sunday or something were at anchor in the
Bay, and at eight o'clock we pulled ashore to fritter away an hour
or so in looking about an uninteresting village. There was a saying
here that no photographer ever lived to get fairly into the town,
for the only two who had ever come before this way were drowned in
getting ashore from their vessels. As I walked about the streets,
several Indian women stuck their heads out of the windows of their
huts seeming quite amazed to see a live picture-maker, and asked
in poor Spanish how much I would charge for a dozen copies of their
inimitable physiognomies.

Misamis business detained the Uranus but for a short hour, and she then
turned her head across the Bay eastward for Iligan, the seat of all the
war operations in Mindanao. During the two hours and a half that our
course led close along the hostile shore, we had breakfast and arrived
at Iligan, the most dismal place in the world, about two o'clock in the
afternoon. Everything looked down-in-the-mouth except the thermometer,
and that was up in the roaring hundreds. The town was like all other
Philippine villages, except that around the outskirts were the ruins of
an old stockade with observation-towers, and in the streets soldiers,
both native and Spanish, held the corners at every turn.

While I paddled across a creek to get a photograph of some friendly
savages on the other bank, one of my steamer friends went up to the
Government house to make a formal visit. It seems he found no one at
home except the wife of one of the high department officials, and
she was reading the latest letters just fresh from the mail-bag of
the Uranus. As I got back from across the river I heard a tremendous
pandemonium going on in the upper story of the building in question,
and soon my fellow-passenger came bolting down the stairs and out into
the street below. The poor woman, on reading in her freshly opened
letter that her husband, who had but recently gone up to Manila for
a week's stay, was an absconder to the extent of some three hundred
thousand dollars, suddenly lost her mind. He had tried to get across to
China, so it seemed, but was taken on the sailing-day of the steamer,
and the wife now first heard the news. So, as chairs and flower-pots
came sailing out the windows or down the stairs, we wisely decided to
get out of harm's way, and together walked back to the steamer-landing,
musing on Spanish methods of pocket-lining.

The Moros themselves are sturdy beggars, though most picturesque
ones, and the tame specimens that came into Iligan were curious in
the extreme. Dressed in native-made cloths of all colors, their heads
were ornamented with turbans of red and white and blue, while gaudy
sashes gave them an air of aristocratic distinction which few of their
northern brothers possessed. Some of them black all their teeth, others
only put war-paint on their two front pairs of ivories, and while some
looked as if they had no chewing machinery at all, others appeared as
if they might only have played centre rush on a modern foot-ball team.

For years now Spain has sent men and gun-boats down to Mindanao to wipe
out the savages and bring the island under complete subjection, but
without avail. Young boys from the north have been drafted into native
regiments to go south on this fatal errand. The prisons of Manila
have been emptied and the convicts, armed with bolos or meat-choppers,
have followed their more righteous brethren to the front. Well-trained
native troops have gone there; Spanish troops have gone; officers have
tried it, but to no end. If, in the storming of some Moro stronghold,
a dozen miles back inland from the beach, the convicts in the front
rank were cut to pieces by the enemy, it was of no importance. If the
drafted youths were slaughtered, there were more at home. If the native
troops failed to carry the charge, things began to look serious. But if
the Spanish companies were touched, it was time to flee. Such have been
the tactics in this great grave-yard, and where the Moros lost the day,
fever stepped in and won. The towns along the coast are Spain's, but
the interior still swarms with savages, who are there to dispute her
advance and are daily tramping over the graves of many of her soldiers.

We left Moro land at eight o'clock in the evening, after dining
various officials who came aboard to see what they could get to eat,
and by Sunday morning at sunrise had crossed northward to the island
of Bohol, dropping anchor in Maribojoc, a small uninteresting place
with an old church, a Spanish padre who had not been out of town
in thirty years long enough ever to see a railroad or a telephone,
and the usual collection of thick-lipped natives. We stayed here to
unload a lot of bulky school-desks and chairs destined to be used by
the semi-naked youth of the vicinity, and a few of our company went
ashore merely to walk lazily about the village.

Next, a second stop at Cebu for the mails bound Manilaward, a good-by
for the second time to our friends, and the Uranus now kept back down
the coast toward Dumaguete, a prosperous town on the rich sugar-island
of Negros. At ten o'clock that night we were off again, and Tuesday
noon ushered us in to Iloilo, the second city of the Philippines. A lot
of "go-downs" (store-houses) and dwellings on the swampy peninsula made
a fearfully stupid-looking place, and the glare off the sheet-iron
roofs was blinding. Scarcely a foot above tide-water, Iloilo was
far less prepossessing than Manila, but everyone seemed cordial,
and friends were so glad to see us that we appeared to confer a
favor in stopping off to see them. The surroundings of Iloilo are
far more picturesque than those of Manila, and just across the bay a
wooded island, whose high altitude stands out in bold contrast to the
marshes over which the city steeps, gave an outlook from the town that
compensated for the inlook over dusty streets and dirty quays. The
English club occupied its usually central position in the commercial
section of the city, and formed an oasis of refreshment in the midst
of the thirsty desert of iron roofs surrounding it. And if any single
stanza of verse could have been quoted to describe the feelings of a
newly arrived guest, sitting in a long chair on the club piazza and
looking off at the bubbling volumes of hot air rising from those roofs,
it would have been that in which the poet says:


       "Where the latitude's mean and the longitude's low,
        Where the hot winds of summer perennially blow,
        Where the mercury chokes the thermometer's throat,
        And the dust is as thick as the hair on a goat,
        Where one's throat is as dry as a mummy accursed,
        Here lieth the land of perpetual thirst."


The afternoon-tea hour is perhaps more carefully observed among
the English business houses here than in the capital to the north,
and we left the very good little club, with its billiard-tables and
stale newspapers, to join one of the regular gatherings in the large
office of a friend. But tea, toast, jam, and oranges had no sooner
been set before us than the deep whistle of the Uranus sounded, and
those of us who were going north had to make a hurried adjournment
to the neighboring wharf. Then, as everybody on deck began to say
"adios," and everybody on shore "hasta la vista," the stubby little
captain roared out "avante" and our steamer started for Manila,
two hundred and fifty miles away.

Next morning we got our first taste of the monsoon, and it came up
pretty rough as we crossed some of the broad, open spaces between the
islands. There were three dozen passengers aboard ship, and everybody,
including four dogs, was desperately sea-sick. But sheltering islands
soon brought relief to the prevailing misery, the dogs recovered their
equilibrium enough to renew the curl in their tails, and the heaving
vessel grew quite still. We touched again at Romblon, on our way up,
long enough to get the mail and bring off an unshaven padre or two,
bound up to the capital for spiritual refreshment, and for the last
time headed for Manila. The monsoon apparently went down with the sun;
we were not troubled further with heaving waters, and early on Thursday
morning passed through the narrow mouth of Manila Bay, just as the sun
was rising in the east, and the full moon setting over Mariveles in
the west. The Uranus made a short run across the twenty-seven miles
of water to the anchorage among the shipping, and everybody bundled
ashore in a noisy launch, almost before the town had had its breakfast.

In the afternoon, when the steamer came into the river, I brought all
of my arms, armor, and shells ashore to the office, and the American
skippers who were waiting for free breezes from the punkah began
outbidding each other with offers of baked beans and doughnuts for
the whole collection. At home, the house had not been blown away,
but was firm as ever; the dogs rejoiced to see me back; the cat,
with a crook in her tail, purred extra loudly; the ponies, that had
grown fat on lazy living, pawed the stone floor in the stable; the
boy put flowers on the table for dinner and peas in the soup, and the
moon looked in on us in full dress. Thus ended a fortnight's trip of
some two thousand miles down through the arteries of the archipelago.



IX

    Club-house Chaff--Christmas Customs and Ceremonies--New Year's
    Calls--A Dance at the English Club--The Royal Exposition of the
    Philippines--Fireworks on the King's Fête Day--Electric Lights and
    the Natives--The Manila Observatory--A Hospitable Governor--The
    Convent at Antipolo.


                                                          December 26th.

"'A young Bostonian, in business in the Philippines,' that is you,
isn't it?"

"'Trembling like a blushing bride before the altar.'" "Well, blushing
bride, how are you?"

"'The bells in the old church rang out a wild, warning plea.' They did,
did they? And did, 'The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea?'"

"'The fishermen's wives were sitting on their saucepans, furniture,
and babies, to keep them from sailing off skyward.' Poor things! Quite
witty, weren't they?"

These were some of the expressions that greeted me as I entered the
Club the other evening, about two hours after the last mail arrived.

My attention was called to the bulletin-board where the official
notices were posted, and there, tacked up in all its glory was
a printed copy of my letter on the typhoon, while on all sides
were various members of the English colony, laughing boisterously,
and poking me in the ribs with canes and billiard-cues. Some of the
brokers had apparently learned the contents of that fatal letter by
heart, and stood on chairs reciting those touching lines in dialogue
with unharnessed levity.

To say that I was mildly flummuxed at hearing my familiar verbiage
proceeding from the mouths of others would be mild, but it was
impossible not to join in the general laugh, and digest, in an offhand
way, the jibes and jokes which were epidemic. It seems my cautions have
been of no avail, and the letter which you so kindly gave the Boston
editor to read and print was sent out here to my facetious friend the
American broker, whose whole life seems to be spent in trying to find
the laugh on the other man. Somebody else also sent him a spare copy
to give to his friends, and down town at the tiffin club next noon,
my late entrance to the breakfast-room was a signal for the whole
colony to suspend mastication and with clattering knives and clapping
hands to vent their mirth in breezy epithets. But jokes are few and
far between in this far Eastern land, and somebody or other might as
well be the butt of them.

Just as surely as the 24th of December comes around, all the
office-boys of your friends, who have perhaps brought letters from
their counting-room to yours, all the chief cooks and bottle-washers
of your establishment, all of the policemen on the various beats
between your house and the club, and all the bill collectors who
come in every month to wheedle you out of sundry dollars, have the
cheek to ask for pourboires. Imagine a man coming around to collect a
bill, and asking you to fee him for being good enough to bring that
document to hand. But that is just what the Manila bill-collector
does at Christmas-tide. Then all of the native fruit-girls, who each
day climb the stairs with baskets of oranges on their heads, come in
with little printed blessings and hold out their hands for fifty cents.

Once out of the office, you go home to find the ice-man, the ashman,
the coachman, and the cook all looking for tips, and you are compelled
to feel most religiously holy, as you remember that it is more blessed
to give than to receive.

Christmas-eve, somehow, did not seem natural, though the town was
very lively. Some of the shops had brought over evergreen branches
from Shanghai to carry out the spirit of the occasion. The streets
were crowded with shoppers, everybody was carrying parcels, and if
it had been cold, we might have looked for Santa Claus.

There are but half a dozen English ladies in our little Anglo-Saxon
colony, and each of them takes a turn in giving dinners, asking as
her guests, besides a few outsiders, the other five. On Christmas-eve
took place one of these rather stereotyped feasts, and afterward
the guests went down in carriages to the big cathedral, that cost a
million dollars, inside the old walled town, to hear the midnight
mass. Accompanied by a large orchestra and a good organ, the mass
was more jolly than impressive. The music consisted of polkas, jigs,
and minuets, and everybody walked around the great building, talking
and smiling most gracefully. A few of the really devout sat in a small
enclosed space in the centre of the church, but they found it hard to
keep awake, and their eyes were red with weeping, not for the sins of
an evil world, but from opening and shutting their jaws in a series
of yawns.

Just before the hour of midnight, comparative quiet ensued with the
reading of a solemn prayer or two, but just as the most reverend father
who was conducting the ceremonies finished bowing behind the high gold
and velvet collar to his glittering gown, thirteen bells wagged their
tongues that broke up the stillness of the midnight, and everybody
wished everybody else "Felices Pascuas!" (Merry Christmas!) The organ
tuned up, the boy-choir sang itself red, white, and blue, the priestly
assistants swung the censors until the church was heavy with fragrance,
and all those who had nothing else to do yawned and wished they were
in bed.

After staying a little longer, our party left, and went over to the
Jesuit Church near by, where a very good orchestra seemed to be playing
a Virginia reel. Here were similar ceremonies modified somewhat to
suit the rather different requirements of the Order, and after staying
long enough not to appear as intruding spectators, we made our exit.

And now that Christmas is all over, everybody seems to be wearing a
new hat, the most appropriate present that can be given in this land
of sun-strokes and fevered brows.



                                                            January 5th.

The new year has come and gone, though out this way no one believes
in turning over a new leaf.

It seems to be a custom to start the year by calling on all the
married ladies of the colony, who make their guests loquacious with
sundry little cocktails that stand ready prepared on the front
verandas. Everybody makes calls, till he forgets where anything
but his head is situated, and then brings up at the club out by the
river-bank more or less the worse for wear. In honor of the day, the
menu was most attractive, but many of the party were in no condition
to partake, and spent the first day of the new calendar in suffering
from the effects of their morning visits.

With the new year came the dance, which we bachelor members of the
club gave to the English ladies in particular and to Manila society
in general, as a small return for hospitality received, and it was
declared a huge success. The club-house was decorated from top to
toe. Two or three hundred invitations were sent out, and the crême de
la crême of the European population were on hand, including General
Blanco, the governor of the islands.

The English club rarely gives a dance more than once in five years,
and when the engraved invitations first appeared there was much talk
and hobnobbing among the Spaniards to see who had and who had not
been invited. All the greedy Dons who had ever met any of the clubmen
expected to be asked, and considered it an insult not to receive an
invitation. One high official, who had himself been invited, wrote to
the committee seeking an invitation for some friends. As, of course,
only a limited number could be accommodated at the club-house, the
invitations were strictly limited, and a reply was sent to the Spanish
gentleman in question, stating that there were no more invitations
to be had.

"Do you mean to insult me and my friends?" he wrote, "by saying that
there are no more invitations left for them? Do you mean to say that
my friends are not gentlemen, and so you won't ask them? I must insist
on an explanation, or satisfaction."

For several days before the party one might have heard young women and
girls who walked up and down the Luneta talking nothing but dance,
and the Spanish society seemed to be divided up into two distinct
cliques, the chosen and the uninvited.

The chosen proceeded at once to starve themselves and use what
superfluous dollars they could collect in buying new gowns at the
large Parisian shops on the Escolta. Most of the Spanish women in
Manila can well afford to be abstemious and devote the surplus thus
obtained to the ornamentation of their persons, since they are so
fairly stout that the fires of their appetite can be kept going some
time after actual daily food-supplies have been cut off. The men,
however, seem to be as slender as the women are robust, and they, poor
creatures, cannot endure a long fast. Nevertheless, the cash-drawers
of the Paris shops got fat as the husbands of the wives who bought new
gowns there grew more slender; and just before the ball came off these
merchant princes of the Philippines actually offered to contribute five
hundred dollars if another dance should be given within a short time,
so great had been the rush of patrons to their attractive counters.

To make a long story short, after a lot of squabbles and wranglings
among those who were invited and those who were not, the night of the
party came, and only those who held the coveted cards were permitted
by the giants at the door to enter Paradise.

Japanese lanterns lighted the road which led from the main highway to
the club, and the old rambling structure was aglow with a thousand
colored cup-lights that made it look like fairyland. Within and
without were dozens of palms and all sorts of tropical shrubs,
and the entrance-way was one huge bower-like fernery. Around the
lower entrance-room colored flags grouped themselves artistically,
and below a huge mass of bunting at the farther end rose the grand
staircase that led above. Upstairs, the ladies' dressing-room was most
gorgeous, and the walls were hung with costly, golden-wove tapestries
from Japan. The main parlor formed one of the dancing-rooms and opened
into two huge adjoining bed-chambers which were thrown together in
one suite. All around the walls and ceilings were garlands and long
festoons and wreaths, and everywhere were bowers of plants, borrowed
mirrors, and lights.

Out on the veranda, overhanging the river, were clusters of small
tables, glowing under fairy lamps, and the railings were a mass
of verdure.

The orchestra consisted of twenty-five natives, dressed in white shirts
whose tails were not tucked in, hidden behind a forest of plants,
and as the clock struck ten they began to coax from their instruments
a dreamy waltz. The guests began to pour in--Spanish dons with their
corpulent wives, and strapping Englishmen with their leaner better
halves. The Spaniards, sniffing the air, all looked longingly toward
the supper-rooms, while the ladies who came with them ambled toward
the powder and paint boxes in the boudoir. I suppose about two hundred
people in all were on hand, and the sight was indeed gay. After every
one had become duly hot from dancing or duly hungry from waiting,
supper was served, and there was almost a panic as the Spanish element
with one accord made for the large room at the extreme other end of
the building, where dozens of small tables glistened below candelabra
with red shades, and improvised benches groaned under the weight of
a great variety of refreshments.

Soon the slender caballeros got to look fatter in the face, and the
double chins of their ladies grew doubler every moment. Knives, forks,
and spoons were all going at once, and talk was suspended. But the
room presented a pretty sight, with its fourscore couples sitting
around beneath the swaying punkahs, and the soft warm light made
beauties out of many ordinary-looking persons.

After everybody was satisfied, dancing was resumed in the big front
rooms on the river, and the gayety went on; but the heavy supper made
many of the foreign guests grow dull, and the cool hours of early
morning saw everyone depart, carrying with them or in them food enough
for many days.

Thus ended the great ball given to balance the debt of hospitality
owed by the bachelors to their married friends, and now will come
the committee's collectors for money to pay the piper.



                                                           January 31st.

Manila has been quite outdoing herself lately, and the gayeties have
been numerous. The opening of the Royal Exposition of the Philippines
took place last week, and was quite as elaborate as the name itself.

The Exposition buildings were grouped along the raised ground filled in
on the paddy-fields, by the side of the broad avenue that divides our
suburb of Malate from that of Ermita, and runs straight back inland
from the sea. The architecture is good, the buildings numerous, and
with grounds tastefully decorated with plants and fountains, it is,
in a way, like a pocket edition of the Chicago Exposition.

Everybody in town was invited to attend the opening ceremonies by a
gorgeously gotten-up invitation, and interesting catalogues of the
purpose of the exhibition and its exhibits were issued in both Spanish
and English. To be sure, the language in the catalogue translated
from the Spanish was often ridiculous, and announcements were made of
such exhibits as "Collections of living animals of laboring class,"
and "tabulated prices of transport terrestrial and submarine." But
all of the élite of Manila were on hand at the ceremonies, from
the Archbishop and Governor-General down to my coachman's wife,
and bands played, flags waved in the fresh breeze, tongues wagged,
guns fired, and whistles blew. General Blanco opened the fair with a
well-worded speech on the importance of the Philippines, of the debt
that the inhabitants owed to the protection of the mother-country,
and of the great future predestined for the Archipelago. And just as
the speaker had finished and the closing hours of the day arrived,
the new electric lights were turned on for the first time. Then all
Manila, hitherto illuminated by the dull and dangerous petroleum
lamps, shone forth under the radiance of several hundred arc-lights
and a couple of thousand incandescent ones.

The improvement is tremendous, and the streets, which have always
been dim from an excess of real tropical, visible, feelable, darkness,
are now respectably illuminated.

The exposition was opened on the name-day of the little King of Spain,
and every house in town was requested, if not ordered, to hang out
some sort of a flag or decoration. It was said that a fine of $5 would
be charged to those who did not garb their shanties in colors of
some sort, and all the natives were particular to obey the law. It
was indeed instructive, if not pathetic, to see shawls, colored
handkerchiefs, red table-cloths, carpets, and even sofa-cushions,
hanging out of windows, or on poles from poverty-stricken little nipa
huts, and any article with red or yellow in it seemed good enough to
answer the purpose. We, in turn, were also officially requested to
show our colors, and I hung out two bath-wraps from our front window,
articles which I had picked up on the recent excursion to Mindanao,
and which the wild savages there wear down to the river when they
go to wash clothes or themselves. But they likewise had enough red
and yellow in their composition to fill the bill, and, together with
five pieces of red flannel from my photographic dark-room, our windows
showed a most prepossessing appearance.

On the Sunday after the King's name-day, a costly display of fireworks
took place off the water, in front of the Luneta, further to celebrate
the occasion. The bombs and rockets were ignited from large floats
anchored near the shore, while complicated set-pieces were erected on
tall bamboos standing up in the water and bolstered from behind with
supports and guy-lines. The exhibition began shortly after dinner,
and never had I seen a crowd of such large dimensions before in
Manila. There must have been twenty-five thousand people jammed into
the near vicinity of the promenade, and a great sea of faces islanded
hundreds of traps of all species and genders.

The display was excellent, and both of the large military bands
backed it up with good music. One of the set pieces was a royal
representation of a full-rigged man-of-war carrying the Spanish flag,
and she was shown in the act of utterly annihilating an iron-clad
belonging to some indefinite enemy. The reflections in the water
doubled the beauty of the scene, and with rockets, bombs, mines,
parachutes, going up at the same time, there was little intermission
to the excitement. Several rockets came down into the crowd, and one
alighted on the back of a pony, causing him to start off on somewhat
of a tangent. Otherwise there were no disasters, and it was nearly
midnight before the great audience scattered in all directions.

The electric lights, of course, are of tremendous interest to the
more ignorant natives, and every evening finds groups of the latter
gathered around the posts supporting the arc-lamps, looking upward
at the sputtering carbon, or examining the bugs which lose their life
in attempting to make closer analyses of the artificial suns.

A fresh edition of the opera company has come out again from Italy, and
performances are given Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Everybody,
as usual, is allowed behind the scenes during the intermissions,
and the other evening, in the middle of a most pathetic scene in
"Faust," a Yankee skipper, somewhat the jollier from a shore dinner,
walked directly across the back of the stage and took his hat off to
the audience. Episodes like this are hardly common, but in Manila
there are not the barriers to the stage-door that exist in the
U.S.A. The artillery-band on the Luneta has several times played the
"Washington Post March" which you sent me, and which I gave to the fat,
pleasant-faced conductor. The championship games at the tennis-court
have begun, and all of the English colony generally assemble there
to see the play just before sunset. Small dinners and dances are also
numerous, and the cool weather seems to be incubating gayety.



                                                           February 22d.

Manila is said to have the most complete astronomical, meteorological,
and seismological observatory anywhere east of the Mediterranean. Not
to miss anything of such reputation, several of us decided to make
a call on Padre Faure, who presides over the institution, and who
is well known scientifically all over the world. At the observatory
we were cordially received by an assistant, who spoke English well
enough to turn us off from using Spanish, and were conducted over the
establishment. Here were machines which would write down the motions
of the earth in seismological disturbances, and which conveyed to
the ear various subterranean noises going on below the surface. Still
other instruments were so delicate that they rang electric bells when
mutterings took place far underground, and thus warned the observers
of approaching trouble. Another, into which you could look, showed a
moving black cross on a white ground, that danced at all the slight
tremblings continually going on; and the rumbling of a heavy cart over
the neighboring highroad would make it tremble with excitement. A solid
tower of rock twenty feet square extended up through the building from
bottom to top, and was entirely disconnected with the surrounding
structure. On this column all of the earthquake-instruments were
arranged; and any sort of an oscillation that took place would be
recorded in ink on charts arranged for the purpose. Various wires
and electric connections were everywhere visible, and an approaching
disturbance would be sure to set enough bells and tickers a-going to
arouse one of the attendants.

The great school-building in which the observatory was placed was
fully six hundred feet square, with a large court-yard in the centre
containing fountains and tropical plants in profusion. After leaving
the lower portions of the building, we ascended through long hallways,
to visit the meteorological department above. Barometers, thermometers,
wind-gauges, rain-measurers, and all sorts of recording instruments
filled a most interesting room; and Padre Faure gave us a long
discourse on typhoons, earthquakes, and various other phenomena. From
the roof of the observatory a splendid view of the city, Bay, and
adjacent country may be had, and Manila lay before us steaming in the
sun. Before leaving, we saw the twenty-inch telescope, constructed
in Washington under the direction of the Padre who was our guide,
which is soon to be installed in a special building constructed for
the purpose. He seemed much impressed by the United States, and at our
departure presented us with one of the monthly observatory reports,
which give the whole story of the movements of the earth, winds,
heavens, tides, stars, and clouds, at every hour of the day and night,
for every day during the month, and for every month during the year.

Last Monday was again the usual bank-holiday; and on the Saturday
before, the customary three of us who seem to be more energetic at
seeing the country than our friends, decided to take another excursion
up the river into the hill-country.

In the forenoon we gave orders to the boys to get ready the provisions,
and meet us at the club-house in the early afternoon. Our plan was to
take one of the light randans from the boat-house, row up the river
for twelve or fifteen miles, take carromatas up into the hills to a
place called Antipolo, and finally to horseback it over the mountains
to Bossa Bossa, a lonely hill village, ten miles farther on.

The time came. All of our goods and chattels were piled into the
boat. We took off white coats, put on our big broad-brimmed straw hats,
turned up our trouserloons, and prepared for a long row up against
the current. But, thanks to Providence, we were able to hitch onto
one of the stone-lighters that regularly bring rock down from the
lake district, for use on the new breakwater and port-works at Manila,
and which was being towed up for more supplies. The sun got lower and
lower, and finally set, just as the moon rose over the mountains. The
sail in the soft light of evening was very picturesque, and the banks
were lined with the usual collection of native huts, in front of which
groups of natives were either washing clothes or themselves. Large
freight cascos or small bancas were either being poled up-stream by
heated boatmen, or were drifting lazily down with the current, and
everywhere a sort of indolent attractiveness prevailed. We continued
on behind the lighter until almost at the lake itself; then cast
adrift and branched off into a small side-stream that ran up toward
the hills in a northerly direction.

On we wound, now between a deep fringe of bamboo-trees, now between
open meadows, now between groups of thatched huts, and again through
clumps of fish-weirs, coming at last to a town called Cainta, nearly
an hour's row from the main stream. We stopped beneath an old stone
bridge that carried the main turnpike to Manila from the mountains,
and were greeted by all the towns-people, who were out basking in the
moonlight. They had evidently never seen a boat of the randan type
before, and expressed much curiosity at the whole equipment. Before
many moments the governor of the village appeared in the background and
asked us to put up at his residence. Ten willing natives seized upon
our goods and chattels, others pulled the boat up on the sloping bank,
and we adjourned to the small thatched house where lived our host. The
Filipinos gathered around outside, the privileged ones came in,
and everybody stared. The governor did everything for our amusement;
called in singing-girls, with an old chap who played on the guitar,
and otherwise arranged for our entertainment. At eleven he said "Shoo"
and everybody left. His wife gave us pieces of straw matting to sleep
on, and we stretched out upon one of those familiar floors of bamboo
slats which make one feel like a pair of rails on a set of cross-ties.

Later the family all turned in on the floor in the same manner,
and soon the cool night-wind was whistling up through the apertures.

Next morning, Sunday, a hot dusty ride of an hour and a half, over a
fearful road, continually ascending, brought us to Antipolo, a stupid
village commanding a grand view over the plains toward Manila and the
Bay beyond. To find out where we could get ponies to take us over
the rough foot-path to Bossa Bossa, we called at the big convento
where live the priests who officiate at the great white church,
whose tower is visible from the capital. Mass was just over, but
the stone corridors reverberated with loud jestings and the click of
billiard-balls above. On going upstairs, we broke in upon a group of
padres playing billiards, drinking beer, smoking cigars, and cracking
jokes ad libitum. They received us cordially, did not seem inclined to
talk much on religious subjects, but advised us where we might find the
necessary horseflesh. Not so much impressed with their spirituality
as with their courtesy, we left, got three ponies and two carriers,
and started out for the ride over the mountains.

The path was narrow and steep, the sun was hot, but the scenery
was good. On and up we went, until the view back and down over the
lower country became most extensive. Across brooks, over stones,
through gullies, and over trees carried us to the last rise, and
after passing through a grove of mangoes we came to the edge of the
ridge. Down below, in a fair little valley that looked like a big
wash-basin, lay Bossa Bossa, a small collection of houses shutting
in a big church without any steeple. Squarely up behind, on the
other side of the valley, rose the lofty peaks of the Cordilleras,
and the scene was good enough for the most critical.

On descending to the isolated little pueblo, we got accommodation
in the best house of the place, belonging to the native Governor,
and adjourned for rest and refreshments. All we had left to eat
in our baskets were two cold chickens, three biscuits, and four
bottles of soda. We sent out for more food, and in half an hour a
boy came back with the only articles that the market afforded--two
cocoanuts. The house in which we were seemed to be the only one
in town that possessed a chair, and, as it was, we found it more
comfortable to sit on the floor. This was the centre of the great
hunting-district, and all around in the hills and mountains deer and
wild boar were abundant. During the following night it got so cold
that it was possible to see one's breath, and without coverings as we
were, the whole party dreamed of arctic circles and polar bears. At
daylight next morning, numb with the cold, we sat down to a breakfast
consisting of carabao milk and hard bread made of pounded-rice flour,
and felt pretty fairly well removed from tropics and civilization. The
old church, which we could see out of the window, stood in a small
plaza, and the steeple, which consisted of four tall posts covered
by a small roof of thatch that protected a group of bells from the
morning dew, was off by itself in a corner of the churchyard. A long
clothes-line seemed to lead from the bells to a native house across
the street, and we learned that the sexton was accustomed to lie
in bed and ring the early morning chimes by wagging his right foot,
to which the string was attached.

On the return trip we met a large party of hunters coming up from
Manila for a week's deer-shooting, and by noon got back to Antipolo,
where we rested in the police-station to wait for our carromatas that
were to arrive at one o'clock.

The return to Cainta was as hot and dusty as the advance, but we were
pleasantly received by our friend the governor, who had instructed the
"boys" to have the refreshments ready for us. Later in the afternoon,
we prepared to return to the metropolis, and the whole village came
down to see us off. The governor refused to accept money for the use
of his house, we were all invited to come again, and amid a chorus
of cheers we shoved off for Manila.

The row down took only three hours, but on getting to the club,
at moonrise, it seemed as if we had been away three weeks.



X

    Exacting Harbor Regulations--The Eleanor takes French Leave--Loss
    of the Gravina--Something about the Native Ladies--Ways of
    Native Servants--A Sculptor who was a Dentist--Across the Bay to
    Orani--Children in Plenty--A Public Execution by the Garrote.


                                                             April 19th.

If a ship in the Bay desires to load or discharge cargo on Sundays
or religious holidays, permission can only be obtained through the
Archbishop, not the Governor-General. The Easter season has come and
gone, and as the Captain of the Esmeralda could not successfully play
on the feelings of that highest dignitary of the church, his steamer
had to lie idle for the holidays, and so miss connecting with the
Peking, which ought to have taken the United States mail.

The American yacht Eleanor dropped anchor in the Bay the other
afternoon, and it seemed good again to see the countenances of some
of our countrymen. It appears the Spanish officials did not consent
to treat her with the courtesy which a yacht or war-ship merits, and
went so far as to station carabineros on her decks, as is customary
on merchant-vessels to prevent smuggling. The Eleanor presented a
fine appearance as she lay among the fleet of more prosaic craft,
and her rails were decorated with Gatling guns put there for the
voyage up through the southern archipelagoes where pirates reign. On
the Wednesday before Holy Thursday, the owner of the Eleanor decided
to start for Hong Kong, that his guests might enjoy Easter Sunday in
those more civilized districts that surround the English cathedral. The
yacht, like any merchantman, was obliged to get her clearance papers
from the custom-house before she sailed, and to that end the Captain
went ashore shortly after midday. But the chief of the harbor office
had gone home for a siesta, remarking that he would not return until
Monday, and that any business coming up would have to wait till then
for attention.

"But I must have my papers," said the Captain, "for we leave to-night
for China."

"Them you cannot have till Monday," replied the hireling in charge.

"Then I shall have to sail without them," answered the Captain,
and he stormed out of the office to find our consul, whom he hoped
would straighten matters out. But the efforts of the consul were of no
avail. The king-pin of the harbor office refused to be interviewed, and
the Captain of the yacht returned aboard with fire in his eye. After
a council of war had been held, it was decided to sail, papers or
no papers, and the two soldiers who were pacing up and down the deck
were told the vessel was going to sea.

"But we won't let you go without your papers," said they.

"Papers or no papers, we are going to sea to-night," roared the
Captain. "And if you fellows don't git aboard into that boat mighty
quick, we'll be feeding you to the sharks."

The Gatling guns and show of rifles in the companion-way looked
eloquent, and the two carabineros, murmuring that they would surely be
killed for neglect of duty when they got ashore, were pushed down the
gangway into a row-boat as the Eleanor got her anchor up, and steamed
out of the Bay in the face of Providence and the southwest wind, almost
across the bows of the Spanish flagship Reina Cristina. A tremendous
diplomatic hullabaloo resulted. The consul was summoned, the guards
were blown up by the discharge of verbal powder, and it almost looked
as if our representative would have to send for war-ships. But the
matter has finally been straightened out, and the passengers on the
Eleanor have probably had their Easter Sunday at Hong Kong.

Curiously enough, for April, another typhoon has recently sailed
through the gap in the mountains to the north of our capital, and gone
swirling over to China, leaving in its wake a sunken steamer, which
foundered with her living freight of close to three hundred souls. Out
in front of the big steamship office across the way hundreds of natives
are inquiring for their brothers or husbands or children. It seems the
Gravina, a ship of the best part of a thousand tons, was coming down
from the north, heavily loaded with rice, tobacco, and native boys,
who, for not paying their tax bills, had been drafted into service for
the purpose of being sent against the savages in Mindanao. She had
only fifty more miles to go before reaching the entrance to Manila
Bay, when the barometer fell, the wind hauled to the northwest, and
the typhoon struck her. Her after-hatchway was washed overboard,
and, deep in the water as she was, the seas washed over into the
opening. As fast as fresh coverings were substituted they were ripped
off and carried away. The engines became disabled, the water rushed
into the boiler-room, putting out the fires, and the passengers, who
were locked into the cabins, were panic-stricken. The steamer began
to settle, and under the onslaught of a big sea, accompanied with
terrific wind, suddenly heeled over and foundered with all on board,
save three, the Captain standing on the bridge as she went down, crying
"Viva España." Two natives and a Spanish woman got clear of the ship
before she sucked them under, and floated about on an awning-pole
and a deck-table. Scarcely had the survivors got clear of one danger
before a shark swooped down on the Spanish woman, and, attracted by
her lighter color, bit off a limb. He paid no attention to the two
natives kicking out their feet near by, and, though neither of them
could swim a stroke, they managed to paddle ashore on their supports,
after being in the water two nights and a day.

These two men, the only survivors of the large passenger-list of
the Gravina, came into our office yesterday, and, after giving a
graphic description of the catastrophe, easily got us to loosen our
purse-strings. The accident is the worst that has occurred for many
a day, and there is a gloom over the whole city. The newspapers came
out with black borders, and many families are bereaved.



                                                               May 20th.

The more I see of these native servants, the more I appreciate that
they are great fabricators and excuse-makers. Your boy, for example,
every now and then wants an advance of five or ten dollars on his
salary. His father has just died, he tells you, and he needs the money
to pay for the saying of a mass for the repose of his soul. Then comes
another boy, who says that by his sister's marrying somebody or other
his aunt has become his grandmother, and he wants cinco pesos, to buy
her a present of a fighting-cock or something else. This matter of
relationship here in the Philippines is a most delicate one to keep
control of, and in the matter of deaths, births, and marriages among
your servants' relations it is very essential that you keep an accurate
list of the family tree, so that you may check up any tendency on their
part to kill off their fathers and mothers more than twice or three
times during the year for the purposes of self-aggrandizement. As an
example of this, my own boy actually had the cheek to ask me for the
loan of a dozen dollars to arrange for the repose of the soul of one
of his relatives I had once before assisted him to bury.

I seem to have gone a long way in my chronicles without speaking much
of the native "ladies" in Manila, and I owe them an apology. But one
of them the other day so swished her long pink calico train in front
of a pony that was cantering up to the club with a carromata in which
two of us were seated, that we were dumped out into a muddy rice-field
by the wayside. So the apology should be mutual. The costumes worn by
the women are far from simple and are made up of that brilliant skirt
with long train that is swished around and tucked into the belt in
front, the short white waist that, at times divorced from the skirt
below, has huge flaring sleeves of piña fibre which show the arms,
and the costly piña handkerchief which, folded on the diagonal,
encircles the neck. They wear no hats, often go without stockings,
and invariably walk as if they were carrying a pail of water on their
heads. They generally chew betelnuts, which color the mouth an ugly
red, smoke cigars, and put so much cocoanut-oil on their straight,
black hair that it is not pleasant to get to leeward of them in
an open tram-car. Otherwise they are generally the mothers of many
children and often play well on the harp.

I made a call on the local dentist yesterday, and found him sitting
on a wooden figure of St. Peter, carving some expression into the
face. I thought I had got into a carpenter's shop instead of a dental
establishment, and apologized for the intrusion. But the gentleman said
he was the dentist, and dropped his mallet and chisel to usher me into
his other operating-room. It is quite a jump from carving out features
of apostles to filling teeth, but on being assured that he had received
due instruction from an American dentist, I allowed him to proceed to
business. The whole operation lasted about seven and one-half minutes,
and by the time I had got out my dollar to pay him for the filling
I swallowed soon after, he was again at work on Biblical subjects.

All in all it doesn't pay to neglect one's health in the Philippines,
for the only English doctor that Manila boasts of has been here so
long that the climate has shrivelled up his memory. After he has
attended your serious case of fever or influenza for several days,
he will suddenly stroll in some morning and give you a sinking feeling
with the words:

"Oh, by the way, what is the matter with you?"

This is hardly comforting to one who considers himself a gone coon,
but in justice to our friend the medico, I must say he never displays
these symptoms to patients whose case is really getting desperate.

Tons and tons of water have been drunk up by the clouds of late,
and have just now begun to be unceremoniously dumped down upon flat
Manila, so that she has seemed likely to be washed into the sea. But
rain has been badly needed. A long heat has made many the worse for
wear, and the doctors have all said that unless the rain came soon,
an epidemic would probably break out.

Before the showers began, we improved the spare time of another Sunday
and bank-holiday by an aquatic excursion to some of the provincial
towns away across to the north side of Manila Bay. Don Capitan, the
purchaser of our fire-engine and the millionaire ship-owner who runs
several lines of steamers and store-houses, was our host, and invited
us to spend the days as his guests aboard the trim paddle-wheel
steamer that makes regular trips to the bay ports. Early on Sunday
morning we started from the quay in front of the big hemp-press,
and while the lower decks of the steamer were crowded with native
market-women, fishermen, and Chinese, the more sightly portions of
the upper promenade were reserved for us and provided with Vienna
chairs. Breakfast was served in a large chart-room connected with
the wheel-house, and was a fitting accompaniment to the fresh sail
out of the river through the shipping.

After discharging groups of passengers and freight into large
tree-trunk boats at several little villages, we came at noon to Orani,
the end of the outward run. The sister-in-law of the jet-black captain
owned the largest house in the village, and put it at our disposal. Our
advent had been heralded the day before, and a groaning table supported
a sumptuous repast.

There were four of us besides the half-caste family of the captain's
sister-in-law, and an old withered-up Spaniard who used to be governor
of the village. Various cats roamed around under the table, and on
top were toothpicks built up into cones, Spanish sausages, olives,
flowers, and fruit with an unpronounceable name, that looked like
freshly dug potatoes well covered with soil.

Beside each chair was a red clay jar, into which each participator
in the repast could from time to time transfer such articles as were
apparently unswallowable, and all around stood thick-lipped serving
boys, who looked as if they were only waiting to pour soup in one's
lap, or garlic gravy down one's neck. The feast began with soup,
and though the family could not well eat that with their knives,
they could the remaining courses. After soup came the puchero,
that mixture of beans, potatoes, cabbage, tough meat, pork, grass,
garlic, and grease, and I steeled myself for the fray. Next came
cooked hen with a limpid gravy accompaniment, and as the chicken had
been alive up to within a few moments of going into the kettle, the
question of attack was difficult. Then followed in succession cow's
tongue and roast goat, fish, salad with sliced tomatoes, and dessert
consisting of those fluffy affairs made of sugar and eggs which taste
like captivated sea-foam. As is always customary, cheese and fruit
were served together, but while a servant had to carry the fruit,
the cheese seemed inclined to walk around by itself.

In due season all the débris was removed. A boy went in pursuit of
the cheese and the table was cleared for strong coffee that looked
dangerous. The mortality, however, among the party was not great, and
all those who were able to get up from the table went to take a siesta.

At about four, we were awakened by the familiar noise coming from
the grinding of an ice-cream freezer, and afternoon tea, consisting
of chocolate, sandwiches, cakes and frozen pudding, was served half
an hour later. At five we were to take a drive along the shore in
the only two landaus that the place possessed, and since the padre
who lived close by in the big church had been good enough to lend us
one, we called on him in state, taking with us, for his refreshment,
a small caldron of ice-cream. His greeting was right cordial, and
after amusing us with stories of his many adventures, told in fluent
English, he dismissed us with his blessing.

Two of our party got into his carriage, while other two went in that
belonging to the governor of the town, and behind smart-stepping
ponies we bowled off up the road that led west along the Bay.

Old Malthus would have been interested to see the number of children
that exist in these provincial villages, and it really seemed as if at
least one hundred and two per cent. of the population were kids. About
eighteen infants could be seen leaning out of every window, in every
native hut, and in the streets, by-ways, and hedges they were thick
as locusts. Most of these children trailed little else than clouds
of glory, since clothes were scarce and expensive. An undershirt was
all that any of them seemed to wear, and only the dudes of the one
hundred and two per cent. wore that.

Much to our amusement, the loiterers by the wayside everywhere saluted
us with a "Buenos tardes, Padre," and it appeared that since the holy
father is the only one who drives regularly in a landau, the whole
population thought of course we must be he, or some of his saintly
brethren. And so we went until the gathering darkness compelled
a return to the starting-point. An elaborate supper, consisting
of hard-shelled crabs and other indigestibles, was followed by an
impromptu dance and musicale, and the evening ended in a burst of song.

Next morning the little steamer took us and a load of fish and
vegetables back to the capital.



                                                               July 6th.

Our modern journals, I know, rejoice to go into all the gruesome
details of crime and its punishment, and many of their readers take
as much morbid pleasure in poring over accounts of hangings, pictures
of the culprit, diagrams of his cell, and last conversations with the
jailer, as do the reporters in getting the information with which
to make up long, padded articles paid for by the column. I am not
morbidly curious myself, and trust you will not think I went to see
the capital punishment of two murderers for any other than purely
scientific reasons.

The two men who were executed on July 4th, just passed, were convicted
of chopping a Spaniard to pieces to get the few dollars which he kept
in his house, and to avenge themselves for harsh treatment. They were
nothing more than native boys, one twenty and the other twenty-two,
employed as servants in the family of the unfortunate victim. In
short, they were sentenced to death by the garrote, and to the
end of carrying out the decree a platform was erected in the open
parade-ground behind the Luneta. But the people in the neighborhood
objected. The women said they could not sleep from thinking over it,
and could not bear to have their children see the scaffold. General
Blanco was petitioned, and the place of execution was changed to a
broad avenue that leads down through the back part of Manila, by the
public slaughter-house. Surely the selection was appropriate.

On the fatal day, my colleague and I drove to the scene shortly after
sunrise, and crowds of people had already begun to come together
from the adjoining districts. Carriages of all classes rolled in from
all directions. Chinamen with cues, natives with their wives, women
with their infants, young girls and children, old men and maidens,
were all there, dressed in their best clothes.

I knew it would be useless to stand in the crowd, so I pushed over
toward a nipa hut, whose windows, which were filled with natives,
looked fairly out on the scaffold itself. In the name of my camera
I asked admittance, which was cordially accorded, since we were
"Ingleses," and on going to the upper floor we had a free view over
the crowd below toward the fatal platform, with its two posts to which
were attached two narrow seats. The crowd increased; they climbed
into bamboo-trees, which bent to the ground; they tried to surge up
on the lower framework of the house in which we were standing, and
only desisted as the proprietress slashed the encroachers right and
left with a bamboo-cane. The roofs of neighboring houses were black
with people, the windows swarmed, and the street below heaved. Our
hostess was pleasant, though fiery, and all she wanted in return for
our admission was a photograph of herself. The favor was granted,
and she gave us two chairs to sit in. The crowd increased, and the
guards had hard work keeping back the struggling mass. Every available
square inch of space was filled, and a sea of heads pulsated before us.

At last, cries of "aquí vienen" (here they come) arose, and the solemn
procession came into view after its long journey from the central jail,
over a mile away. First came the cavalry, then a group of priests,
among whom marched a man wearing an apron, carrying the sacred banner
of the Church, embroidered in black and gold. Next marched the prison
officials, and behind them came two small, open tip-carts, drawn by
ponies, in which travelled the condemned men, each supported by a
couple of priests who held crucifixes before their eyes, exhorting
them to confess and believe.

Following the carts, which were surrounded by a square of soldiers,
walked the executioner himself, a condemned criminal, but spared
from being executed by his choosing to accept the office of public
executioner. Last of all came a small company of soldiers, with
bayonetted guns, and the whole procession advanced to the foot of
the steps leading to the platform.

The garroting instrument seems to consist of a collar of brass,
whose front-piece opens on a hinge, and part of whose rear portion
is susceptible to being suddenly pushed forward by the impulse of a
big fourth-rate screw working through the post, something after the
system of a letter-press. The criminal sentenced to death is seated
on a small board attached to the upright, his neck is placed in the
brass collar, the front-piece is snapped to, and when all is ready, the
executioner merely gives the handle of the screw a complete turn. The
small moving back-piece in the collar is by this means suddenly
pushed forward against the top of the spine of the unfortunate,
and death comes instantaneously from the snapping of the spinal cord.

The executioners in Manila have always been themselves criminals,
and in breaking the spinal cords of their fellow-criminals, they
certainly pay a price for keeping their own vertebræ intact. Like
most men in their profession, however, they are well paid, and this
operator got sixteen dollars besides his regular monthly salary of
twenty, for each man on whom he turned the screw.

The sight of the unfortunate prisoners in the little carts, supported
by the priests, was pitiable in the extreme, and their faces bore
marks of unforgetable anguish. The priests ascended the platform,
and the man with the embroidered banner was careful to stand far away
at the side, for, according to the religious custom of the epoch,
a condemned man who merely happens to touch the standard of the
Church on his way to the scaffold cannot thereafter be executed,
but suffers only life imprisonment.

The executioner, in a derby hat, black coat, white breeches, and no
shoes, took his position behind the post at one side of the scaffold,
and the first victim was carried up out of the cart and seated on the
narrow bench. He was too weak to help himself or make resistance;
the black cloak was thrown over his shoulders, a rope tied around
his waist, the hood drawn down over his face, and the collar sprung
around his neck. Then, while two priests, with uncovered heads, held
their crucifixes up before him, and sprinkled holy water over the
hood and long, black death-robes, the chief prison official waved his
sword, the executioner gave the big screw-handle a sudden twist till
his arms crossed, and without a motion of any sort, except a slight
forward movement of the naked feet, the first of the condemned men
had solved the great problem.

The second poor wretch all the while cowered in the little cart, but
when his turn came he ascended the steps with more fortitude. After
he had put on the long black gown and hood, he seated himself on
the bench at the second post and the same process was repeated. But
the screw-thread seemed to be rusty, and one of the native officials
helped the executioner give the handle an additional turn, for which
he was promptly fined $20. The doctor tarried a few moments on the
scaffold, the priests read several prayers and shook holy water over
the immovable black-robed figures wedded to the posts, and then,
after one of the acolytes had nearly set fire to the flowing gown of
the head padre with his long candle, everyone descended.

The remnants of the procession returned to the prison, the troops
stationed themselves in a large hollow square around the scaffold, and
two dark, motionless figures locked to two posts were left in the hot
sun till noon, set out against the blue background of sky and clouds.

The crowds began to disperse, the young girls chatted and joked with
each other, the curious were satisfied, and the bamboo-trees were
left to lift their heads at leisure.

Thus began Manila's Fourth of July, and curiously enough, my watch
stopped and the cord-pull to my instantaneous camera broke just as
the screw was turned on the first man to be executed.



XI

    Lottery Chances and Mischances--An American Cigarette-Making
    Machine and its Fate--Closing up Business--How the
    Foreigner Feels Toward Life in Manila--Why the English
    and Germans Return--Restlessness among the Natives--Their
    Persecution--Departure and Farewell.


                                                            August 25th.

I lost $80,000 yesterday. Perhaps I have spoken of lottery tickets,
but have failed to say what an important institution in Manila the
"Lotería Nacional" really is. Drawings come each month over in the
Lottery Building in Old Manila, and everybody is invited to inspect the
fairness with which the prize-balls drop out of one revolving cylinder
like a peanut-roaster while the ticket-number balls slide out of the
other. The Government runs the lottery to provide itself with revenue,
and starts off by putting twenty-five per cent. of the value of the
ticket-issue into its own coffers. If all the tickets are not sold,
the Lotería Nacional keeps the balance for itself and promptly pockets
whatever prizes those tickets draw. Lottery tickets are everywhere,
in every window, and urchins of all sizes and genders moon about the
streets selling little twentieths to such as haven't the ten dollars to
buy a whole one. Guests at dinner play cards for lottery tickets paid
for by the losers, Englishmen bet lottery tickets that the Esmeralda
won't bring the mail from home, and natives dream of lucky numbers,
to go searching all over town for the pieces that bear the figures
of their visions.

Four months ago I got reckless enough to plank $10 on the counter of
the little shop, which, at the corner of the Escolta and the Puente de
España, is said to dispense the largest number of winning tickets, and
became the owner of number 1700. It sounded too even, too commonplace,
to be lucky, but as it was considered unlucky to change a ticket
once handed you, I trudged off and locked the paper in the safe. The
drawing came, and 1700 drew $100. Fortune seemed bound my way, so I
made arrangements (as so many buyers of lucky tickets do) to keep 1700
every month. My name was put in the paper as holding 1700, and for
three long months I remembered to send my servant to the Government
office ten days before the drawing, for the ticket reserved in my
name. But for three drawings it never tempted fortune. Last week I
forgot lottery and everything else in our further straggle with a new
piece of American machinery which was being introduced for the first
time to Manila, and woke up to-day to find it the occasion of the
drawing. My ticket--uncalled for--had been sold. At noon I walked by
the little tienda whose proprietor had first given me the fatal number,
to see him perched up on a step-ladder, posting up the big prizes,
as fast as they came to his wife by telephone. The space opposite the
first prize of $80,000 was empty. His wife handed him a paper. Into
the grooves he slid a figure 1, then a 7, and then two ciphers. Ye
gods--my ticket! The capital prize--not mine! $80,000 lost because I
forgot--and to think that the whole sum would have been paid in hard,
jingling coin, for which I should have had to send a dray or two! But
I am not quite so inconsolable as my friends the two Englishmen, who
kept their ticket for two years, and at last, discouraged, sold it,
Christmas-eve, to a native clerk, only to wake up next day and find
it had drawn $100,000. They have never been the same since. Nor have I.

And the machine that caused all the trouble--another whim of our rich
friend, the owner of the fire-engine, who saw from the catalogues
on our office table that American cigarette-machines could turn
out 125,000 pieces a day against some 60,000, the capacity of the
French mechanisms, which were in use in all the great factories in
Manila. He wanted one for his friend that ran the little tobacco-mill
up in a back street, for whom he furnished the capital. If it worked,
he was in the market for two dozen more, and vowed to knock spots
out of the big Compañía General and Fábrica Insular.

Out came our machine some weeks ago, and with it two skilled machinists
to make it work. The big companies pricked up their ears and appeared
clearly averse to seeing an American article introduced, which should
outclass the French machines for which they had contracted.

One morning the two machinists came to our office and handed us an
anonymous note which had been thrust under the door of their room at
the Hotel Oriente:

"Stop your work--it will be better for you."

It was perhaps not diplomatic, but we told them the story of the
two Protestant missionaries who some years before came to Manila
and attempted to preach their doctrines in the face of Catholic
disapproval. One morning they found a piece of paper beneath their
door in the same hotel, reading:

"You are warned to desist your preaching."

Paying no attention to the warning, they woke up two sunrises later
on to find another note beneath the door:

"Stop your work and leave the city, or take the consequences."

Still they heeded not; and a third paper under the door, some days
later, read:

"For the last time you are warned to leave. Heed this and beware of
neglect to do so."

But, like Christian soldiers, they were only the more zealous in
their work.

In two days more they were found dead in their rooms--poisoned.

Our friends, the engineers, were not soothed by a relation of these
facts, but kept on with their work. In three days they, too, got a
second warning:

"Leave your work and go away by the first steamer."

Things began to look serious, and the more timid mechanic of the two
could hardly be restrained from buying a ticket to Hong Kong.

When, however, in two more days, a third piece of yellow paper was
slipped into their rooms, bearing the pencilled words, "For the last
time you are told to take the next steamer," the matter assumed such
proportions that we arranged to have them see the Archbishop, whose
knowledge is far-reaching and whose power complete. The letters were
suddenly stopped and the work on the machine carried to a successful
completion.

Then came the day of trial, and invitations were extended to
interested persons to view the operation. The machine was started,
and the cigarettes began to sizzle out at the rate of nearly two
hundred to the minute. But scarcely had the run begun before there
was a sudden jar, several of the important parts gave way, and the
machine was a wreck. It had been tampered with, and it was evident
that the instigators of the anonymous letters had taken this more
effective means of stopping competition.

The parts could not be made in Manila; America was far away, and our
two machinists have just gone home in disgust.

Is it a wonder that I forgot the lottery drawing?

Somehow there are currents of trouble in the air, and some of the
old residents say they wouldn't be surprised to see the outbreak of
a revolution among the natives. Peculiar night-fires have been seen
now for some time, burning high up on the mountain-sides and suddenly
going out. There seems to be some anti-American sentiment among the
powers that be, and only last week matters came to a crisis by the
Government putting an embargo on the business of one of the largest
houses here, in which an American is a partner. Smuggled silk was
discovered coming ashore at night, supposedly from the Esmeralda, and
as that steamer was consigned to the firm in question, the authorities
demanded payment of a fine of $30,000. Our friends refused, the
officials closed the doors of their counting-room, our consul cabled
to Japan for war-ships again, the Governor-General read the telegram,
hasty summons were given to the parties concerned, heated arguments
followed, and the matter was finally smoothed over on the surface.

But there seems to be a distinct feeling against us, and we have
been instructed from home to prepare to leave--making arrangements
to turn our business into the hands of an English firm, who will act
as agents after our departure.



                                                         September 20th.

The cable has come, and we hope by next month to leave this land of
intrigue and iniquity. It has treated me well, but complications are
daily appearing in the business world, and if we get away without
suddenly being dragged into some civil dispute it will be delightful.

I am glad to have been here these two years nearly, but it is time to
thicken up one's blood again in cooler climes, and I feel these fair
islands are no place for the permanent residence of an American. We
seem to be like fish out of water here in the Far East, and as few
in numbers. The Englishman and the German are everywhere, and why
shouldn't they be? Their home-roosts are too small for them to perch
upon, and they are born with the instinct to fly from their nests to
some foreign land. But, America is so big that we ought not to feel
called upon to swelter in the tropics amid the fevers and the ferns,
and I, for one, am content to "keep off the grass" of these distant
foreign colonies.

The Englishman or German comes out here on a five-years' contract,
and generally runs up a debit balance the first year that keeps him
busy economizing the other four. At the end of his first season, he
wishes he were at home. At the end of the second, he has exhausted
all the novelties of the new situation. At the close of the third,
he has settled down to humdrum life. At the end of the fourth, he has
become completely divorced from home habits and modern ideals. And
at the close of the fifth, he goes home a true Filipino, though
thinking all the while he is glad to get away. He says he is never
coming back, but wiser heads know better. He has heard about America,
and goes home via the States, to see Niagara and New York. But his
first laundry-bill in San Francisco so scatters those depreciated
silver "Mexicans," which have lost half their value in being turned
into gold, that he takes the fast express to the Atlantic coast, and
leaves our shores by the first steamer. At home, his friends have all
got married or had appendicitis, and the bustle of London, the raw
rain-storms of the cold weather and the conventionality of life all
bring up memories of the Philippines, which now seem to lie off there
in the China Sea surrounded by a halo. And so, before a year is out, he
renews his contract, and at the end of a twelvemonth goes sailing back
Manilaward to take up the careless life where he left it, and grow old
in the Escolta or the Luneta. In London he paid his penny and took the
'bus, he lived in a dingy room, and packed his own bag. But in Manila,
with no more outlay, he owns his horse and carriage, he lives in a
spacious bungalow with many rooms, and he lets his servants wait on
him by inches. How do I know? Oh, because we've talked it all over,
now that our turn for departure comes next.

The whisperings of a restlessness among the natives continue, and it is
hard to see why indeed they do not rise up against their persecutors,
the tax-gatherers and the guardia civil. Ten per cent. of their
average earnings have to go to pay their poll-taxes, and if they
cannot produce the receipted bills from their very pockets on any
avenue or street-corner, to the challenge of the veterana, they
are hustled off to the cuartel, and you are minus your dinner or
your coachman. Once in the hands of the law, they are then drafted
into the native regiments for operations against those old enemies,
the Moros, in the fever-stricken districts of Mindanao, and their
wives or families are left to swallow Spanish reglamientos. They
have not forgotten their brothers, who, dragged down from the north,
went to the bottom in the typhoon which pushed the Gravina down. They
have not forgotten the execution in the public square. They remember
that the Spaniards address them with the servile pronoun "tu," not
"usted," and some day they may remember not to forget. They are not
quarrelsome, but they are treacherous; they are not fighters, but
when they run amuck they kill right and left. They do not seem to have
many wants save to be left alone, to be able to shake a cocoanut from
the palm for their morning's meal, or to collect the shakings from a
thousand trees and ship them to Manila; to collect the few strands
of fibre to sew the nipa thatch to the frame of their bamboo roof,
or to gather enough to fill a schooner for the capital; in fact,
to be able to work or not to work, and to know that the results of
their labor are to be theirs, not somebody else's.

But what has all this got to do with our hegira? These last days
have been replete with the labors attendant on breaking camp before
the long march. Clearings out of furniture, selling one's ponies and
carriages, closing up of books, shipping of one's cases and curios on
those hemp-ships that are to start on the long 20,000-mile voyage to
Boston, and trying to think of the things that have been left undone,
or ought to be done, have all gone to make the season a busy one.

Now that it has come down to actually leaving Manila, I begin to
feel the home sickness that comes from tearing one's self away from
the midst of friends and a congenial life. I shall miss the hearty
Englishmen with whom I rowed or played tennis or went into the
country. I shall miss the servants who got so little for making life
the easier. I shall miss the ponies, the dogs with the black tongues,
and the cats with the crooks in their tails; the big fire-engine
which we used to run, and which has now been varnished over to save
trouble in cleaning; the Luneta, with its soft breezes and good music;
the walks out on to the long breakwater to see the sunset, and the
hobnobbing with the old salts from the ships in the bay, who called
our office the little American oasis in the midst of a great desert of
foreign houses. But the clock has struck, and the Esmeralda ought early
next month to start us on the forty-day voyage back to God's country.



                                                            October 22d.

Is this sleep, or not sleep? Is it reality or fancy? Am I laboring
under a hallucination, a weird phantasmagoria, or are my powers
of appreciation, my efferent nerve-centres and their connecting
links, my sum total of receptive faculties, doing their duty? I feel
hypnotized. I kick myself to see if this is real, and am only led to
conclude it is by looking into my sewing-kit, where the needles are
rusty, the thread gone, and the depleted stock of suspender-buttons
wrongly shoved into the partition labelled "piping-cord." I never
did know what piping-cord was. My socks are holy, my handkerchiefs
have burst in tears, and my lingerie in general looks as if it had
been used for a Chinese ensign on one of the ships that fought in
the naval battle of the Yalu. For two years those garments have held
together under the peculiar processes of Philippine laundering, but
now that barbarians have once more got hold of them and subjected them
to modern treatment, they recognize the enemy and go to pieces. And so
the condition of my clothes leads me to believe I am awake, although
everything else suggests the dream.

Actually away from Manila, actually eating food that is food once
more, actually sleeping on springs and mattresses, putting on heavier
clothes, talking the English language, meeting civilized people, and
realizing what it means to be homeward bound! It seems unreal after
those two years of Manila life that was so different, so divorced
from the busy life of the western world; much more unreal than did
the new Philippine environment appear two years ago, after jumping
into it fresh from God's country, as the Captain called it.

Here we are, eight days out from Manila, steaming up through that
far-famed inland sea of Japan, on the good ship Coptic, bound for San
Francisco; and for the life of me those twenty-four moons just passed
all seem to huddle into yesterday. Surely it was only the day before
that the China was taking me and my trunks the other way. And so it
takes but eight short days of new experiences, new food, new air,
to efface completely the effect of seven hundred yesterdays in the
Philippines. Those whole seven hundred seem now as but one, and when
I think of all the housekeeping, the bookkeeping, the hemp-pressing,
and the cheerful putting up with all sorts of things, they all seem
to be playing leapfrog with each other in the dream of a night,
and I wake up to find the pines of Japan lending a certain cordial
to the air that is very grateful. We never knew what we were missing
in Manila in the slight matter of eating alone until we got over to
Hong Kong again, and it is perhaps just as well we didn't. To think
of the "dead hen," as they call it, and rice, the daily couple of
eggs, the fried potatoes, and the banana-fritters on which we have
tried to fatten our frames, and then look at the bill of fare on the
Coptic! We exiles from Manila have gained over five pounds in these
eight days, and would almost go through another two years in the
haunts of heathendom for the sake of again living through a sundry
few days like the past eight, in which the inner man wakes up to
see his opportunities, and makes up for lost time on soups that are
not all rice and water, on fish that is not fishy, on chickens that
are not boiled almost alive, on roasts that taste not of garlic,
on vegetables that are something more than potatoes, on butter that
is not axle-grease, and on puddings and pies that are not made of
chopped blotting paper and flavored with pomatum sauces.

An exuberance of spirit must be forgiven, for so welcome is the change
from the old cultivated Manila contentment that the present burst of
native enthusiasm is but natural. Not that I am playing false to the
Malay capital--for let it be said that when once you have forgotten
the good things at home the articles which that Pearl of the Orient
had to furnish went well enough indeed--but that after schooling one's
taste to things of low degree it is peculiarly melodramatic to return
to things of high estate.

Our send-off from Manila on the 14th was as gay as the sad occasion
could warrant, and several launch-loads of the "bosses and the boys"
worried out to bid us a last adios. The Esmeralda was to have the honor
of taking us away from the place to which she had brought us, and I
was thoroughly prepared to go through the interesting process that was
needed finally to straighten me out after the peculiar twisting which
the voyage from Manila to Hong Kong had given me two years before.

The sunset over the mountains at the mouth of the bay was eminently
fitting in its concluding ceremonies, and it seemed to do its best
for us on this last evening in the Philippines. The many ships in
the fleet lay quietly swinging at their anchors. The breeze from the
early northeast monsoon blew gently off the shore, and Manila never
looked fairer than she did on that evening, with her white churches
and towers backed up against the tall blue velvet mountains, and her
whole long low-lying length lifted, as it were, into mid-air by the
smooth sea-mirror between us and the shore.

Captain Tayler was as jovial and entertaining as ever, and the colony
had no reason to regret being participators in the farewell. We
well realized that our departure was an epoch in the life of the
little Anglo-Saxon colony, and in a city where important events are
registered as occurring "just after Smith arrived" or "just before
Jones went away," it was essential to give the occasion weight enough
to carry it down into the weeks succeeding our departure.

Our native servants came off with the bags and baggage and seemed to
show as much feeling as they had ever exhibited in the receipt of a
Christmas present or a box on the ear. And some of our old Chinese
friends, from whom we bought bales and bales of hemp in the days gone
by, came too, bringing with them presents of silk and tea. Everybody
looked sad and thirsty, and made frequent pilgrimages to the saloon
in quest of the usual good-by stimulant.

The Esmeralda panted to get away, and we had our last words with the
motley little assemblage. We were seeing Manila and the most of them
for the last time, and I confess both they and the shore often looked
gurgled up in the blur that somehow formed in our eyes.

The sun sank below the horizon; the swift darkness that in the tropics
hurries after it, brought the electric lights' twinkling gleam out
on the Luneta and the long Malecon road running along in front of
the old city, from the promenade to the river. The revolving light
on the breakwater cast a red streak over the river. The white eye
on Corregidor, far away, blinked as the night began, and, just as
the warning of "all ashore" was sounded, the faint strains of the
artillery band playing on the Luneta floated out on the breeze over
the sleepy waters of the Bay.

Our friends clambered aboard the launch, the customs officers took
a last taste of the refreshment that Captain Tayler gives them to
make them genial, the anchor was hoisted, and, with cheers from the
tug and the screeching of launch-whistles, the Esmeralda put to sea,
bearing with her, in us two, half the American colony in Manila and
the only American firm in the Philippines.



CONCLUSION


If one has thoughts of going out to the Philippines he should learn how
to speak Spanish, and how to accept, "cum grano salis," descriptions
of the country, either too glowing or too gloomy. Some have gone
to Manila and liked it, others have made their retreat homeward
echo with tales of weary woe about this Malay capital. To each it
seems to mean something different according as he kept his health
or lost it, as he fell in with the life or didn't, and as he was
successful or unsuccessful in that for which he left the upper side
of the globe. Before buying one's ticket for the Far East one must
not be moved by the suggestions of "thoughtful" persons, who say you
are going to the ends of the earth and must therefore take all sorts
of clothes, pianos, and means of subsistence. Accept their sympathy
but not always their advice, and if Manila be your destination, be
assured you are not bound for an altogether isolated village. They
may do some things out there which are not down on the programme of
a day's routine in the United States. The fire-engines may be drawn
by oxen, the natives--contrary to Biblical suggestion--may build the
roof to their shanties first and make arrangements for underpinning
afterward; women may smoke cigars, and snakes may be more effective
rat-catchers than cats or terriers. But there are shops in Manila,
tailors, drug-stores, parks, tramways, churches, electric lights,
schools, and theatres which are not altogether unlike those in the
Western world.

And, in times of peace, the capital is not an altogether bad sort of
a place to live in, though I can't say as much for some of the lesser
towns. One may be susceptible to fever, in which case he must avoid
sleeping near the ground or going about much in the sun. He may suffer
from prickly heat, in which case he will not want to take oatmeal,
drink chocolate, eat mangoes, or smoke pipes. Or he may become a
mark for sprue--that peculiarly oriental disease which seems to
destroy the lining to one's interior--in which case the quicker he
takes the steamer for Japan or for 'Frisco the better. He may run
against small-pox, but ought not to take it. He will have a cold
or two, but won't hear of cholera or find a native word for yellow
fever. Should the wind strike in from the northwest during the wet
season, he must look out for typhoons, and not be surprised if,
like my friend the Englishman, he some day finds only his upright
piano on the spot where his light-built house stood--the rest of his
things having hastened to the next village. If he feels the ground
getting restless he must look out for the oil lamps on the table,
or the tiles on the roof. He must not take too cold baths, sleep in
silk pajamas, or walk when he has the "peseta" to ride. And in all
things he will be better off by remembering to apply that motto of
the ancient Greeks, mêden agan--in nothing to excess.

Manila is the new Mecca, and for some time to come she is going to
be looked at on the map, talked about at the dinner-table and by the
fireside, and written up from all quarters. At present this Pearl of
the Orient is but a jewel in the rough, but with good men to make her
laws, and her gates wide open to the pilgrims of the world, she soon
should shine as brilliantly as any city in the Far East.





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