The Inhabitants of the Philippines




Signed: Yours very truly, Frederic H Sawyer

Original Title Page.
The Inhabitants of the Philippines
Frederic H. Sawyer
Memb. Inst. C.E., Memb. Inst. N.A.
Sampson Low, Marston and Company Limited
St. Dunstan’s House
Fetter Lane, Fleet Street, E.C.

Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Limited,
Stamford Street and Charing Cross. [v]



The writer feels that no English book does justice to the natives of the Philippines, and this conviction has impelled him to publish his own more favourable estimate of them. He arrived in Manila with a thorough command of the Spanish language, and soon acquired a knowledge of the Tagal dialect. His avocations brought him into contact with all classes of the community—officials, priests, land-owners, mechanics, and peasantry: giving him an unrivalled opportunity to learn their ideas and observe their manners and customs. He resided in Luzon for fourteen years, making trips either on business or for sport all over the Central and Southern Provinces, also visiting Cebú, Iloilo, and other ports in Visayas, as well as Calamianes, Cuyos, and Palawan.

Old Spanish chroniclers praise the good breeding of the natives, and remark the quick intelligence of the young.

Recent writers are less favourable; Cañamaque holds them up to ridicule, Monteverde denies them the possession of any good quality either of body or mind.

Foreman declares that a voluntary concession of justice is regarded by them as a sign of weakness; other writers judge them from a few days’ experience of some of the cross-bred corrupted denizens of Manila.

Mr. Whitelaw Reid denounces them as rebels, savages, and treacherous barbarians.

Mr. McKinley is struck by their ingratitude for American kindness and mercy. [vi]

Senator Beveridge declares that the inhabitants of Mindanao are incapable of civilisation.

It seems to have been left to French and German contemporary writers, such as Dr. Montano and Professor Blumentritt to show a more appreciative, and the author thinks, a fairer spirit, than those who have requited the hospitality of the Filipinos by painting them in the darkest colours. It will be only fair to exempt from this censure two American naval officers, Paymaster Wilcox and Mr. L. S. Sargent, who travelled in North Luzon and drew up a report of what they saw.

As regards the accusation of being savages, the Tagals can claim to have treated their prisoners of war, both Spaniards and Americans with humanity, and to be fairer fighters than the Boers.

The writer has endeavoured to describe the people as he found them. If his estimate of them is more favourable than that of others, it may be that he exercised more care in declining to do business with, or to admit to his service natives of doubtful reputation; for he found his clients punctual in their payments, and his employés, workmen and servants, skilful, industrious, and grateful for benefits bestowed.

If the natives fared badly at the hands of recent authors, the Spanish Administration fared worse, for it has been painted in the darkest tints, and unsparingly condemned.

It was indeed corrupt and defective, and what government is not? More than anything, it was behind the age, yet it was not without its good points.

Until an inept bureaucracy was substituted for the old paternal rule, and the revenue quadrupled by increased taxation, the Filipinos were as happy a community as could be found in any colony. The population greatly multiplied; they lived in competence, if not in affluence; cultivation was extended, and the exports steadily increased.

The natives were secured the perpetual usufruct of the [vii]land they tilled, they were protected against the usurer, that curse of East and West.

In guaranteeing the land to the husbandman, the “Laws of the Indies” compare favourably with the law of the United States regarding Indian land tenure. The Supreme Court in 1823 decided that “discovery gives the dominion of the land discovered to the States of which the discoverers were the subjects.”

It has been almost an axiom with some writers that no advance was made or could be made under Spanish rule.

There were difficulties indeed. The Colonial Minister, importuned on the one hand by doctrinaire liberals, whose crude schemes of reform would have set the Archipelago on fire, and confronted on the other by the serried phalanx of the Friars with their hired literary bravos, was very much in the position of being between the devil and the deep sea, or, as the Spaniards phrase it “entre la espada y la pared.”

Even thus the Administration could boast of some reforms and improvements.

The hateful slavery of the Cagayanes had been abolished; the forced cultivation of tobacco was a thing of the past, and in all the Archipelago the corvée had been reduced.

A telegraph cable connecting Manila with Hong Kong and the world’s telegraph system had been laid and subsidized. Telegraph wires were extended to all the principal towns of Luzon; lines of mail steamers to all the principal ports of the Archipelago were established and subsidized. A railway 120 miles long had been built from Manila to Dagupan under guarantee. A steam tramway had been laid to Malabon, and horse tramways through the suburbs of Manila. The Quay walls of the Pasig had been improved, and the river illuminated from its mouth to the bridge by powerful electric arc lights.

Several lighthouses had been built, others were in progress. A capacious harbour was in construction, although unfortunately defective in design and execution. [viii]The Manila waterworks had been completed and greatly reduced the mortality of the city. The schools were well attended, and a large proportion of the population could read and write. Technical schools had been established in Manila and Iloilo, and were eagerly attended. Credit appears to be due to the Administration for these measures, but it is rare to see any mention of them.

As regards the Religious Orders that have played so important a part scarcely a word has been said in their favour. Worcester declares his conviction that their influence is wholly bad. However they take a lot of killing and seem to have got round the Peace Commission and General Otis.

They are not wholly bad, and they have had a glorious history. They held the islands from 1570 to 1828, without any permanent garrison of Spanish regular troops, and from 1828 to 1883 with about 1500 artillerymen. They did not entirely rely upon brute force. They are certainly no longer suited to the circumstances of the Philippines having survived their utility. They are an anachronism. But they have brought the Philippines a long way on the path of civilisation. Let us be just; what British, French, or Dutch colony, populated by natives, can compare with the Philippines as they were till 1895?

And what about American rule? It has begun unfortunately, and has raised a feeling of hatred in the natives that will take a generation to efface. It will not be enough for the United States to beat down armed resistance. A huge army must be maintained to keep the natives down. As soon as the Americans are at war with one of the Great Powers, the natives will rise; whenever a land-tax is imposed there will be an insurrection.

The great difference between this war and former insurrections is that now for the first time the natives have rifles and ammunition, and have learned to use them. Not all the United States Navy can stop them from bringing in fresh supplies. Unless some arrangement is come to [ix]with the natives, there can be no lasting peace. Such an arrangement I believe quite possible, and that it could be brought about in a manner satisfactory to both parties.

This would not be, however, on the lines suggested in the National Review of September under the heading, “Will the United States withdraw from the Philippines?”

Three centuries of Spanish rule is not a fit preparation for undertaking the government of the Archipelago. But Central and Southern Luzon, with the adjacent islands, might be formed into a State whose inhabitants would be all Tagals and Vicols, and the northern part into another State whose most important peoples would be the Pampangos, the Pangasinanes, the Ilocanos, and the Cagayanes; the Igorrotes and other heathen having a special Protector to look after their interests.

Visayas might form a third State, all the inhabitants being of that race, whilst Mindanao and Southern Palawan should be entirely governed by Americans like a British Crown Colony.

The Sulu Sultanate could be a Protectorate similar to North Borneo or the Malay States. Manila could be a sort of Federal District, and the Consuls would be accredited to the President’s representative, the foreign relations being solely under his direction. There should be one tariff for all the islands, for revenue only, treating all nations alike, the custom houses, telegraphs, post offices, and lighthouse service being administered by United States officials, either native or American. With power thus limited, the Tagals, Pampangos, and Visayas might be entrusted with their own affairs, and no garrisons need be kept, except in certain selected healthy spots, always having transports at hand to convey them wherever they were wanted. If, as seems probable, Mr. McKinley should be re-elected, I hope he will attempt some such arrangement, and I heartily wish him success in pacifying this sorely troubled country, the scene of four years continuous massacre. [x]

The Archipelago is at present in absolute anarchy, the exports have diminished by half, and whereas we used to travel and camp out in absolute security, now no white man dare show his face more than a mile from a garrison.

Notwithstanding this, some supporters of the Administration in the States are advising young men with capital that there is a great opening for them as planters in the Islands.

There may be when the Islands are pacified, but not before.

To all who contemplate proceeding to or doing any business, or taking stock in any company in the Philippines, I recommend a careful study of my book. They cannot fail to benefit by it.

Red Hill, Oct. 15th, 1900. [xi]



The author desires to express his hearty thanks to all those who have assisted him.

To Father Joaquin Sancho, S.J., Procurator of Colonial Missions, Madrid, for the books, maps and photographs relating to Mindanao, with permission to use them.

To Mr. H. W. B. Harrison of the British Embassy, Madrid, for his kindness in taking photographs and obtaining books.

To Don Francisco de P. Vigil, Director of the Colonial Museum, Madrid, for affording special facilities for photographing the Anitos and other curiosities of the Igorrotes.

To Messrs. J. Laurent and Co., Madrid, for permission to reproduce interesting photographs of savage and civilised natives.

To Mr. George Gilchrist of Manila, for photographs, and for the use of his diary with particulars of the Tagal insurrection, and for descriptions of some incidents of which he was an eye-witness.

To Mr. C. E. de Bertodano, C.E., of Victoria Street, Westminster, for the use of books of reference and for information afforded.

To Mr. William Harrison of Billiter Square, E.C., for the use of photographs of Vicols cleaning hemp.

To the late Mr. F. W. Campion of Trumpets Hill, Reigate, for the photograph of Salacot and Bolo taken from very fine specimens in his possession, and for the use of other photographs. [xii]

To Messrs. Smith, Bell and Co. of Manila, for the very complete table of exports which they most kindly supplied.

To Don Sixto Lopez of Balayan, for the loan of the Congressional Record, the Blue Book of the 55th Congress, 3rd Session, and other books.

To the Superintendent of the Reading Room and his Assistants for their courtesy and help when consulting the old Spanish histories in the noble library of the British Museum. [xiii]


Alphabetical List of Works Cited, Referred to, or Studied whilst Preparing this Work.

Abella, Enrique—‘Informes’ (Reports).

Anonymous—‘Catálogo Oficial de la Exposicion de Filipinas’; ‘Filipinas: Problema Fundamental,’ 1887; ‘Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas,’ 1595; ‘Las Filipinas se pierden,’ a scurrilous Spanish pamphlet, Manila, 1841; ‘Aviso al publico,’ account of an attempt by the French to cause Joseph Bonaparte to be acknowledged King of the Philippines.

Barrantes Vicente—‘Guerras piraticas de Filipinas contra Mindanaos y Joloanos,’ Madrid, 1878, and other writings.

Becke, Louis—‘Wild Life in Southern Seas.’

Bent, Mrs. Theodore—‘Southern Arabia.’

Blanco, Padre—‘Flora Filipina.’

Blumentritt, Professor Ferdinand—‘Versuch einer Ethnographie der Philippinen’ (Petermann’s).

Brantôme, Abbé de—(In Motley’s ‘Rise of the Dutch Republic.’)

Cavada, Agustin de la—‘Historia, Geografica, Geologica, y estadistica de Filipinas,’ Manila, 1876, 1877.

Centeno, José—‘Informes’ (Reports).

Clifford, Hugh—‘Studies in Brown Humanity,’ ‘In Court and Kampong.’

Comyn, Tomas de.

Crawford, John—‘History of the Indian Archipelago,’ Edinburgh, 1820; ‘Descriptive Dictionary of the Indian Islands,’ London, 1856.

Cuming, E. D.—‘With the Jungle Folk.’

Dampier, William—(from Pinkerton).

De Guignes—‘Voyage to Pekin, Manila, and Isle of France.’

D’Urville, Dumont.

Foreman, John—‘The Philippine Islands,’ first and second editions.

Garcilasso, Inca de la Vega—‘Comentarios Réales.’

Gironière, Paul de la—‘Vingt ans aux Philippines.’

Jagor, F.—‘Travels in the Philippines.’

Jesuits, Society of—‘Cartas de los P.P. de la Cia de Jesus de la mision de Filipinas,’ Cuads ix y x (1891–95); ‘Estados Generales,’ Manila, 1896, 1897; ‘Mapa Politica Hidrografica’; ‘Plano de los Distritos 2o y 5o de Mindanao’; ‘Mapa de Basilan.’

Mas, Sinibaldo de—‘Informe sobre el estado de las Yslas Filipinas en 1842.’ [xiv]

Montano, Dr. J.—‘Voyage aux Philippines,’ Paris, 1886.

Monteverde, Colonel Federico de—‘La Division Lachambre.’

Morga, Antonio de—‘Sucesos de las Yslas Filipinas,’ Mejico, 1609.

Motley, John Lothrop—‘Rise of the Dutch Republic.’

Navarro, Fr. Eduardo—‘Filipinas. Estudio de Asuntos de momento,’ 1897.

Nieto José—‘Mindanao, su Historia y Geographia,’ 1894.

Palgrave, W. G.—‘Ulysses, or Scenes in Many Lands’; ‘Malay Life in the Philippines.’

Petermann—‘Petermanns Mitth.’, Ergänzungsheft Nr 67, Gotha, 1882.

Pigafetta—‘Voyage Round the World,’ Pinkerton, vol. ii.

Prescott—‘Conquest of Peru.

Posewitz, Dr. Theodor—‘Borneo, its Geology and Mineral Resources.’

Rathbone—‘Camping and Tramping in Malaya.’

Reyes, Ysabelo de los—Pamphlet.

Rizal—‘Noli me Tangere.’

St. John, Spenser—‘Life in the Forests of the Far East.’

Torquemada, Fray Juan—‘Monarquia Indiana.’

Traill, H. D.—‘Lord Cromer.’

Vila, Francisco—‘Filipinas,’ 1880.

Wallace, Alfred R.—‘The Malay Archipelago.’

Wingfield, Hon. Lewis—‘Wanderings of a Globe-trotter.’

Worcester, Dean C.—‘The Philippine Islands and their People.’

Younghusband, Major—‘The Philippines and Round About.’


Magazine Articles.

Scribner (George F. Becker)—‘Are the Philippines Worth Having?’

Blackwood (Anonymous)—‘The Case of the Philippines.’

Tennie, G. Claflin (Lady Cook)—‘Virtue Defined’ (New York Herald).



President McKinley: To the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment, Pittsburgh.

Mr. Whitelaw Reid: To the Miami University, Ohio.

Senator Hoar, in the Senate.

Blue Book—55th Congress, 3rd Session, Doc. No. 62, Part I. [xi]



Introductory and Descriptive.

Chapter I.

Extent, Beauty and Fertility.      Pages

Extent, beauty and fertility of the Archipelago—Variety of landscape—Vegetation—Mango trees—Bamboos      1–6

Chapter II.

Spanish Government.

Slight sketch of organization—Distribution of population—Collection of taxes—The stick      7–13

Chapter III.

Six Governors-General.

Moriones—Primo de Rivera—Jovellar—Terreros—Weyler—Despujols      14–23

Chapter IV.

Courts of Justice.

Alcaldes—The Audiencia—The Guardia Civil—Do not hesitate to shoot—Talas      24–30

Chapter V.

Tagal Crime and Spanish Justice.

The murder of a Spaniard—Promptitude of the Courts—The case of Juan de la Cruz—Twelve years in prison waiting trial—Piratical outrage in Luzon—Culprits never tried; several die in prison      31–47 [xvi]


Chapter VI.

Causes of Tagal Revolt.

Corrupt officials—“Laws of the Indies”—Philippines a dependency of Mexico, up to 1800—The opening of the Suez Canal—Hordes of useless officials—The Asimilistas—Discontent, but no disturbance—Absence of crime—Natives petition for the expulsion of the Friars—Many signatories of the petition punished      48–56

Chapter VII.

The Religious Orders.

The Augustinians—Their glorious founder—Austin Friars in England—Scotland—Mexico—They sail with Villalobos for the Islands of the Setting Sun—Their disastrous voyage—Fray Andres Urdaneta and his companions—Foundation of Cebú and Manila with two hundred and forty other towns—Missions to Japan and China—The Flora Filipina—The Franciscans—The Jesuits—The Dominicans—The Recollets—Statistics of the religious orders in the islands—Turbulence of the friars—Always ready to fight for their country—Furnish a war ship and command it—Refuse to exhibit the titles of their estates in 1689—The Augustinians take up arms against the British—Ten of them fall on the field of battle—Their rectories sacked and burnt—Bravery of the archbishop and friars in 1820—Father Ibañez raises a battalion—Leads it to the assault of a Moro Cotta—Execution of native priests in 1872—Small garrison in the islands—Influence of the friars—Their behaviour—Herr Jagor—Foreman—Worcester—Younghusband—Opinion of Pope Clement X.—Tennie C. Claflin—Equality of opportunity—Statesque figures of the girls—The author’s experience of the Friars—The Philippine clergy—Who shall cast the first stone!—Constitution of the orders—Life of a friar—May become an Archbishop—The Chapter      57–70

Chapter VIII.

Their Estates.

Malinta and Piedad—Mandaloyan—San Francisco de Malabon—Irrigation works—Imus—Calamba—Cabuyao—Santa Rosa Biñan—San Pedro Tunasan—Naic—Santa Cruz—[xvii]Estates a bone of contention for centuries—Principal cause of revolt of Tagals—But the Peace Commission guarantee the Orders in possession—Pacification retarded—Summary—The Orders must go!—And be replaced by natives      71–78

Chapter IX.

Secret Societies.

Masonic Lodges—Execution or exile of Masons in 1872—The “Asociacion Hispano Filipina”—The “Liga Filipina”—The Katipunan—Its programme      79–83

Chapter X.

The Insurrection of 1896–97.

Combat at San Juan del Monte—Insurrection spreading—Arrival of reinforcements from Spain—Rebel entrenchments—Rebel arms and artillery—Spaniards repulsed from Binacáyan—and from Noveleta—Mutiny of Carabineros—Prisoners at Cavite attempt to escape—Iniquities of the Spanish War Office—Lachambre’s division—Rebel organization—Rank and badges—Lachambre advances—He captures Silang—Perez Dasmariñas—Salitran—Anabo II.      84–96

Chapter XI.

The Insurrection of 1896–97—continued.

The Division encamps at San Nicolas—Work of the native Engineer soldiers—The division marches to Salitran—Second action at Anabo II.—Crispulo Aguinaldo killed—Storming the entrenchments of Anabo I.—Burning of Imus by the rebels—Proclamation by General Polavieja—Occupation of Bacoor—Difficult march of the division—San Antonio taken by assault—Division in action with all its artillery—Capture of Noveleta—San Francisco taken by assault—Heavy loss of the Tagals—Losses of the division—The division broken up—Monteverde’s book—Polaveija returns to Spain—Primo de Rivera arrives to take his place—General Monet’s butcheries—The pact of Biak-na-Bato—The 74th Regiment joins the insurgents—The massacre of the Calle Camba—Amnesty for torturers—Torture in other countries      97–108

Chapter XII.

The Americans in the Philippines.

Manila Bay—The naval battle of Cavite—General Aguinaldo—Progress of the Tagals—The Tagal Republic—Who were the aggressors?—Requisites for a settlement—Scenes of drunkenness—The estates of the religious orders to be [xviii]restored—Slow progress of the campaign—Colonel Funston’s gallant exploits—Colonel Stotsenburg’s heroic death—General Antonio Luna’s gallant rally of his troops at Macabebe—Reports manipulated—Imaginary hills and jungles—Want of co-operation between Army and Navy—Advice of Sir Andrew Clarke—Naval officers as administrators—Mr. Whitelaw Reid’s denunciations—Senator Hoar’s opinion—Mr. McKinley’s speech at Pittsburgh—The false prophets of the Philippines—Tagal opinion of American Rule—Señor Mabini’s manifesto—Don Macario Adriatico’s letter—Foreman’s prophecy—The administration misled—Racial antipathy—The curse of the Redskins—The recall of General Otis—McArthur calls for reinforcements—Sixty-five thousand men and forty ships of war—State of the islands—Aguinaldo on the Taft Commission      109–123

Chapter XIII.

Native Admiration for America.

Their fears of a corrupt government—The islands might be an earthly paradise—Wanted, the man—Rajah Brooke—Sir Andrew Clarke—Hugh Clifford—John Nicholson—Charles Gordon—Evelyn Baring—Mistakes of the Peace Commission—Government should be a Protectorate—Fighting men should be made governors—What might have been—The Malay race—Senator Hoar’s speech—Four years’ slaughter of the Tagals      124–128

Resources of the Philippines.

Chapter XIV.

Resources of the Philippines.

At the Spanish conquest—Rice—the lowest use the land can be put to—How the Americans are misled—Substitutes for rice—Wheat formerly grown—Tobacco—Compañia General de Tabacos—Abacá—Practically a monopoly of the Philippines—Sugar—Coffee—Cacao—Indigo—Cocoa-nut oil—Rafts of nuts—Copra—True localities for cocoa palm groves Summary—More sanguine forecasts—Common-sense view      129–138

Chapter XV.


Value exaggerated—Difficulties of labour and transport—Special sawing machinery required—Market for timber in the islands—Teak not found—Jungle produce—Warning to investors in companies—Gutta percha      139–142 [xix]

Chapter XVI.

The Minerals.

Gold: Dampier—Pigafetta—De Comyn—Placers in Luzon—Gapan—River Agno—The Igorrotes—Auriferous quartz from Antaniac—Capunga—Pangutantan—Goldpits at Suyuc—Atimonan—Paracale—Mambulao—Mount Labo—Surigao River Siga—Gigaquil, Caninon-Binutong, and Cansostral Mountains—Misamis—Pighoulugan—Iponan—Pigtao—Dendritic gold from Misamis—Placer gold traded away surreptitiously—Cannot be taxed—Spanish mining laws—Pettifogging lawyers—Prospects for gold seekers. Copper: Native copper at Surigao and Torrijos (Mindoro)—Copper deposits at Mancayan worked by the Igorrotes—Spanish company—Insufficient data—Caution required. Iron: Rich ores found in the Cordillera of Luzon—Worked by natives—Some Europeans have attempted but failed—Red hematite in Cebú—Brown hematite in Paracale—Both red and brown in Capiz—Oxydised iron in Misamis—Magnetic iron in San Miguel de Mayumo—Possibilities. Coal (so called): Beds of lignite upheaved—Vertical seams at Sugud—Reason of failure—Analysis of Masbate lignite. Various minerals: Galena—Red lead—Graphite—Quicksilver—Sulphur Asbestos—Yellow ochre—Kaolin, Marble—Plastic clays—Mineral waters      143–157

Chapter XVII.

Manufactures and Industries.

Cigars and cigarettes—Textiles—Cotton—Abacá—Júsi—Rengue—Nipis—Saguran—Sinamáy—Guingon—Silk handkerchiefs—Piña—Cordage—Bayones—Esteras—Baskets—Lager beer—Alcohol—Wood oils and resins—Essence of Ylang-ilang—Salt—Bricks—Tiles—Cooking-pots—Pilones—Ollas—Embroidery—Goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ work—Salacots—Cocoa-nut oil—Saddles and harness—Carromatas—Carriages—Schooners—Launches—Lorchas—Cascos—Pontines—Bangcas—Engines and boilers—Furniture—Fireworks—Lanterns—Brass Castings—Fish breeding—Drying sugar—Baling hemp—Repacking wet sugar—Oppressive tax on industries—Great future for manufactures—Abundant labour—Exceptional intelligence      158–163

Chapter XVIII.

Commercial and Industrial Prospects.

Philippines not a poor man’s country—Oscar F. Williams’ letter—No occupation for white mechanics—American merchants unsuccessful in the East—Difficulties of living [xx]amongst Malays—Inevitable quarrels—Unsuitable climate—The Mali-mali or Sakit-latah—The Traspaso de hambre—Chiflados—Wreck of the nervous system—Effects of abuse of alcohol—Capital the necessity—Banks—Advances to cultivators—To timber cutters—To gold miners—Central sugar factories—Paper-mills—Rice-mills—Cotton-mills—Saw-mills—Coasting steamers—Railway from Manila to Batangas—From Siniloan to the Pacific—Survey for ship canal—Bishop Gainzas’ project—Tramways for Luzon and Panay—Small steamers for Mindanao—Chief prospect is agriculture      164–172


Chapter XIX.

Life in Manila.

(A Chapter for the Ladies.)

Climate—Seasons—Terrible Month of May—Hot winds—Longing for rain—Burst of the monsoon—The Alimóom—Never sleep on the ground floor—Dress—Manila houses—Furniture—Mosquitoes—Baths—Gogo—Servants—Wages in 1892—The Maestro cook—The guild of cooks—The Mayordomo—Household budget, 1892—Diet—Drinks—Ponies—Carriage a necessity for a lady—The garden—Flowers—Shops—Pedlars—Amusements—Necessity of access to the hills—Good Friday in Manila      173–187

Chapter XX.


(A Chapter for Men.)

The Jockey Club—Training—The races—An Archbishop presiding—The Totalisator or Pari Mutuel—The Manila Club—Boating club—Rifle clubs—Shooting—Snipe—Wild duck—Plover—Quail—Pigeons—Tabon—Labuyao, or jungle cock—Pheasants—Deer—Wild pig—No sport in fishing      188–191 [xxi]


Chapter XXI.

Brief Geographical Description of Luzon.

Irregular shape—Harbours—Bays—Mountain ranges—Blank spaces on maps—North-east coast unexplored—River and valley of Cagayan—Central valley from Bay of Lingayen to Bay of Manila—Rivers Agno, Chico, Grande—The Pinag of Candaba—Project for draining—River Pasig—Laguna de Bay—Lake of Taal—Scene of a cataclysm—Collapse of a volcanic cone 8000 feet high—Black and frowning island of Mindoro—Worcester’s pluck and endurance—Placers of Camarines—River Vicol—The wondrous purple cone of Mayon—Luxuriant vegetation      192–200

The Inhabitants of the Philippines.

Description of their appearance, dress, arms, religion, manners and customs, and the localities they inhabit, their agriculture, industries and pursuits, with suggestions as to how they can be utilised, commercially and politically. With many unpublished photographs of natives, their arms, ornaments, sepulchres and idols.

Aboriginal Inhabitants.

Scattered over the Islands.

Chapter XXII.

Aetas or Negritos.

Including Balúgas, Dumágas, Mamanúas, and Manguiánes      201–207 [xxii]

Part I.

Inhabitants of Luzon and Adjacent Islands.

Chapter XXIII.

Tagals (1)      208–221

Chapter XXIV.

Tagals as Soldiers and Sailors      222–237

Chapter XXV.

Pampangos (2)      238–245

Chapter XXVI.

Zambales (3)—Pangasinanes (4)—Ilocanos (5)—Ibanags or Cagayanes (6)      246–253

Chapter XXVII.

Igorrotes (7)      254–267

Chapter XXVIII.

Isinays (11)—Abacas (12)—Italones (13)—Ibilaos (14)—Ilongotes (15)—Mayoyaos and Silipanes (16)—Ifugaos (17)—Gaddanes (18)—Itetapanes (19)—Guinanes (20)      268–273

Chapter XXIX.

Caláuas or Itaves (21)—Camuangas and Bayabonanes (22)—Dadayags (23)—Nabayuganes (24)—Aripas (25)—Calingas (26)—Tinguianes (27)—Adangs (28)—Apayaos (29)—Catalanganes and Irayas (30–31)      274–282

Chapter XXX.

Catubanganes (32)—Vicols (33)      283–287

Chapter XXXI.

The Chinese in Luzon.

Mestizos or half-breeds      288–294 [xxiii]

Part II.

The Visayas and Palawan.

Chapter XXXII.

The Visayas Islands.

Area and population—Panay—Negros—Cebú—Bohol—Leyte—Samar      295–299

Chapter XXXIII.

The Visayas Race.

Appearance—Dress—Look upon Tagals as foreigners—Favourable opinion of Tomas de Comyn—Old Christians—Constant wars with the Moro pirates and Sea Dayaks—Secret heathen rites—Accusation of indolence unfounded—Exports of hemp and sugar—Ilo-ilo sugar—Cebú sugar—Textiles—A promising race      300–306

Chapter XXXIV.

The Island of Palawan, or Paragua.

The Tagbanúas—Tandulanos—Manguianes—Negritos—Moros of southern Palawan—Tagbanúa alphabet      307–320

Part III.

Mindanao, Including Basilan.

Chapter XXXV.

Brief Geographical Description.

Configuration—Mountains—Rivers—Lakes—Division into districts—Administration—Productions—Basilan      321–330 [xxiv]

Chapter XXXVI.

The Tribes of Mindanao.

Visayas (1) [Old Christians]—Mamanúas (2)—Manobos (3)—Mandayas (4)—Manguángas (5)—Montéses or Buquidnónes(6)—Atás or Ata-as (7)—Guiangas (8)—Bagobos (9)      331–351

Chapter XXXVII.

The Tribes of Mindanao—continued.

Calaganes (10)—Tagacaolos (11)—Dulanganes (12)—Tirurayes (13)—Tagabelies (14)—Samales (15)—Vilanes (16)—Subanos (17)      352–360

Chapter XXXVIII.

The Moros, or Mahometan Malays (18 to 23).

Illanos (18)—Sanguiles (19)—Lutangas (20)—Calibuganes (21) Yacanes (22)—Samales (23)      361–373

Chapter XXXIX.

Tagabáuas (24)      374–375

The Chinese in Mindanao.

N.B.—The territory occupied by each tribe is shown on the general map of Mindanao by the number on this list.

Chapter XL.

The Political Condition of Mindanao, 1899.

Relapse into savagery—Moros the great danger—Visayas the mainstay—Confederation of Lake Lanao—Recall of the Missionaries—Murder and pillage in Davao—Eastern Mindanao—Western Mindanao—The three courses—Orphanage of Tamontaca—Fugitive slaves—Polygamy an impediment to conversion—Labours of the Jesuits—American Roman Catholics should send them help      376–388 [xxv]


Chronological Table      389

Table of Exports for twelve Years      411

Estimate of Population      415

Philippine Budget of 1897 compared with Revenue of 1887      416, 417

Value of Land in several Provinces of Luzon      418

List of Spanish and Filipino Words used in the Work      419

Cardinal Numbers in Seven Malay Dialects      422 [xxvii]


List of Illustrations.



The Inhabitants of the Philippines.

Chapter I.

Extent, Beauty and Fertility.

Extent, beauty, and fertility of the Archipelago—Variety of landscape—Vegetation—Mango trees—Bamboos.



The Philippine Archipelago, in which I include the Sulu group, lies entirely within the northern tropic; the southernmost island of the Tawi-tawi group called Sibutu reaches down to 4° 38′ N., whilst Yami, the northernmost islet of the Batanes group, lies in 21° 7′ N. This gives an extreme length of 1100 miles, whilst the extreme breadth is about 680 miles, measured a little below the 8th parallel from the Island of Balábac to the east coast of Mindanao.

Various authorities give the number of islands and islets at 1200 and upwards; many have probably never been visited by a white man. We need only concern ourselves with the principal islands and those adjacent to them.

From the hydrographic survey carried out by officers of the Spanish Navy, the following areas have been calculated and are considered official, except those marked with an asterisk, which are only estimated.

Sq. Miles. Sq. Miles.
Luzon 42,458
Babuyanes Islands 272
Batanes Islands 104
Mindoro 4,153
Catanduanes 721
Marinduque 332
Polillo 300
Buriás 116
Ticao. 144
Masbate 1,642
—— 7,784
Total Luzon and adjacent islands 50,242[2]
Visayas, etc.
Panay 4,898
Negros 3,592
Cebú 2,285
Bohol 1,226
Leyte 3,706
Samar 5,182
—— 20,889
Mindanao 34,456
Palawan and Balabac 5,963
Calamianes Islands 640
Area of principal islands 112,190

The Spanish official estimate of the area of the whole Archipelago is 114,214 square miles1 equivalent to 73,000,000 acres, so that the remaining islands ought to measure between them something over 2000 square miles.


Beauty and Fertility.

Lest I should be taxed with exaggeration when I record my impressions of the beauty and potential wealth of the Archipelago, so far as I have seen it; I shall commence by citing the opinions of some who, at different times, have visited the islands.

I think I cannot do better than give precedence to the impressions of two French gentlemen who seem to me to have done justice to the subject, then cite the calm judgment of a learned and sagacious Teuton, and lastly quote from the laboured paragraphs of a much-travelled cosmopolite, at one time Her Britannic Majesty’s Consul at Manila.

Monsieur Dumont D’Urville says: “The Philippines, and above all Luzon, have nothing in this world to equal them in climate, beauty of landscape, and fertility of soil. Luzon is the finest diamond that the Spanish adventurers have ever found.

“It has remained uncut in their hands; but deliver over Luzon to British activity and tolerance, or else to the laborious tenacity of the Dutch Creoles, and you will see what will come out of this marvellous gem.” [3]

Monsieur de Guignes says: “Of the numerous colonies belonging to the Spaniards, as one of the most important must indisputably be reckoned the Philippines. Their position, their great fertility, and the nature of their productions, render them admirably adapted for active commerce, and if the Spaniards have not derived much benefit from them, to themselves and to their manner of training is the fault to be ascribed.”

Herr Jagor, speaking of the Province of Bulacan, says the roads were good and were continuously shaded by fruit trees, cocoa and areca palms, and the aspect of this fruitful province reminded him of the richest districts in Java, but he found the pueblos here exhibited more comfort than the desas there.

Mr. Gifford Palgrave says: “Not the Ægean, not the West Indian, not the Samoan, not any other of the fair island clusters by which our terraqueous planet half atones for her dreary expanses of grey ocean and monotonous desert elsewhere, can rival in manifold beauties of earth, sea, sky, the Philippine Archipelago; nor in all that Archipelago, lovely as it is through its entire extent, can any island vie with the glories of Luzon.”


Variety of Landscape.

If I may without presumption add my testimony to that of these illustrious travellers, I would say that, having been over a great part of South America, from Olinda Point to the Straits of Magellan, from Tierra del Fuego to Panama, not only on the coasts but in the interior, from the Pampas of the Argentine and the swamps of the Gran Chaco to where

“The roots of the Andes strike deep in the earth

As their summits to heaven shoot soaringly forth;”

having traversed the fairest gems of the Antilles and seen some of the loveliest landscapes in Japan, I know of no land more beautiful than Luzon, certainly of none possessing more varied features or offering more striking contrasts.

Limestone cliffs and pinnacles, cracked and hollowed into labyrinthine caves, sharp basalt peaks, great ranges of mountains, isolated volcanic cones, cool crystalline springs, jets of boiling water, cascades, rivers, lakes, swamps, narrow [4]valleys and broad plains, rocky promontories and coral reefs, every feature is present, except the snow-clad peak and the glacier.



Vegetation here runs riot, hardly checked by the devastating typhoon, or the fall of volcanic ashes. From the cocoa-nut palm growing on the coral strand, from the mangrove, building its pyramid of roots upon the ooze, to the giant bamboo on the banks of the streams, and the noble mango tree adorning the plains, every tropical species flourishes in endless variety, and forests of conifers2 clothe the summits of the Zambales and Ilocan mountains.

As for the forest wealth, the trees yielding indestructible timber for ships, houses or furniture, those giving valuable drugs and healing oils, gums and pigments, varnishes, pitch and resin, dyes, sap for fermenting or distilling, oil for burning, water, vinegar, milk, fibre, charcoal, pitch, fecula, edible fungi, tubers, bark and fruits, it would take a larger book than this to enumerate them in their incredible variety.

Mango Trees.

A notable feature of the Philippine landscape is the mango tree. This truly magnificent tree is often of perfect symmetry, and rears aloft on its massive trunk and wide-spreading branches a perfect dome of green and glistening leaves, adorned in season with countless strings of sweet-scented blossom and pendent clusters of green and golden fruit, incomparably luscious, unsurpassed, unequalled.

Beneath that shapely vault of verdure the feathered tribes find shelter. The restless mango bird3 displays his contrasted plumage of black and yellow as he flits from bough to bough, the crimson-breasted pigeon and the ring-dove rest secure.

These glorious trees are pleasing objects for the eye to rest on. All through the fertile valleys of Luzon they stand singly or in groups, and give a character to the landscape which would otherwise be lacking. Only the largest and [5]finest English oaks can compare with the mango trees in appearance; but whilst the former yield nothing of value, one or two mango trees will keep a native family in comfort and even affluence with their generous crop.


On the banks of the Philippine streams and rivers that giant grass, the thorny bamboo, grows and thrives. It grows in clumps of twenty, forty, fifty stems. Starting from the ground, some four to six inches in diameter, it shoots aloft for perhaps seventy feet, tapering to the thickness of a match at its extremity, putting forth from each joint slender and thorny branches, carrying small, thin, and pointed leaves, so delicately poised as to rustle with the least breath of air.

The canes naturally take a gradual curve which becomes more and more accentuated as their diameter diminishes, until they bend over at their tops and sway freely in the breeze.

I can only compare a fine clump of bamboos to a giant plume of green ostrich feathers. Nothing in the vegetable kingdom is more graceful, nothing can be more useful. Under the blast of a typhoon the bamboo bends so low that it defies all but the most sudden and violent gusts. If, however, it succumbs, it is generally the earth under it that gives way, and the whole clump falls, raising its interlaced roots and a thick wall of earth adhering to and embraced by them.

Piercing the hard earth, shoving aside the stones with irresistible force, comes the new bamboo, its head emerging like a giant artichoke.

Each flinty-headed shoot soars aloft with a rapidity astonishing to those who have only witnessed the tardy growth of vegetation in the temperate zone. I carefully measured a shoot of bamboo in my garden in Santa Ana and found that it grew two feet in three days, that is, eight inches a day, ⅓ inch per hour. I could see it grow. When I commenced to measure the shoot it was eighteen inches high and was four inches in diameter. This rapid growth, which, considering the extraordinary usefulness of the bamboo ought to excite man’s gratitude to Almighty Providence, has, to the shame of human nature, led the Malay and the Chinaman to utilise the bamboo to inflict death by [6]hideous torture on his fellow men. (See Tûkang Bûrok’s story in Hugh Clifford’s ‘Studies of Brown Humanity.’)

Each joint is carefully enveloped by nature in a wrapper as tough as parchment, covered, especially round the edges, with millions of small spines. The wrapper, when dry, is brown, edged with black, but when fresh the colours are remarkable, pale yellow, dark yellow, orange, brown, black, pale green, dark green, black; all shaded or contrasted in a way to make a Parisian dress designer feel sick with envy.

This wrapper does not fall off till the joint has hardened and acquired its flinty armour so as to be safe from damage by any animal.

It would take a whole chapter to enumerate the many and varied uses of the bamboo.

Suffice it to say that I cannot conceive how the Philippine native could do without it.

Everlastingly renewing its youth, perpetually soaring to the sky, proudly overtopping all that grows, splendidly flourishing when meaner plants must fade from drought, this giant grass, which delights the eyes, takes rank as one of God’s noblest gifts to tropical man.

View on the Pasig with Bamboos and Canoe.

View on the Pasig with Bamboos and Canoe.

To face p. 6.


1 England has 51,000 square miles area; Wales, 7378; Ireland, 31,759; Scotland, nearly 30,000. Total, Great Britain and Ireland, etc., 121,000 square miles.

2 Worcester, p. 446, mentions Conifers at sea level in Sibuyan Island, province of Romblon.

3 Called in Spanish the oropéndola (Broderipus achrorchus).


Chapter II.

Spanish Government.

Slight sketch of organization—Distribution of population—Collection of taxes—The stick.

The supreme head of the administration was a Governor-General or Captain-General of the Philippines. The British Colonial Office has preserved this Spanish title in Jamaica where the supreme authority is still styled Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief.

In recent years no civilian has been Governor-General of the Philippines, the appointment being given or sold to a Lieutenant-General, though in 1883 a Field-Marshal was sent out. But in 1874 Rear-Admiral Malcampo obtained the post, and a very weak and foolish Governor-General he turned out to be.

In former times military men did not have a monopoly of such posts, and civilians, judges, priests, and bishops have held this appointment.

The Governor-General had great powers. Practically, if not legally, he had the power of life and death, for he could proclaim martial law and try offenders by court-martial. He was ex officio president of every corporation or commission, and he could expel from the Islands any person, whether Spaniard, native, or foreigner, by a decree declaring that his presence was inconvenient.


Slight Sketch of Organization.

He could suspend or remove any official, and in fact was almost despotic. On the other hand he had to remember two important limitations. Unless he supported the religious orders against all comers he would have the Procurators of these wealthy corporations, who reside in Madrid, denouncing him to the Ministry as an anti-clerical, and a [8]freemason, and perhaps offering a heavy bribe for his removal. If he made an attempt to put down corruption and embezzlement in the Administration, his endeavours would be thwarted in every possible way by the officials, and a formidable campaign of calumny and detraction would be inaugurated against him. The appointment was for a term of three years at a salary of $40,000 per annum, and certain very liberal travelling allowances.

Since the earthquake of 1863 the official residence of the Governors-General was at Malacañan, on the River Pasig in the ward of San Miguel. This is now the residence of the American Governor. He had a troop of native Lancers to escort him when he drove out, and a small corps of Halberdiers for duty within the palace and grounds. These latter wore a white uniform with red facings, and were armed with a long rapier and a halberd. They were also furnished with rifles and bayonets for use in case of an emergency.

When the Governor-General drove out, every man saluted him by raising his hat—and when he went to the Cathedral he was received by the clergy at the door, and, on account of being the Vice-Regal Patron, was conducted under a canopy along the nave to a seat of honour.

His position was in fact one of great power and dignity, and it was felt necessary to surround the representative of the king with much pomp and state in order to impress the natives with his importance and authority.

There was a Governor-General of Visayas who resided at Cebu, and was naturally subordinate to the Governor-General of the Philippines. He was usually a Brigadier-General.

In case of the death or absence of the Governor-General, the temporary command devolved upon the Segundo Cabo, a general officer in immediate command of the military forces. Failing him, the Acting Governor-Generalship passed to the Admiral commanding the station.

The two principal departments of the administration were the Intendencia or Treasury, and the Direction of Civil Administration.

The Archipelago is divided into fifty-one provinces or districts, according to the accompanying table and map. [9]

Distribution of Population.

Provinces. Males. Females. Total.
Abra 21,631 21,016 42,647
Albay 127,413 130,120 257,533
Antique 60,193 63,910 124,103
Balábac 1,912 27 1,939
Bataán 25,603 24,396 49,999
Batangas 137,143 137,932 275,075
Benguet (district) 8,206 12,104 20,310
Bohol 109,472 117,074 226,546
Bontoc 40,515 41,914 82,429
Bulacán 127,455 124,694 252,149
Burías 84 44 128
Cagayán 37,157 35,540 72,697
Calamianes 8,227 8,814 17,041
Camarines Norte 15,931 14,730 30,661
Camarines Sur 78,545 77,852 156,400
Cápiz 114,827 128,417 243,244
Cavite 66,523 65,541 132,064
Cebú 201,066 202,230 403,296
Corregidor (island of) 216 203 419
Cottabato 788 494 1,282
Dávao 983 712 1,695
Ilocos Norte 76,913 79,802 156,715
Ilocos Sur 97,916 103,133 201,049
Ilo-Ilo 203,879 206,551 410,430
Infanta (district) 4,947 4,947 9,894
Isabela de Basilan 454 338 792
Isabela de Luzon 20,251 18,365 38,616
Islas Batanes 4,004 4,741 8,745
Isla de Negros 106,851 97,818 204,669
Laguna 66,332 66,172 132,504
Lepanto 8,255 16,219 24,474
Leyte 113,275 107,240 220,515
Manila 137,280 120,994 258,274
Masbate and Ticao 8,835 8,336 17,171
Mindoro 29,220 28,908 58,128
Misamis 46,020 42,356 88,376
Mórong 21,506 21,556 43,062
Nueva Ecija 63,456 60,315 123,771
Nueva Vizcaya 8,495 7,612 16,107
Pampanga 114,425 111,884 226,309
Pangasinán 149,141 144,150 293,291
Principe (district) 2,085 2,073 4,158
Puerto Princesa 350 228 578
Romblón 14,528 13,626 28,154
Samar 92,330 86,560 178,890
Surigao 28,371 27,875 56,246
Tarlac 42,432 40,325 82,757
Tayabas 27,886 25,782 53,668
Unión 55,802 57,568 113,370
Zambales 49,617 44,934 94,551
Zamboanga 7,683 6,461 14,144
2,794,876 2,762,743 5,557,619


The above figures are taken from the official census of 1877.

This is the latest I have been able to find.

In the Appendix is given an estimate of the population in 1890, the author puts the number at 8,000,000, and at this date there may well be 9,000,000 inhabitants in the Philippines and Sulus.

It will be seen that these provinces are of very different extent, and vary still more in population, for some have only a few hundred inhabitants, whilst others, for instance, Cebú and Ilo-Ilo have half-a-million.

Each province was under a Governor, either civil or military. Those provinces which were entirely pacified had Civil Governors, whilst those more liable to disturbance or attack from independent tribes or from the Moors had Military Governors. Up to 1886 the pacified provinces were governed by Alcaldes-Mayores, who were both governors and judges. An appeal from their decisions could be made to the Audiencia or High Court at Manila.

From the earliest times of their appointment, the Alcaldes were allowed to trade. Some appointments carried the right to trade, but most of the Alcaldes had to covenant to forego a large proportion of their very modest stipends in order to obtain this privilege. By trade and by the fees and squeezes of their law courts they usually managed to amass fortunes. In 1844 the Alcaldes were finally prohibited from trading.

This was a rude system of government, but it was cheap, and a populous province might only have to maintain half-a-dozen Spaniards.

Each town has its municipality consisting of twelve principales, all natives, six are chosen from those who have already been Gobernadorcillos. They are called past-captains, and correspond to aldermen who have passed the chair. The other six are chosen from amongst the Barangay headmen. From these twelve are elected all the officials, the Gobernadorcillo or Capitan, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd lieutenants, the alguaciles (constables), the judges of the fields, of cattle, and of police. The Capitan appoints and pays the directorcillo or town clerk, who attends to the routine business.

For the maintenance of order, and for protecting the town against attack, there is a body of local police called Cuadrilleros. These are armed with bolos and lances in [11]the smaller and poorer towns, but in more important places they have fire-arms usually of obsolete pattern. But in towns exposed to Moro attack the cuadrilleros are more numerous, and carry Remington rifles.

The Gobernadorcillos of towns were directly responsible to the governor of the province, the governor in case of emergency reported direct to the Governor-General, but for routine business through the Director-General of Civil Administration, which embraced the departments of Public Works, Inspection of Mines and Forests, Public Instruction, Model Farms, etc.

The collection of taxes was under the governors of provinces assisted by delegates of the Intendant-General. It was directly effected by the Barangay headman each of whom was supposed to answer for fifty families, the individuals of which were spoken of as his sácopes. His eldest son was recognised as his chief assistant, and he, like his father, was exempt from the tribute or capitation tax.

The office was hereditary, and was not usually desired, but like the post of sheriff in an English county it had to be accepted nolens volens.

No doubt a great deal of latitude was allowed to the Barangay Chiefs in order that they might collect the tax, and the stick was often in requisition. In fact the chiefs had to pay the tax somehow, and it is not surprising that they took steps to oblige their sácopes to pay.

I, however, in my fourteen years’ experience, never came across such a case as that mentioned by Worcester, p. 295, where he states that in consequence of a deficiency of $7000, forty-four headmen of Siquijor were seized and exiled, their lands, houses and cattle confiscated, and those dependent on them left to shift for themselves. The amount owing by each headman was under $160 Mexican, equal to $80 gold, and it would not take much in the way of lands, houses, and cattle to pay off this sum. However, it is true that Siquijor is a poor island. But on page 284 he maintains that the inhabitants of Siquijor had plenty of money to back their fighting-cocks, and paid but little attention to the rule limiting each man’s bet on one fight to $50. From this we may infer that they could find money to bet with, but not to pay their taxes. [12]


Collection of Taxes.

Natives of the gorgeous East very commonly require a little persuasion to make them pay their taxes, and I have read of American millionaires who, in the absence of this system, could not be got to pay at all. Not many years ago, there was an enquiry as to certain practices resorted to by native tax-collectors in British India to induce the poor Indian to pay up; anybody who is curious to know the particulars can hunt them up in the Blue Books—they are unsuitable for publication.

In Egypt, up to 1887, or thereabouts, the “courbash”1 was in use for this purpose. I quote from a speech by Lord Cromer delivered about that time (’Lord Cromer,’ by H. D. Traill): “The courbash used to be very frequently employed for two main objects, viz.: the collection of taxes, and the extortion of evidence. I think I may say with confidence that the use of the courbash as a general practice in connection either with collection of taxes or the extortion of evidence has ceased.”

But we need not go so far East for examples of collecting taxes by means of the stick. The headmen of the village communities in Russia freely apply the lash to recalcitrant defaulters.

It would seem, therefore, that the Spaniards erred in company with many other nations. It was by no means an invention of theirs, and it will be remembered that some of our early kings used to persuade the Jews to pay up by drawing their teeth.


Its Good Points.

The Government and the laws partook of a patriarchal character, and notwithstanding certain exactions, the Spanish officials and the natives got on very well together. The Alcaldes remained for many years in one province, and knew all the principal people intimately. I doubt if there was any colony in the world where as much intercourse took place between the governors and the natives, certainly not in any British colony, nor in British India, where the gulf ever widens. In this case, governors and governed professed the same religion, and no caste distinctions [13]prevailed to raise a barrier between them. They could worship together, they could eat together, and marriages between Spaniards and the daughters of the native landowners were not unfrequent. These must be considered good points, and although the general corruption and ineptitude of the administration was undeniable, yet, bad as it was, it must be admitted that it was immeasurably superior to any government that any Malay community had ever established. [14]

1 A whip made from hippopotamus hide.


Chapter III.

Six Governors-General.

Moriones—Primo de Rivera—Jovellar—Terreros—Weyler—Despujols.



During my residence in the Islands—from 1877 to 1892—there were six Governors-General, and they differed very widely in character and ideas.

The first was Don Domingo Moriones y Murillo, Marquis of Oroquieto, an austere soldier, and a stern disciplinarian. He showed himself to be a man of undaunted courage, and of absolutely incorruptible honesty.

When he landed in Manila he found that, owing to the weakness of Admiral Malcampo, his predecessor, the Peninsular Regiment of Artillery had been in open mutiny, and that the matter had been hushed up. After taking the oath of office, and attending a Te Deum at the Cathedral, he mounted his horse, and, attended by his aides-de-camp, rode to the barracks, and ordered the regiment to parade under arms. He rode down the ranks, and recognised many soldiers who had served under him in the Carlist wars.

He then stationed himself in front of the regiment, and delivered a remarkable and most stirring oration. He said that it grieved him to the heart to think that Spanish soldiers, sent to the Philippines to maintain the authority of their king and country, many of whom had with him faced the awful fusillade of Somorrostro, and had bravely done their duty, could fall so low as to become callous mutineers, deaf to the calls of duty, and by their bad conduct tarnish the glory of the Spanish Army in the eyes of all the world. Such as they deserved no mercy; their lives were all forfeited. Still he was willing to believe that [15]they were not entirely vicious, that repentance and reform were still possible to the great majority. He would, therefore, spare the lives of most of them in the hope that they might once more become worthy soldiers of Spain. But he would decimate them; every tenth man must die.

He then directed the lieutenant-colonel in command to number off the regiment by tens from the right.

Let the reader ponder upon the situation. Here was a mutinous veteran regiment that for months had been the terror of the city, and had frightened the Governor-General and all the authorities into condoning its crimes.

In front of it sat upon his horse one withered old man. But that man’s record was such that he seemed to those reckless mutineers to be transfigured into some awful avenging angel. His modest stature grew to a gigantic size in their eyes; the whole regiment seemed hypnotized. They commenced numbering. It was an impressive scene—the word ten meant death. The men on the extreme right felt happy; they were sure to escape. Confidently rang out their voices: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine—then a stop. The doomed wretch standing next would not say the fatal word. Moriones turned his glance upon the captain of the right company, and that officer perceived that the crisis of his life had arrived, and that the next few seconds would make or mar him; one instant’s hesitation would cost him his commission. Drawing and cocking his revolver, he held it in front of the forehead of the tenth man, and ordered him to call out ten. Placed thus between the alternative of instant death or obedience, the unhappy gunner complied, and the numbering of the whole line was accomplished. The number tens were ordered to step out of the ranks, were disarmed, placed under arrest, and notified that they would be shot next morning. As regards the others, all leave was stopped, and extra drills ordered. Great interest was exerted with Moriones to pardon the condemned men, and he did commute the death sentence on most of them, but the ring-leaders were shot the following morning, others imprisoned, and fifty were sent back to Spain in the same vessel as Admiral Malcampo, whose pampering of them had ruined their discipline. So much for the courage of Moriones. It was a wonderful example of the prestige of lawful authority, but of course the risk was great.

To him was due the construction of the Manila Waterworks. [16]A sum of money had been left a century before by Don Francisco Carriedo, who had been general of a galleon, to accumulate until it was sufficient to pay for the waterworks, which ought to have been begun years before. However, the parties who held these funds, like certain Commissioners we know of at home, had little desire to part with the capital, and it was only the determination of General Moriones that triumphed over their reluctance.

Manila ought to be ever grateful to Moriones for this. He also tried to get some work out of the Obras Publicas Department, and, in fact, he did frighten them into exerting themselves for a time, by threatening to ship the Inspector-General of Public Works back to Spain, unless the Ayala bridges were completed on a certain day.

But the greatest thing that Moriones did for the Philippines was when he prevented the sale of the Government tobacco-culture monopoly to some Paris Jews. Whilst he was staying at the Convent of Guadalupe he received a letter from Cánovas, at the time Prime Minister of Spain. It informed him that a project was entertained of selling the Crown monopoly of the cultivation and manufacture of tobacco in the Philippines to a Franco-Spanish syndicate, and added, “The palace is very interested,” meaning that the King and the Infantas were in the affair. It announced that a Commission was about to be sent by the capitalists to enquire into the business, and wound up by requesting Moriones to report favourably on the affair, for which service he might ask any reward he liked. The carrying out of this project meant selling the inhabitants of Cagayan into slavery.

I had this information from a gentleman of unblemished truth and honour, who was present at the receipt of the letter, and it was confirmed by two friars of the Augustinian Order under circumstances that left no doubt upon my mind as to their accuracy.

Although Cánovas was at the time in the height of his power, and although the King was interested in the matter going through, Moriones indignantly refused to back up the proposal. He wrote or cabled to Cánovas not to send out the Commission, for if it came he would send it back by the same vessel. He reported dead against the concession, and told the Prime Minister that he was quite prepared to resign, and return to Spain, to explain his reasons from his [17]seat in the Senate. What a contrast this brave soldier made to the general run of men; how few in any country would have behaved as he did!

This was not the only benefit Moriones conferred upon the tobacco cultivators of Cagayán, for he did what he could to pay off the debt owing to them by the Treasury.


Primo de Rivera.

The next Governor-General was Don Fernando Primo de Rivera, Marquis of Estella, and he was the only one with whom I was not personally acquainted. During the cholera epidemic of 1882, when 30,000 persons died in the city and province of Manila, he showed ability and firmness in the arrangements he made, and he deserves great credit for this. But corruption and embezzlement was rampant during his time. Gambling was tolerated in Manila and it was currently reported that twenty-five gambling houses were licensed and that each paid $50 per day, which was supposed to go to the Governor-General. Emissaries from these houses were stationed near the banks and mercantile offices, and whenever a collector was seen entering or leaving carrying a bag of dollars, an endeavour was made to entice him to the gambling table, and owing to the curious inability of the native to resist temptation, these overtures were too frequently successful.

The whole city became demoralised, servants and dependants stole from their employers and sold the articles to receivers for a tenth of their value in order to try their luck at the gaming table. A sum of $1250 per day was derived from the gambling-houses and was collected every evening.

Notwithstanding all these abuses, Primo de Rivera maintained good relations with the natives; he was not unpopular, and no disturbances occurred during his first government. He owed his appointment to King Alfonso XII., being granted three years’ pillage of the Philippine Islands as a reward for having made the pronunciamento in favour of that monarch, which greatly contributed to putting him upon the throne. He and his friends must have amassed an enormous sum of money, for scarcely a cent was expended on roads or bridges during his government, the provincial governors simply pocketed every dollar. [18]



He was succeeded by Field-Marshal Don Joaquim Jovellar, during whose time the tribute was abolished and the Cédulas Personales tax instituted. Jovellar appeared to me to be a strictly honourable man, he refused the customary presents from the Chinese, and bore himself with much dignity. His entourage was, however, deplorable, and he placed too much confidence in Ruiz Martinez, the Director of Civil Administration. The result was that things soon became as bad as in the previous governor’s time. Jovellar was well advanced in years, being nearly seventy. He had many family troubles, and the climate did not agree with him.

I remember one stifling night, when I was present at Malacañan at a ball and water fête, given to Prince Oscar, a son of the King of Sweden. The Governor-General had hardly recovered from an illness, and had that day received most distressing news about two of his sons, and his daughter Doña Rosita, who was married to Colonel Arsenio Linares, was laid up and in danger of losing her sight.

Yet in that oppressive heat, and buttoned up in the full dress uniform of a field-marshal, Jovellar went round the rooms and found a kind word or compliment for every lady present. I ventured to remark how fatigued he must be, to which he replied, “Yes, but make no mistake, a public man is like a public woman, and must smile on everybody.”

During his time, owing to symptoms of unrest amongst the natives, the garrison of Manila and Cavite was reinforced by two battalions of marines.



He was succeeded by Don Emilio Terrero y Perinat, a thorough soldier and a great martinet. I found him a kind and courteous gentleman, and deeply regretted the unfortunate and tragic end that befell him after his return to Spain. I saw a good deal of Field-Marshal Jovellar and of General Terrero, having been Acting British Consul at the end of Jovellar’s and the beginning of Terrero’s Government. I kept up my acquaintance with General Terrero [19]all the time he was in the islands, and was favoured with frequent invitations to his table, where I met all the principal officials.

Things went on quietly in his time and there was little to record except successful expeditions to Joló and Mindanao, causing an extension of Spanish influence in both places.



Terrero was succeeded by Don Valeriano Weyler, Marquis of Ténérife, the son of a German doctor, born in Majorca, who brought with him a reputation for cruelties practised on the Cuban insurgents during the first war.

Weyler was said to have purchased the appointment from the wife of a great minister too honest to accept bribes himself, and the price was commonly reported to have been $30,000 paid down and an undertaking to pay the lady an equal sum every year of his term of office.

Weyler is a small man who does not look like a soldier. He is clever, but it is more the cleverness of a sharp attorney than of a general or statesman.

Curiously enough the Segundo Cabo at this time was an absolute contrast. Don Manuel Giron y Aragon, Marquis of Ahumada, is descended from the Kings of Aragon, and to that illustrious lineage he unites a noble presence and a charm of manner that render him instantly popular with all who have the good fortune to meet him. No more dignified representative of his country could be found, and I send him my cordial salutation wherever he is serving.

During Weyler’s term another expedition to Mindanao was made and some advantages secured. Some disturbances occurred which will be mentioned in another chapter, and secret societies were instituted amongst the natives. Otherwise the usual bribery and corruption continued unchecked.

There was a great increase in the smuggling of Mexican dollars from Hong Kong into Manila, where they were worth 10 per cent. more. The freight and charges amounted to 2 per cent., leaving 8 per cent. profit, and according to rumour 4 per cent. was paid to the authorities to insure against seizure, as the importation was prohibited under heavy penalties. [20]

At this time I was Government Surveyor of Shipping, and one day received an order from the captain of the port to proceed on board the steamer España with the colonel of carbineers and point out to him all hollow places in the ship’s construction where anything could be concealed. This I did, but remembering Talleyrand’s injunction, and not liking the duty, showed no zeal, but contented myself with obeying orders. The carbineers having searched every part of the ship below, we came on deck where the captain’s cabin was. A corporal entered the cabin and pulled open one of the large drawers. I only took one glimpse at it and looked away. It was chock full of small canvas bags, and no doubt the other drawers and lockers were also full. Yet it did not seem to occur to any of the searchers that there might be dollars in the bags, and it was no business of mine. Nothing contraband had been found in the ship, and a report to that effect was sent in. I sent the colonel an account for my fee, which was duly paid from the funds of the corps.

Weyler returned to Spain with a large sum of money, a far larger sum than the whole of his emoluments. He had remitted large sums in bills, and having fallen out with one of his confederates who had handled some of the money, this man exhibited the seconds of exchange to certain parties inimical to Weyler, with the result that the latter was openly denounced as a thief in capital letters in a leading article of the Correspondencia Militar of Madrid. Weyler’s attorneys threatened to prosecute for libel, but the editor defied them and declared that he held the documents and was prepared to prove his statement. The matter was allowed to drop. Weyler was thought to have received large sums of money from the Augustinians and Dominicans for his armed support against their tenants. It was said that the Chinese furnished him with a first-rate cook, and provided food for his whole household gratis, besides making presents of diamonds to his wife. And for holding back certain laws which would have pressed very hardly upon them, it was asserted that the Celestials paid him no less than $80,000. This is the man who afterwards carried out the reconcentrado policy in Cuba at the cost of thousands of lives, and subsequently returning with a colossal fortune to Spain, posed as a patriot and as chief of the military party. [21]



To Weyler succeeded a man very different in appearance and character, Don Emilio Despujols, Conde de Caspe.

Belonging to an ancient and noble family of Catalonia, holding his honour dear, endowed with a noble presence and possessed of an ample fortune, he came out to uplift and uphold the great charge committed to him, and rather to give lustre to his office by expending his own means than to economise from his pay, as so many colonial governors are accustomed to do. He established his household upon a splendid scale, and seconded by his distinguished countess, whose goodness and munificent charities will ever be remembered, he entertained on a scale worthy of a viceroy and in a manner never before seen in Manila.

Despujols rendered justice to all. Several Spaniards whose lives were an open scandal, were by his order put on board ship and sent back to Spain. Amongst these was one who bore the title of count, but who lived by gambling.

Another was a doctor who openly plundered the natives. Like a Mahometan Sultan of the old times, Despujols was accessible to the poorest who had a tale of injustice and oppression to relate.

The news that a native could obtain justice from a governor-general flew with incredible rapidity. At last a new era seemed to be opening. A trifling event aroused the enthusiasm of the people. Despujols and his countess drove to the Manila races with their postillions dressed in shirts of Júsi and wearing silver-mounted salacots instead of their usual livery. I was present on this occasion and was struck with the unwonted warmth of the governor-general’s reception from the usually phlegmatic natives. Despujols became popular to an extent never before reached. He could do anything with the natives. Whenever his splendid equipages appeared in public he received an ovation. Quite a different spirit now seemed to possess the natives. But not all the Spaniards viewed this with satisfaction; many whose career of corruption had been checked, who found their illicit gains decreased, and the victims of their extortion beginning to resist them, bitterly criticised the new governor-general. [22]

The religious orders finding Despujols incorruptible and indisposed to place military forces at the disposal of the Augustinians and Dominicans to coerce or evict refractory tenants, then took action. Their procurators in Madrid made a combined attack on Despujols, both in the reptile press and by representations to the ministry. They succeeded, and Despujols was dismissed from office by cable. Rumour has it that the Orders paid $100,000 for Despujols’s recall. For my own part I think this very likely, and few who know Madrid will suppose that this decree could be obtained by any other means.

He laboured under a disadvantage, for he did not pay for his appointment as some others did. If he had been paying $30,000 a year to the wife of a powerful minister, he would not have been easily recalled. Or if, like another governor-general, he had been in debt up to the eyes to influential creditors, these would have kept him in power till he had amassed enough to pay them off.

I am of opinion that had Despujols been retained in Manila, and had he been given time to reform and purify the administration, the chain of events which has now torn the Philippines for ever from the grasp of Spain would never have been welded. Whoever received the priests’ money, whoever they were who divided that Judas-bribe, they deserve to be held in perpetual execration by their fellow-countrymen, and to have their names handed down to everlasting infamy.

Despujols left Manila under a manifestation of respect and devotion from the foreign residents, from the best Spaniards and from every class of the natives of the Philippines, that might well go far to console him for his unmerited dismissal. He must have bitterly felt the injustice with which he was treated, but still he left carrying with him a clear conscience and a harvest of love and admiration that no previous governor-general had ever inspired.

For if Moriones manifested courage, energy and incorruptible honesty under what would have been an irresistible temptation to many another man, that rude soldier was far from possessing those personal gifts, the fine presence and the sympathetic address of Despujols, and inspired fear rather than affection.

Yet both were worthy representatives of their country; both were men any land might be proud to send forth. [23]Those two noble names are sufficient to redeem the Spanish Government of the Philippines from the accusation of being entirely corrupt, too frequently made against it. They deserve an abler pen than mine to extol their merits and to exalt them as they deserve above the swarm of pilferers, and sham patriots, who preceded and succeeded them. To use an Eastern image, they may be compared to two noble trees towering above the rank vegetation of some poisonous swamp. For the honour of Spain and of human nature in general, I have always felt grateful that I could say that amongst the governors-general of the Philippines whom I had known there were at least two entitled to the respect of every honest man. [24]


Chapter IV.

Courts of Justice.

Alcaldes—The Audiencia—The Guardia Civil—Do not hesitate to shoot—Talas.

The foulest blot upon the Spanish Administration in all her former colonies was undoubtedly the thorough venality of her infamous Courts of Justice. Unfortunately, amongst the heterogeneous population of the Philippines, a low standard of morality prevails and has prevailed from the earliest times. The natives at the time of the conquest were partly civilised, so far as building houses and cultivating their lands by slave labour is concerned. But notwithstanding the assertions of the Filipinos, the late Dr. Rizal and others, a study of the ancient authors demonstrates that they were sunk in ignorance and superstition, and that their customs were those of semi-savages. When they came under the rule of the Spaniards, they might have made great advances if the administration of the laws had been confided to persons of honour capable of interpreting that wise code, the “Laws of the Indies,” in the noble and Christian spirit which had inspired their makers.

But what class of man was it that the Spaniards appointed to this office?

Thomas de Comyn, p. 134, says: “It is quite common to see a barber or footman of a governor, a sailor or a deserter, transformed into an Alcalde-Mayor, Sub-delegate, and War Captain of a populous province, without other counsel than his own rude intelligence (understanding) nor other guide than his passions.”

What could be expected from such men as these, living in such an atmosphere? And if some solitary alcalde might cherish in his heart some spark of honour, some lingering love of justice, there were two elements in [25]the country to extinguish that spark, to smother that feeling.

Woe betide the alcalde who would decide a case, whatever its merits, adversely to any one of the religious orders. I personally knew an alcalde who (at a great price) had obtained the government of the province of Batangas, from whence his immediate predecessor, also well-known to me, had retired with a large fortune, but leaving everybody contented so far as could be seen. He had kept on good terms with the priests. His successor unfortunately forgot this cardinal rule and allowed himself to be identified with some anti-clerical Spaniards.

Every kind of trouble fell upon that man, and finally he was recalled to Manila and received a severe reprimand from General Primo de Rivera, who was said to have received $12,000 for turning him out.

He was removed from wealthy Batangas and sent to the fever-stricken capital of Tayabas, a wretchedly poor Government, affording few opportunities for peculation. He escaped with his life, but his wife, a very charming Spanish lady, succumbed to the malaria. Similar instances of the results of being, or being thought to be, an anti-clerical, will occur to old residents in the Philippines. The arm of the Church was long and its hand was a heavy one.

The second influence I referred to is the presence of the heathen Chinee in the islands. To a Chinaman the idea that a judge should take bribes seems as natural a thing as that a duck should take to the water. And yet the Chinaman will not, unless he knows he is on the right track, brutally push his bribe under the judge’s nose. Either he or one of his countrymen will from the judge’s arrival have rendered him good service. Does the judge want a gardener or cook? Ah-sin soon provides an excellent one who never asks for his wages. Have some visitors arrived at the Alcaldia Ah-sin sends in a dozen chickens, a turkey, and the best fruits. Is it the judge’s name-day? The wily Celestial presents a few cases of wine and boxes of fine cigars. Is the roof of the Alcaldia leaking—a couple of Chinese carpenters will set it right without sending a bill for it. Then, having prepared the way, should Ah-sin be summoned before the alcalde, he may confidently hope that his patron will not hurriedly give judgment against him, and that he will probably get a full opportunity to present substantial reasons why the suit should be decided in his [26]favour. In fact, the practice of the alcalde’s courts was only a shade better than that of the Chinese Yamens, where the different cases are put up to auction amongst the magistrates and knocked down to the highest bidders, who then proceed on a course of extortion, by arrest and by the torture of witnesses, to make all they can out of them.

In an alcalde’s court, there would be several mestizo or native writers or auxiliaries. Some of them were what is called meritórios, that is, unpaid volunteers. Of course, they expect to receive gratuities from the suitors and would take care to mislay their documents if they were neglected. Sometimes the alcalde was so lazy that he left the whole matter in the hands of his subordinates and signed whatever they laid before him. I have been a witness of this, and have even remonstrated with a judge for so doing. He, however, said he had the greatest confidence in his subordinates and that they dare not deceive him.

Bad as the alcalde’s courts were, I think that the culminating point of corruption was the Audiencia of Manila. Escribano, abogado, júez, auditor, fiscál, vied with each other in showing that to them, honour and dignity were mere empty words. They set the vilest examples to the mestizos and natives, and, unfortunately, these have been only too apt pupils, and having little to lose, were often ready to go one better than the Spaniards, who after all had to keep up appearances. I cannot adequately express the loathing I feel for all this tribe. I look upon a highwayman as a gentleman compared to them, for he does risk his life, and you may get a shot at him, but these wretches ruin you in perfect safety.

They dress their wives, they nourish their children, upon the reward of roguery, the price of perjury, the fruits of forgery, the wages of some wicked judgment.

What can be expected of the spawn of these reptiles, what but by the process of evolution to be more envenomed than their progenitors? Is there not amongst all the multitudinous Philippines some desert island where the people trained in the Spanish courts and all their breed could be deported, where they might set up a court, and bring actions against each other and cheat and lie and forge till they die?

What a Godsend for the Philippines were this possible, if besides getting rid of the Spanish judges, they could now [27]get rid of their aiders and abettors, their apt pupils and would-be successors.

Bribery is a fine art, and there were those in Manila who were well versed in its intricacies. We heard one day of a decree by a judge against the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Club gossip asserted that the judge who issued the decree had lost some hundreds of dollars at the gambling table of the Casino the night before, and that the artistic corrupter had called on him in the morning with the means to pay the debt of honour and to try his luck again. The judge was known not to have the means of paying, yet he paid and simultaneously issued his decree. Old Manila hands drew their inference.

The record of these courts from the earliest times is one long-continued infamy. Thank God that is over and a new chapter has begun. I rejoice exceedingly that their sins have at last overtaken them, and I recognise that, though

“The mills of God grind slowly,

Yet they grind exceeding small.”

Owing to the demoralisation of the mestizo and native lawyers by these vile examples, it will be very difficult to break the traditions of venality and to find men worthy to occupy the bench.

These courts were not only corrupt, but they were inept. At a time when brigandage prevailed and many notorious criminals were apprehended almost red-handed, convictions could not be got, and the bandits were liberated on various pretexts.

So great was the scandal that Moriones issued a decree that all persons accused of gang-robbery should be tried by a military tribunal. And he appointed a permanent court-martial for this purpose, to the great disgust of all the lawyer element. These courts were abolished some years later after his return to Spain; then the Guardia Civil made their own arrangements, and the mortality amongst bandits was excessive. When some well-known robber was by any chance taken alive, he always, so they said, tried to escape by running away from his captors, and this obliged them to fire upon him. They never missed on these occasions, and it was thought that the range never exceeded ten paces and was often less.

However necessary this military action may be, it is, [28]undoubtedly liable to abuse, and the power of life and death is a great one to put in the hands of a junior officer or non-commissioned officer of police. The Guardia Civil, an armed force with Spanish officers and native soldiers, was organised in 1867, and I must say that I looked upon it as an excellent institution, the terror of evil-doers and a protection to all law-abiding people. My native friends, however, are of a different opinion. They accuse the Guardia Civil, both Spaniards and natives, of behaving in an arbitrary and cruel manner, and with practising extortion upon defenceless natives. They are accused of torturing witnesses to extort evidence, and this charge was no doubt true in many cases.

On the other hand, the bandits or tulisanes were exterminated by this corps of picked men, and security to life and property was assured. At the formation of this corps the officers and men were very carefully selected. The Governor-General himself examined the records of every officer, and only Spanish gentlemen of the highest character were appointed. Similarly the soldiers were natives who had served their time in the army without having a crime noted against them. But in later years this precaution was relaxed, and colonels of regiments were allowed to dump their rubbish into this corps.

I knew of a case where a Filipino with Irish blood in him was posted as a lieutenant to this corps and behaved most abominably. I am glad to say, however, that he was sent out of the islands. This was only another instance of the fact that whatever the natives have to complain of the Spaniards, the mestizos, and their own rich people, treat them and have always treated them far worse.

Both officers and men were well paid and were dressed in a very smart and neat uniform, well suited to the climate, which they kept spick and span whatever service they were on. They were armed with Remington rifles and bayonets, and in addition carried a heavy chopping knife. They were posted at all the chief towns of Luzon and in some of the Visayas Islands. The greatest crime a native could commit was to kill a Guardia Civil, and such a matter never came before a Civil Court. If the slayer by any chance was not killed on the spot, he would probably be shot at sight. If apprehended, he would be tried by a court-martial composed of officers of the Guardia Civil, and, needless to say, there would be no monkeying with the [29]verdict nor with the sentence, which would be promptly carried out.

Even to resist the Guardia Civil was so great a crime that the sentence of a court-martial in such a case was penal servitude for life (Cadéna Perpétua).

How surprised a London rough would be at this severity after being accustomed to expiate the most brutal assaults upon the police by a fine of a few shillings.

To sum up the Guardia Civil, I may say that their practice was comprised in five memorable words, addressed to a similar corps by Mr. A. J. Balfour in his energetic days, a most sensible order, that he may well be proud of: “Do not hesitate to shoot.”

Amongst other duties of the Guardia Civil in bygone years was the making of periodical expeditions against the remontados and the hill tribes, officially designated Talas, or cuttings down.

At certain favourable seasons of the year, especially before harvest time, the Guardias, accompanied by some Cuadrilleros, and on important occasions by a company of native infantry, marched up into the more accessible hills.

The hill-men obstructed the tracks in the most difficult places by cutting down trees and making abattis.

They also placed sharp bamboo spikes carefully concealed in the earth or mud of the footpaths, and these, if trodden on, inflicted most dangerous wounds that were apt to gangrene. Sometimes if they had much at stake, the hill-men or outlaws would venture an ambuscade, and hurl their javelins or send a flight of arrows amongst their enemies.

But even the boldest races rarely came to close quarters, for their weapons were no match against rifles and bayonets. So, led by their spies, the Spanish forces laboured upwards, and on arriving at the hamlets of the mountaineers or outlaws they burnt down the rude huts, reaped the crops, taking away what they could and burning the remainder.

They cut down every fruit tree and took special care to destroy every tobacco plant. They then retired, leaving a scene of devastation behind them.

If any of the hill-men fell into their hands their fate depended upon whether there were any murders to avenge or upon the humanity of the officer in command. This wanton destruction was committed chiefly in the interests of the tobacco monopoly, but also in order to force the hillmen [30]to come down and reside in the towns. It had, however, an entirely contrary effect, for the savages either retired into more inaccessible regions, or perhaps abandoned cultivation and lived a roving, marauding life like the Itetapanes and Catubanganes.

Since the abolition of the tobacco monopoly the Talas have been less frequent, and there was a feeling amongst the authorities that these cruel and demoralising expeditions should be discontinued, unless in cases where the hill-men had given great provocation.

The Spaniards are, of course, not the only nation to make these forays. In the last campaign against the Afridis the British troops were employed, under orders, to blow up the houses, break the mill-stones, and cut down the trees of the enemy, not even sparing the shade trees round a mosque. It was probably the only way to inflict punishment on the Afridis.

The worst feature is that in all such cases a crop of bitter hatred is sown in the hearts of the sufferers, which matures later on, and which is handed down from one generation to another. [31]


Chapter V.

Tagal Crime and Spanish Justice.

The murder of a Spaniard—Promptitude of the Courts—The case of Juan de la Cruz—Twelve years in prison waiting trial—Piratical outrage in Luzon—Culprits never tried; several die in prison.

The penal code of the Philippines, which came into force in 1884, declares it impossible to consider as an aggravation of an offence the circumstance of colour or race in the offender, for the criminal is to be punished for his crime and not for the condition of inferiority to which nature has condemned him.

It goes on to say that on the other hand his condition should not be allowed to attenuate the sentence, for that would constitute an odious privilege, an unbearable inequality.

It therefore proudly proclaims the equality of all races before the law. These are noble words; we shall see how they work out in practice.

The case of Juan de la Cruz shows us that a criminal investigation can drag on for twelve years without coming on for trial when the victims are natives and of lowly station. I could cite cases where the victims were British subjects, and the murderers were never punished, and another case where a Frenchman was the victim. The murderer in this case was to have been pardoned by the Governor-General, but the French consul threatened to haul down his flag and leave the islands unless the assassin was executed; and he was executed, the consul attending to see the sentence carried out

The British Foreign Office does not encourage its agents to such energetic acts. To obtain the good graces of the Foreign Office a consul should be devoid of talent or originality. Mediocrity is the condition sought for. It is never advisable for one of Her Britannic Majesty’s consuls [32]to be active in protecting Her Britannic Majesty’s subjects. What he must aim at if he wishes for consideration and promotion is to give the Foreign Office no trouble. The ideal consul would be he who is only heard of once a quarter, when he certifies that he is alive, and asks that his salary may be paid.

I will relate a murder that made an impression on me at the time, where the victim was a Spaniard. In June of 1881, I was at Santa Cruz in the Laguna Province for several days, making experiments with some patent centrifugals, steaming and drying the fine Laguna sugar. Quite close to the camarin, where the machines were at work, lived an elderly Spaniard who was a government employé in some subordinate position. I think he was the Subdelegado de Hacienda, or sub-provincial treasurer. I had once or twice called upon the old gentleman, whose appearance and manners were above his official rank, and had been politely received by him. On completing my experiments, I called to take leave of him, and was sorry to find him suffering from fever, and very weak.

I returned to Manila, and next day was horrified to read in a newspaper that he had been murdered in the night by his two servants. This atrocious crime, committed on a helpless and infirm old man, with every circumstance of premeditation and barbarity, and with the object of robbery, roused the indignation of every European. The culprits were soon apprehended, and such expedition was used by the Promotor Fiscal and the court, that within a week from the perpetration of the murder the two servants were garrotted on a scaffold erected near the scene of their barbarous crime.

Such is the rapidity with which the Philippine courts could act when a Spaniard was the victim and when public opinion was deeply stirred by some shocking tragedy.


The case of Juan de la Cruz.

The following narrative of events, which occurred in 1886, will give the reader a good idea of the furious passions that may lurk under the inscrutable features of the Philippine Malay, and will also serve to illustrate the procedure of the Spanish criminal courts when the victims are natives and when nothing can be made out of the case. [33]Four of the five actors or victims in the tragedy were well known to me, and I learned all the particulars at first hand and at the time, from those who took steps to deliver over the culprit to justice.

The decked steam launch Laguimanoc belonged to Gustav Brown, a ship carpenter, and was hired by the Varadero, or Slipway Company of Cañacao, near Cavite, to keep up communication with Manila, whilst the slip was being constructed.

I was consulting engineer to the company, and Mr. J. L. Houston was the resident engineer in charge of the work. Both of us made frequent voyages in this launch between Cañacao and Manila. The crew consisted of a patron (coxswain) named Juan de la Cruz, an engine-driver, a stoker, and a boy, all Tagals.

Juan de la Cruz was an elderly man with grey hair, and in figure thin and wiry. He was a good man at his duty, one of the silent Indians whom I have always found to be the best. A thorough sailor, he had served under many a flag, and sailed o’er many a sea, both in tropic and in northern climes.

The engine-driver and the stoker were brothers, strong and well-built young fellows, and smart at their work. The boy was an active lad, quite pleased to be employed on a steam-boat.

One day, the stoker, going through the blacksmith’s shop, saw a piece of square steel, which had been cut off a long bar, lying on the floor, and it struck him that it would be better than a hammer for breaking coal. So he annexed it without leave, and got one end drawn out and rounded so that he could easily hold it. This made a very efficient coal-breaker, the sharp edges divided the lumps with great ease. It was about eighteen inches long, and one and three-quarter inches square. The patron was married, and his wife lived in Manila, but, sailor-like, he had provided himself with a sweetheart, at the other end of his run, where he spent more time than in the Pasig, and had become intimate with a damsel of San Roque, a village between the Varadero and Cavite. Things went on apparently all right for some time; the launch making almost daily trips between Cañacao and Manila, and the elderly patron alternating between the conjugal domicile and the dwelling of his mistress. She was young, and, as native girls go, a pretty woman. Come of a strange and [34]unknown mixture of races, and bred up amongst a community noted for its profligacy, she knew how to make the best use of her charms and was well fitted to captivate the weather-beaten seaman.

He, if not desirable in himself, held a well paid post, and was able to place her above want.

Already fifty years old, he was as susceptible as a youth and far more in earnest. Day by day, as he basked in her smiles, his infatuation increased till he became violently enamoured of his charmer.

What could be more natural than that the crew of the launch should become acquainted with the patron’s mistress? Soon the engine-driver and the stoker were her constant visitors. The damsel had a kind word and a smile for both, and doubtless contrasted their vigorous youth and shapely forms with the shrunken figure of her elderly protector, and their lively conversation with his glum silence.

In the end, no doubt, the damsel refused them nothing.

Trouble was now brewing. The grim sailor was not the man to let himself be wronged with impunity. All the elements of a tragedy were present. Things no longer went smoothly on board the Laguimanoc, and her voyages lost their regularity. Something was perpetually going wrong with the engines, pieces or fittings disappeared unaccountably, usually pieces of copper or brass. The engine-driver was blamed, but he succeeded in averting his impending discharge. Could he have foreseen the consequences of remaining, he would have promptly discharged himself.

On board the launch mutual distrust prevailed. The engine-driver must have known that it was the patron who had thrown overboard the fittings in his absence, hoping to get him discharged, but he held his peace.

The silent figure at the tiller made no sign; no trace of emotion could be seen on the Sphinx-like face, no reproaches passed his lips, not the slightest manifestation of resentment. But underneath that imperturbable calm there existed the steadfast determination to have a full and bloody revenge on all who had offended him. The Laguimanoc made a voyage to Manila one Saturday to take up the resident engineer who often spent his Sundays there, the launch remaining in the river. On Monday morning when he came down to the launch he found that [35]the safety valve was missing from its seat, and was delayed till another could be procured.

No explanations of the loss of this piece could be got, and the Laguimanoc proceeded with the resident engineer to Cañacao and made fast to the jetty.

A crisis was now reached. The abstraction of the safety-valve could not be overlooked, and some one would have to go. An inquiry was to be made, but on Tuesday morning the patron walked up the jetty, and reported to Mr. Gustav Brown, who was the foreman of the works, that the engine-driver and stoker were absent. He stated that they had gone ashore in the night, and had not returned. Nothing could be learned about them; nobody had seen them; their kits were still on board. As the day wore on they did not come nor send any message; so a report of their disappearance was sent to the judge at Cavite.

An engine-fitter from the works was sent on board to take charge of the engine, and another stoker was engaged; the launch resuming her running. The work of the Varadero proceeded as usual; divers were preparing the foundations to receive the immense gridiron which was shortly to be launched and sunk in place. It was a busy scene of organised labour under a skilful resident engineer; every difficulty foreseen and provided for, materials delivered in good time, notwithstanding obstructions; not an unnecessary auger-hole bored, not a stroke of an adze thrown away.

From the Sleepy Hollow of the naval arsenal opposite jealous eyes watched the work proceed. Every art of vexation and obstruction that bitter envy could devise had for years been employed to prevent the building of this slip, and onerous and unfair conditions had been inserted in the concession. But Anglo-American persistence and industry had succeeded so far, and in the hands of Messrs. Peel, Hubbell & Co. and their advisers, the work was now well advanced.

The obsolete corvette Doña Maria Molina was moored off the coaling-wharf adjoining the Varadero, and when one of her boats was going on shore the sailors noticed two dead bodies floating in the water, and reported this to the officer of the watch, who ordered them to tow the bodies to the shore towards Punta Sangley, and drag them up on the sand above high-water mark. The bodies were lashed together with a piece of new rope having a blue strand in [36]the centre, and had a good-sized piece of white granite attached as a sinker. On looking at the lashings no one could doubt that the work had been done by an able seaman. The bodies presented ghastly wounds, both had fractures of the skull, and gaping cuts on the throat and abdomen; they had also been gnawed by fishes. The swelling of the bodies had sufficed to bring them to the surface, stone and all.

The news of the finding of the corpses did not immediately reach the Varadero, and they were conveyed to Cavite, and buried just as they were found, tied together with the ropes and stone, without being identified. It seemed nobody’s business to trouble about them, notwithstanding the evident fact that they had been murdered. The Manila newspapers did not mention the circumstance.

But at this time other events happened. The patron of the launch disappeared without taking his kit with him. Then the boy disappeared, and I may as well at once say that, from that time to this, that boy has never been heard of by the Varadero Company, who were his employers. Next, that gay and lascivious damsel of San Roque, whose unbridled sensuality had wrought the trouble, also disappeared as mysteriously as the others.

Dr. Juan Perez, of Cavite, was the medical attendant to the staff of the Varadero, and used to call there every afternoon. On hearing from him about the discovery of the bodies, the resident engineer at once thought of his missing men, and the flight of the patron confirmed his suspicions. A minute examination of the launch was made, and revealed some stains of blood which had not been entirely removed by the usual washing down. Several small cuts such as might be made with the point of a bolo were found in the flat skylight of the cabin, and a deeper cut on the bulwark rail, starboard side forward, opposite the skylight. A working rope was missing from the launch. It had only recently been supplied to it, and had been cut off a whole coil purchased a few weeks before from a sailing-vessel, for the use of the Varadero. That rope had a blue strand in the centre. Gustav Brown put on a diving-dress, and went down at the head of the northern jetty, where the launch used to lie, and carefully examined the bottom. Presently his eye rested on an object that he recognised. It was the square steel coal-breaker used by the stoker, and he brought it up. [37]

Meanwhile, a new coxswain had been found for the launch, and as the old patron had left his vessel illegally, there was ground for his arrest on that score, so orders were given to the new patron and to the engine-driver to give him into custody if he came to claim his kit. Next time the launch arrived in Manila, sure enough the old patron appeared to fetch his belongings, and was taken to the calaboose of the captain of the port. The resident engineer called on that official, and, as a result of their conversation, the prisoner was put on board the launch to be conveyed to Cavite.

With all the stoicism of the Malay, he sat quite still and silent; his impassive features betrayed no sign of anxiety or remorse.

But if the principal actor in this bloody tragedy could thus compose his mind, it was not so with others who knew more or less what had happened, but whose dread and hatred of the law and its myrmidons had kept their tongues quiet.

When the launch approached the Varadero near enough for the prisoner to be recognised, an unusual commotion occurred amongst the swarm of native workmen. A mysterious magnetism, an inexplicable vibration, pervaded the crowd. Unfelt by the senses, it acted on the mind, and seemed simultaneously to convey to each individual an identical idea.

The patron was a prisoner, therefore his crime was known; no good could be done by keeping silent. Before this nobody knew anything about the disappearance of the two men. Now it leaked out, but only in confidence to Gustav Brown, whom they trusted. The native divers had seen the bodies when at their work on the foundations, and had moved them farther off out of their way. Men working at the jetties had seen them when they floated, but had looked in another direction. In fact, the corpses had been recognised, and the crime was known to scores of native and Chinese workmen, but no word or hint ever reached the foreman or the engineer till the culprit was arrested.

Now there were sufficient details to reconstitute the tragic scene.

The amour of the brothers with the San Roque girl was known, and also the well-founded jealousy of the patron, who at first endeavoured to obtain the engine-driver’s discharge by the means already mentioned. This not [38]succeeding, he determined to kill both of them, and without showing a sign of the deadly hatred that possessed him, calmly awaited his opportunity.

On the Monday night, 7th June, after the incident of the safety-valve, the launch was moored alongside the Varadero jetty, and the two brothers lay fast asleep on the flat top of the cabin skylight, each wrapped in his blanket.

A native sleeps hard, and is not easily awakened, nor when aroused does he quickly regain his faculties. It is an important point in the Malay code of manners never to awaken any person suddenly, for it is believed that, during sleep, the soul is absent from the body, wandering around, and must be given time to return, otherwise serious, even fatal consequences, may ensue. The awakened person may become an idiot, or some great harm may happen to the unmannerly one who awakened him. Many natives have as great a fear of the wandering soul of a sleeping person as of an evil spirit or ghost. The soul is said to return to the body in the form of a small black ball, which enters the mouth.

Moreover, one of the greatest, in fact, the most terrible, curse that can be uttered by many tribes, is, “May you die sleeping,” for it means death to body and soul. That, however, was the fate reserved for the brothers. Towards midnight, when the cooking-fires in the coolie quarters had burnt down, and the chatter of the Chinese had subsided, when the last lights in the Europeans’ houses had been extinguished, and not a sound broke the stillness of the night, the patron addressed himself to the performance of his bloody task. Slipping his sharpened bolo through his belt, he descended into the engine-room, and, seizing the coal-breaker, crept forward to where the doomed men slumbered, perhaps dreaming of the charms of that dark damsel, the enjoyment of whose embraces was to cost them so dear. Meanwhile, their fate approached; their time was come.

The patron was past his prime; privations at sea and dissipation on shore had sapped his strength. But bitter hatred nerving his arm, with lightning rapidity and terrific force he discharged a blow on each sleeper’s unprotected head. The sharp edge of the steel bar crashed deep into their skulls, driving in the splintered bone upon the brain. One agonised shudder from each, then all was still. A European murderer might have been satisfied with this. [39]Not so a Tagal. A ceremony still remained to be accomplished. Their blood must flow; they must suffer mutilation. Seizing his bolo, the assassin now vented his rage in cutting and thrusting at the bodies. The heavy and keen-edged blade fell repeatedly, cutting great gashes on the throats and bellies of the victims, whilst streams of gore ran down the waterways, and trickled out at the scuppers, staining the white sides of the launch with crimson streaks.

His blood-thirst assuaged, his vengeance partly accomplished, and his spirit comforted by his desperate deed, the murderer probably paused for a time, and began to consider how he could conceal his crime. No sign of movement anywhere. Apparently the dull sounds of the blows had fallen on no mortal ear. Presently, taking up one of his working ropes, he mounted the jetty, and walked to the shore, where there lay a pile of stone ballast. It was white granite, discharged from a sailing-ship that had come from Hong Kong in ballast, and it had been purchased for the Varadero. Selecting a suitable piece, he carried it to the end of the jetty, and lowered it by the rope into the launch. Then, descending, he firmly lashed the two bodies together, and fastened the stone to them. Then he drew the bodies to the side, preparatory to launching them overboard. Now an incident occurred. It is thought that one of the two men was not quite dead, notwithstanding his dreadful wounds, and that recovering consciousness, and perceiving what awaited him, seized the rail in his death-grasp, and resisted the attempt to throw him over.

The patron must once again have had recourse to his murderous bolo, bringing it down on the clenched hand, for a deep cut was found on the rail with blood driven into the pores of the wood by that savage blow. The tendons severed, the hand unclasped, and next moment the bodies slid over the rail and down underneath the keel of the launch in some four fathoms of water. Throwing the steel coal-breaker after them, the patron’s next task was to wash away the traces of his crime, and this he did fairly well so that nothing was noticed, till, suspicion being aroused, a careful scrutiny was made, with the result already mentioned. It is not known whether the boy knew anything of the tragedy performed so near him, for he was never questioned, having apparently disappeared off the face of the earth as soon as the bodies were found. What the patron did afterwards can only be conjectured. Guilty of [40]two atrocious murders, and of savage mutilation of the slain, could he have composed himself to a quiet and dreamless slumber? Or was his imagination fired to further revenge by dream-pictures of his once-loved mistress in the arms of her youthful lovers? All that is known is that he presented himself to the foreman early on the Tuesday morning, and reported the absence of the two men without showing on his dark visage the slightest sign of trouble or emotion.

We left the patron a prisoner on the launch. Now it became necessary to give him in charge to the judicial authorities, for it was getting late in the afternoon. They did not show any undue eagerness to receive him. The judge first applied to explained that he was only acting temporarily, that the judge had departed, having been transferred to another place, and that the new judge had not yet arrived, therefore he much regretted he could not take up the case. An appeal was then made to the Gobernador-Politico-Militar, who most courteously explained that a civil court was established in the province with full jurisdiction, both criminal and civil, so that he could not interfere. It was now nearly sunset, and the prisoner had been on the launch all day. The resident engineer then called on the Commandante of Cañacao—a naval officer who had a few marines at his disposal—and obtained as a personal favour that the prisoner should be temporarily secured in the guard-room. The next day the resident engineer proceeded to Cavite, and, accompanied by Dr. Juan Perez, visited the principal authorities, and eventually succeeded in getting the prisoner lodged in jail, and a charge of murder entered against him. The bodies of the victims were never exhumed for examination. The resident engineer made a declaration, which was taken down in writing, and on one of his busiest days he was peremptorily summoned to appear before the judge, and solemnly ratify his testimony.

About three days after Juan de la Cruz was lodged in Cavite jail, the dead body of the San Roque damsel, gashed by savage blows of the fatal bolo, was left by the ebb on the sands of Parañaque, a village just across the little Bay of Bacoor opposite to San Roque. She had paid with her life for her frailty as many another woman has done in every clime. From the appearance of the body it was thought it had been several days in the water. [41]

No legal evidence was forthcoming to fix the crime on any one, although few of those who knew the story harboured a doubt that the assassin of the two brothers was the murderer of the girl also.

Juan de la Cruz remained in prison, and from time to time, but with increasing intervals, the resident engineer, the foreman and others were cited by the judge, interrogated, then cited again to ratify their declarations.

The espediente, a pile of stamped paper, grew thicker and thicker, but the trial seemed no nearer. Month after month rolled on, the Varadero was finished, ships were drawn up, repaired and launched, Juan continued in prison.

The resident engineer departed to other climes, and was soon expending his energy in building the great harbour at La Guayra. I was the means of obtaining an order for six gun-boats for the Varadero Company. They were built, launched, tried and delivered, and steamed away to overawe the piratical Moros. Still Juan continued in prison. Judges came and judges went, but the trial came no nearer. Year after year a judge of the Audiencia came in state to inspect the prisoners, and year after year Juan was set down as awaiting his trial.

In December, 1892, I left the Philippines for Cuba and Juan de la Cruz was still in Cavite jail.

Dr. Juan Perez, the surgeon who had examined the corpses, died, having wrongly diagnosed his own case, and Dr. Hugo Perez, a half caste, was appointed in his stead. Gustav Brown, the foreman, wearied of the monotony of ship repairing, became possessed by a longing to resume his nomadic life amongst the palm-clad islands of the Pacific. He purchased a schooner and embarked with his wife and family. First running down to Singapore to take in trade-goods for bartering with the natives, he sailed away for the Carolines where his wife’s home lay. He never reached them; for, soon after leaving Singapore, he came to a bloody end at the hands of his Chinese crew, who killed and decapitated him.

The insurrection broke out in Cavite Province, Colonel Mattone’s column was defeated by the insurgents with great slaughter. Dr. Hugo Perez, the successor of Dr. Juan Perez, was suspected of sympathising with the rebels, and, needless to say, he soon came to a bloody end. He did not have to wait long for his trial. [42]

In 1896, Mr. George Gilchrist, the engineer at the Varadero, who was not in the Philippines when the murders were committed, was cited by the judge, and asked if he could identify the prisoner ten years after his arrest! Two years more passed, and in April, 1898, Mr. Gilchrist returned to Scotland for a well-earned holiday. When he left Cañacao, Juan de la Cruz was still in prison awaiting his trial.

He may have escaped when the rebels occupied Cavite after Admiral Dewey’s victory over the Spanish Squadron in the Bay of Bacoor.

For the murderer no pity need be felt, he certainly had nothing to gain and all to lose by a trial. A double murder, premeditated, accompanied by acts of great barbarity, and committed at night, constitutes by the Penal Code a capital offence with three aggravating circumstances which would forbid all hope of clemency.

But what can be thought of courts so remiss in their duty? How many innocent prisoners have waited years for their trial? How many have died in prison?


Piratical Outrage in Luzon.

At Laguimanóc, a port and village in the Province of Tayabas, there resided an Englishman, Mr. H. G. Brown, who had been many years in the Philippines. By the exercise of untiring industry, by braving the malaria of the primeval forests, and by his never-failing tact in dealing with the officials of the Woods and Forests on the one hand, and with the semi-barbarous and entirely lawless wood-cutters on the other, he had built up an extensive business in cutting timber in the state forests of Southern Luzon and the adjacent islands. He was owner of several sailing vessels, had a well-appointed saw-mill, and a comfortable residence at Languimanóc. He employed large numbers of wood-cutters; all under advances of pay, who were scattered about the Provinces of Tayabas, and Camarines Norte over a considerable area.

His business was so considerable that he paid the Government fully $30,000 per year as royalty on timber which was mostly shipped to Hong Kong and Shanghai.

In order to facilitate a business so profitable to them the Government placed a Custom House official at Atimónan, in the Bay of Lamon on the Pacific coast, to clear and [43]despatch his timber vessels loaded at Atimónan, Gumacas, Lopez, Alabat Island, or other places. To show how little Mr. Brown spared himself, I may mention that not even the dreaded jungle-fever of Mindoro prevented him from personally superintending the loading of several vessels at different ports of that pestilential island. In persistence and pluck he was a worthy predecessor of Professor D. C. Worcester, who years afterwards showed his Anglo-Saxon determination in the same fearsome spot.

One day in December of 1884, Mr. Brown being absent in Hong Kong, and his manager, Mr. Anderson, busy on the Pacific coast, looking after the loading of a vessel, the out-door superintendent, a Swede named Alfred Olsen, was in charge of the house, office, and saw-mill at Laguimanóc, and was attending to the loading of the Tartar, one of Mr. Brown’s ships which was anchored in the bay taking in timber for China. She had a native crew who occasionally of an evening, when ashore to enjoy themselves, got up a disturbance with the villagers. On board this vessel there were, as is usual, two Carabineros or Custom House guards to prevent smuggling.

Although no one in the village suspected it, two large canoes full of armed men were lying concealed behind a point in Capuluan Cove on the opposite side of the Bay. At eight o’clock in the evening, it being quite dark, they came across, and in perfect order, according to a pre-arranged plan advanced in silence on the village. The assailants numbered twenty-eight men, and were variously armed with lances, bolos and daggers. Only the leader bore a revolver. A guard was left on the canoes, four of the gang were stationed at the door of Mr. Brown’s house, and others at strategic points, whilst the main body attacked the Tribunal close by which was also the estanco where there was some Government money, postage stamps and stamped paper. At all Tribunales there are a couple of cuadrilleros, or village constables on guard, armed usually with lance and bolo. These men did their duty and manfully resisted the pirates. In the combat which ensued, the sergeant of the Cuadrilleros was killed and some on both sides were wounded, but the pirates got the best of the fight, and plundered the estanco.

In the meantime, Olsen, having heard the uproar, may have thought that the crew of the Tartar were again making a disturbance. At all events he left the house unarmed [44]and unsuspicious, thus walking into the trap laid for him. The Tagals have a great respect for fire-arms, more especially for the revolvers and repeating rifles of the foreigner, thus they did not venture to enter the house, but the moment Olsen stepped out into the darkness and before he could see round about him, he was attacked by two men on each side, who plunged their daggers into his body, piercing his lungs. Bleeding profusely and vomiting blood he rushed back into the house towards his bedroom to get his revolver which was under the bed. His assailants, however, followed him into the room and butchered him before he could grasp it. At least the revolver was afterwards found in its case with the perfect impress of his blood-stained hand upon the oaken lid. A native boy named Pablo, about eight years old, was in the house at the time, and in his terror squeezed himself into a narrow space behind the door and escaped discovery, although he was an eye-witness of the crime.

By this time the alarm had spread all over the little village, and the noise was heard on board the Tartar. The two Carabineros, taking their Remingtons and cartridge boxes, had themselves paddled on shore, and marching up the stairs which led to the rocky eminence on which the village stands, bravely advanced against the pirates although out-numbered by more than ten to one. They fired their rifles, but the gang rushed upon them and in a moment they were cut down, and according to Tagal custom, their bellies were ripped open. The pirates having now overcome all opposition and having plundered the estanco, and the inevitable Chinaman’s shop, transferred their attention to Mr. Brown’s house, which they ransacked, taking the contents of the safe, a collection of gold and silver coins, seven Martini-Henry rifles with ammunition, and two revolvers, as well as any other things they deemed of value. They burst open the desks, drawers, and wardrobes, cutting and hacking the furniture with their bolos in wanton mischief. Then embarking their spoil, they sailed away with the land breeze.

Information had been sent off to the nearest post of the Guardia Civil, and on its receipt, an officer with a force of that corps instantly set off and captured one party of the pirates red-handed as they beached their canoe. Within a week twenty-six had been captured and one shot dead whilst escaping. There only remained the leader. He, as [45]it was afterwards discovered, was concealed in a secluded wood a few miles from Sariaya, and one night he was speared by the Captain of Cuadrilleros of that town, who is said to have had valid reasons for getting him out of the way.

This band of pirates were a mixed lot; some of them were principales or members of the town council of Sariaya, a picturesque little place on the southern slope of Mount Banajao, and some from San Juan de Boc-boc; others were ordinary inhabitants, a few were outlaws from the San Juan mountains, and four or five were fishermen whom the gang had met on their passage by sea and had invited to accompany them. This custom of Convites is explained in Chapter XXV. Of course the fishermen, when interrogated, declared they had been pressed into the service, but in fact very few natives have the moral courage to decline so pleasing an entertainment, as it appeals to a feeling deeply seated in their hearts, the love of rapine, only to be restrained by the heavy hand of a military police “who do not hesitate to shoot.” The provincial doctor arrived next morning with the judge who was to take the depositions of the villagers and draw up the sumario. Olsen was dead, the sergeant of Cuadrilleros also and one of the Carabineros, but strange to say, in spite of a dozen ghastly wounds, the other one was still alive, though his bowels were protruding, having fallen out through the gash which it is the Tagal custom to finish off with.

When the provincial doctor saw him, he said, “Nothing can possibly be done for him,” and departed. So, abandoned to his own resources, he replaced the bowels himself, and getting one of the villagers to bind him up, he eventually recovered. He was seen by Mr. Brown a year or two later, and is probably alive now. This seems extraordinary, but a similar case occurred to a man who had worked under me. An English bricklayer named John Heath had been employed building furnaces and kilns in Manila, and having completed his work, took to farming and rented some grass meadows (sacate lands) at Mandaloyan. One night he and another Englishman staying with him were attacked in his house by a party of Tagals with drawn bolos. The visitor, although wounded, leaped from the window and escaped, but Heath was cut down, then lifted on to the window sill, hacked about, and finally, according to Tagal custom, ripped open and left for dead. Yet this man also entirely [46]recovered, and after a year seemed as strong as ever, although he was advised not to exert his strength. This outrage was clearly agrarian, and was, I feel sure, committed by those who had previously rented these lands and had been turned out. No one was ever punished for it.

To return to the gang of pirates; two had been killed, the rest were in prison. Year after year passed, still they remained in prison; judges came, stayed their term, were promoted and went, but still these men were never sentenced.

In 1889, I visited Laguimanóc to make a plan and valuation of the property, as the business was about to be taken over by a Limited Liability Company, established in Hong Kong. This was five years after the date of the murders, some of the prisoners had died in prison, the others were awaiting their sentence. But I found that the Government had established a sergeant’s post of the Guardia Civil in the village, which effectually prevented a repetition of the outrage.

A year later I again visited Laguimanóc, but the trial of the prisoners was no further advanced. No less than nine of them died in prison, still no sentence was pronounced. Even for a Philippine Court this was extraordinary, for the gang had committed the unpardonable crime “Resistencia a fuerza armada” (Resistance to an armed force), and could have been tried by Court-martial and summarily shot. They had also dared to lay their profane hands on the sacred money-box containing a portion of the “Real Haber” (Government money), so that it was not only a question of murder and robbery of private people. But the Civil Court, negligent, slothful, and corrupt, could not be got to convict, and a few years ago, Mr. Brown having left the islands, the surviving prisoners were pardoned by the Queen Regent on the occasion of the young King’s birthday.

The contrast between the military and civil elements in this case is very strong.

The military element performed its duties thoroughly well, under great difficulties, and promptly arrested the malefactors. In my experience this has been always the case, and I draw from it the conclusion that military Government is essential to the pacification of the Philippines and that authority must be backed up by a native [47]force of constabulary under American officers who must be young and active.

Such offences as piracy or gang-robbery should never come before a Civil Court, but should be promptly settled by court-martial before which no technicalities or legal subtleties need be taken into account.

A firm, nay, a heavy hand over the Philippines is the most merciful in the long run.

I am sorry to have to relate that the Company which took over Mr. Brown’s business did not long prosper. Whilst he remained at the head of it, all went well, but as soon as he left to take a much-needed rest, it began to fail. The personality of the individual is everything in most Spanish countries and especially in the Philippines. No manager could be found who could keep on terms with the officials, control the wild wood-cutters or risk jungle-fever by entering the forests to personally inspect the work.

The organization decayed and the business went to pieces. Let intending investors take note. [48]


Chapter VI.

Causes of Tagal Revolt.

Corrupt officials—“Laws of the Indies”—Philippines a dependency of Mexico up to 1800—The opening of the Suez Canal—Hordes of useless officials—The Asimilistas—Discontent, but no disturbance—Absence of crime—Natives petition for the expulsion of the Friars—Many signatories of the petition punished.

The Spanish Colonial system was based upon the simple and well-recognised principle of rewarding political services to the Government in power, by the pillage of a colony.

Sometimes special circumstances rendered it necessary for the Government to send out the man best fitted to cope with a critical situation, but in normal times the good old corrupt plan was followed.

The appointment of a Governor-General would be arranged by the Prime Minister and submitted for the approval of the monarch. The Colonial Minister, like the other subordinate ministers, counted for little in a Cabinet presided over by such commanding personalities as Cánovas, or Sagásta. They were, in fact, mere heads of departments.

In another chapter I have remarked that it was generally believed that General Weyler purchased his appointment as Governor-General of the Philippines, by a cash payment and an annual subsidy.

There were, however, certain officials whom it would be unjust to class with those who practically had to rob for their living, because they were subject to dismissal at any moment. These unfortunates knew perfectly well that integrity and ability would not ensure them a single day’s grace. Whenever the man in power wanted that place for his cousin or his uncle, out they would go. Similarly, if [49]they had any interest, misbehaviour would not lose the appointment. Considering the system, the wonder was that some of them were honest, not that most of them were thieves.

Amongst those who had fixed appointments were the Inspector-General of Forests and his assistants. Every British and American resident in, or visitor to Manila, will remember a Catalan gentleman, Don Sebastian Vidal y Soler and his charming wife Dona Ella Paoli de Vidal, a lady from Philadelphia. Vidal was a man of great learning and equal modesty, a man of the strictest honour, kind-hearted and charitable in the extreme. He was well-known in America, in London, Paris, and Amsterdam, and wherever botanists congregate. His death in 1890 was universally regretted.

In the same branch of the service there was another gentleman whom I must name. Don José Sainz de Baranda, at one time acting Colonial Secretary, is a most courteous gentleman, whose high character and marked ability were well worthy of the confidence reposed in him by General Terrero. Any country might be proud to own Señor Sainz de Baranda. For my part I preserve the most agreeable remembrances of these two friends.

In the Department of Public Works there were men of considerable attainments as engineers—Don Eduardo Lopez Navarro, author of the project for the new harbour; Don Genaro Palacios, who designed and carried out the waterworks and designed the Church of Saint Sebastian, in both of which works I took part; and Señor Brockman, who constructed several lighthouses in different parts of the Archipelago. I feel bound to say that so far as my knowledge went, there was no corruption or underhand work in either the Inspection of Forests or the Public Works.

As to the patronage of other civil offices I have had the procedure explained to me by a Spaniard well up in the subject, and I give an imaginary instance to illustrate the system.

When a political party came into power and the question of forming the Cabinet was being debated, Señor M——, a leader of a group of deputies, might say, “I renounce the honour of entering the Cabinet, and instead will take the Presidency of the Chamber and the right to appoint the Collector of Customs at Havana, the Intendant General of Hacienda at Manila, and the Governor of [50]Batangas, with a dozen second and third class governorships or judgeships.”

If this was agreed to, perhaps, after some haggling, Señor M—— distributed the nominations to the lower appointments amongst his supporters, who disposed of them for their own advantage.

The nominations to the higher offices remained the absolute private property of Señor M——, and he proceeded to pick out men up to the job, to undertake the appointments. Some of them paid him large sums in cash, and others entered into contracts binding themselves to remit him monthly a large proportion of their emoluments and pickings. In some cases it was stipulated that if a single payment was in default, the unfortunate employé would be instantly dismissed. I have personally known of this condition. Those he nominated referred to him as their padrino or godfather.

The actual holders of the offices referred to would then be summarily dismissed, however well they might have behaved whilst serving, and the new horde would be installed in their places and would use every means to fill their pockets and to pay their padrino.

Complaints against them were not likely to lead to their removal, for they were protected in Madrid by the powerful political interest of their padrino. If they kept within the criminal law, they had little to fear, however greedy they might be.

Some of the governors and other officials had the talent of filling their pockets without making enemies. I have already referred to a Governor of Batangas, as eminent in this line. It must not be supposed that the illicit gains of the officials were extorted from the individual native. They were principally drawn from the fallos, or local tax in redemption of polos or personal service. This money ought to have been employed in repairing roads, bridges, and public buildings. But as nearly the whole was diverted into the pockets of the officials and their padrinos, the roads became impassable in the wet season, the bridges, if of wood, rotted, if of stone, were thrown down by the earthquakes or carried away by floods, whilst the tribunales (town halls), fell into decay. I have known cases where a planter has been unable for months to send his sugar down to the port for shipment, as it was absolutely impossible for carts to pass along the road in the wet season. In a [51]wealthy and populous province like Batangas, the fallos were sufficient to have paved all the main roads in the province with granite and to have bridged every stream.

I may mention here a characteristic trait of Spanish administration. When a river-bridge fell down, they not only did not repair or renew it, but they put up to auction the monopoly of ferrying vehicles and passengers across the stream. The purchaser of the right fastened a rattan across the river and provided a couple of canoes with a platform of cane laid over them, which served to ferry vehicles across by means of the rope; one or two at a time at a rather heavy charge. This truly Spanish method provided a revenue for the Administration, or pickings for an official, instead of requiring an outlay for a new bridge.

Still, the natives, never having known anything better, supported these drawbacks with remarkable equanimity. They were left very much to themselves, and were not interfered with nor worried. The army was small and the conscription did not press heavily upon them.

They lived under the “Leyes de Indias” (may their makers have found favour with God), a code of laws deserving of the greatest praise for wisdom and humanity. They protected the native against extortion, constituting him a perpetual minor as against the usurer. He could not be sued for more than five dollars. Compare this wise disposition with what has been going on in India ever since the British Government has administered it, where the principal occupation of the lower courts is to decree the foreclosure of mortgages on the ryot’s patches of land at the suit of the village usurer. The result has been that in some provinces the small landowner class who furnished fighting men for the Indian Army has almost disappeared. It is only now in 1900 that something is proposed to be done to remedy this evil, and knowing my countrymen, I quite expect some weak-kneed compromise will be arrived at.

The “Leyes de Indias” conferred upon the native the perpetual usufruct of any land that he kept under cultivation; and this right descended from father to son.

As a result of these laws, most of the arable land in Luzon, Cebú, and some other islands belongs to the natives to this day, although many of them have no other title than possession. The natives also had the privilege of cutting [52]timber in the forests for house-building or repairing, or for making a canoe free of dues. They could also cut bamboos for their fences or roofs and collect firewood.

These privileges were restricted to natives, and were not extended to Spaniards or Chinese. The taxes paid by the natives were light and they could live and thrive.

Had these wise and admirable laws been carried out in the spirit in which they were made, the Philippines might have been Spanish to this day and the natives would have had little to complain of.

The Philippines were for nearly three centuries after their discovery by the Spaniards a mere dependency of Mexico, communication being kept up by an annual galleon or sometimes two sailing between Acapulco and Manila through the Strait of San Bernardino. The long and tedious voyage deterred all but priests and officials from proceeding to the Philippines.

When this route was given up, which happened some ten years before the Independence of Mexico, which was proclaimed in 1820, communication with the Peninsula was by sailing vessels via the Cape of Good Hope. That was a voyage that would not be lightly undertaken either going or returning. Spaniards who then came to the Archipelago often stayed there for the rest of their lives.

The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the establishment of a line of steamers bringing Manila within thirty days of Barcelona was the most important event in the history of the Philippines since the conquest, and it had the gravest consequences. It greatly stimulated the trade of the Philippines, but it enormously increased the number of Spaniards in the Islands. Hordes of hungry-looking Iberians arrived by every steamer with nominations to posts for which most of them possessed no qualification. It seemed as if all the loafers of the Puerta del Sol and the Calle de Alcalá were to be dumped in the Philippines and fed by the Treasury.

Vicols Preparing Hemp.—Drawing Out the Fibre.

Vicols Preparing Hemp.—Drawing Out the Fibre.

See p. 286.

Reduced Fac-simile of the Document of Identity of the Author, Showing the Amount Paid Annually as Poll-tax, $22.50.

Reduced Fac-simile of the Document of Identity of the Author, Showing the Amount Paid Annually as Poll-tax, $22.50.

To face p. 53.

Places had to be found for them, and a bureaucratic administration partly copied from French practice, was rapidly substituted for the old paternal régime. New departments were organised or the old ones greatly extended. Far more money was spent on the salaries of engineers and assistant-engineers than on public works. The salaries of the officials of the Woods and Forests exceeded the revenue derived from dues on timber cut in [53]the Crown forests, and their regulations seriously interfered with the privileges of the natives previously mentioned, and caused great discontent. The salaries of the Inspectors of Mines were almost a useless expense, for there was no revenue derived from mines, in fact there were no mines, only placers and washings. A medical service was organised at great cost and to little advantage. Doctors were appointed to reside at the hot springs, and one could not take a bath there without paying a fee. Model farms and Schools of Agriculture were started, to find places for more Spaniards, for the officials received their salaries, but no funds were forthcoming for material or establishment.

In 1886 there took place the separation of the executive and the judicial functions, and eighteen civil governors were appointed to the principal provinces. Later on, eighteen judges of first instance were nominated to these same provinces. After centuries of rule, the Alcaldes Mayores were abolished.

Then came a period when certain bureaucrats in Madrid conceived what they thought a vast and patriotic idea. They founded a school of politicians who called themselves Asimilistas. Their grand idea was to assimilate the administration of the Philippines to that of the Mother Country. They thought it wise to assimilate the institutions of a tropical dependency with eight millions of native inhabitants, of whom one-sixth part were independent heathen or Mahometans, to the gradually evolved institutions of Old Spain.

By way of a commencement they began to speak and write of the Philippines as “that beautiful province of Spain.” The Philippine army had always been distinct from the Peninsular army, but now by a paper reform it was embodied in it, and the regiments were re-numbered, the 1st Visayas Regiment becoming the 74th, etc. This was considered to be a strong link to bind together the Mother Country and the Colony.

The extra expense of these crowds of employés and of some expeditions to Mindanao and Joló was very heavy, accordingly every year saw some new and oppressive tax. In 1883 the “Tributo,” or tribute that had been paid by the natives since the conquest, was replaced by a tax on the Cédula Personal, or document of identity, and this was paid by all adults of both sexes, whether Spaniards, [54]foreigners, or half-castes. In the Appendix will be found a facsimile of my cédula.

The Customs duties were several times raised, sometimes without much notice. A tax on all trades and professions, on horses and carriages, a heavy port tax, a vexatious tax on all animals slaughtered, even down to a sucking pig, taxes on the hand-looms used by the women in their spare time, taxes on sugar-mills, rice-mills, on boats and lighters, and on houses; all these and many more were collected.

There were also serious agrarian disputes between the Dominicans, the Augustinians, and the tenants on their estates, owing to excessive rents demanded by the friars. All these circumstances brought about a great change in the relations between the Spaniards and the natives. Whereas formerly the wealthy native kept open house on feast days, and received with pleasure the visits of Spaniards, generally elderly men used to the country and speaking the language of the people, he now found his house invaded by a crowd of young officials new to the country and its ways, who fell on the eatables like a swarm of famishing locusts, and soon devoured the turkeys and hams and other good things he had provided to entertain his friends. Besides, his women-folk would probably not be treated by the new-comers with the courtesy and consideration they had been used to.

An estrangement gradually made itself felt, and increased year by year, in direct proportion to the influx of Spaniards. Not one in a hundred of these did any useful work or added in any way to the wealth of the community. They were the drones of the hive, and were in fact directly harmful, for they had to be supported from the Treasury, and they irritated the natives by their illegal exactions and overbearing conduct whenever they came in contact with them.

Still year after year passed without disturbances. From 1877 to 1892, whilst I was in the country, I can testify that almost perfect order reigned. The fighting in Mindanao and Joló went on as a matter of course like the Acheen war in Sumatra, and an expedition was sent against the Igorrotes. But in the civilised districts of Luzon and Visayas good order was kept. The only outbreak I remember was the religious excitement in Samar, which closed when the false gods were shot down. [55]

Crime was infrequent, and in those fourteen years I do not think half-a-dozen executions took place. There was less risk of burglary in Manila than in a London suburb. Whatever their faults I must give the Spanish Administration credit for the perfect order they kept. Manila, in this respect, compared favourably with Hong Kong, and still better with Singapore, where the authorities, perhaps remembering the fate of Governor Eyre of Jamaica, and in terror of Exeter Hall, tolerated the incredible insolence of the Chinese secret societies. These villainous organisations, which in Singapore successfully defied the law, never raised their heads in Manila, and Rajah Brooke showed how to treat them in Sarawak.

In pursuance of the Asimilista policy, in July 1887, the Penal Code was put in force in the Philippines by peremptory order from the Government at Madrid, and much against the opinion of experienced officials. In December of the same year the Civil Code was promulgated.

It cannot be said that these reforms, however well-intended, produced any beneficial effect on the natives. Combined with the great increase in taxation, they intensified the discontent that was always smouldering, more especially in the hearts of the native priests. Their grievances against the religious orders, and more particularly against the Recollets, who had been compensated for the handing over of their benefices in Mindanao to the Jesuits, at the expense of the secular clergy, were the cause of their bitter hatred of the Spanish friars.

In 1883 Field-Marshal Jovellar had thought it necessary to strengthen the small garrison by bringing out two battalions of Marine Infantry. However it was not till March 1st, 1888, that some natives and mestizos, emboldened by the fact that an anti-clerical, D. Jose Centeno, a mining engineer, was Acting Civil Governor of Manila, walked in procession to his official residence and presented a petition addressed to the Governor-General, demanding the immediate expulsion of the friars of the religious orders, and of the Archbishop, whom they declared unworthy to occupy the Primacy of the Islands. They further demanded the secularisation of the benefices and the confiscation of the estates of the Augustinians and the Dominicans.

To this petition there were 810 signatures, but when the signatories were summoned and examined, most of [56]them (as is their custom) declared they did not know what they had signed, and denied that they wished the friars to be expelled.

The petition was said to have been written by Doroteo Cortes, a mestizo lawyer, but I am told he did not sign it.

This manifestation, sixteen years after the mutiny at Cavite, seems to have had some relation to that event, for the petition accused the friars of compassing the death of Father Burgos, by subornation of justice.

The result of this appeal of the natives was that the principal persons who took part in it were banished, or sent to reside at undesirable spots within the Archipelago.

There were some agrarian disturbances at Calamba and Santa Rosa, one of the estates of the Dominicans, in 1890.

I may say that only the Augustinians, the Dominicans, and the Recollets possess landed estates, and that I have had the opportunity of examining several of them. They are all situated in Tagal territory, and as they are the pick of the lands, their possession by the friars has caused great heart-burnings amongst the Tagals—there has been a smouldering agrarian discontent for years. [57]


Chapter VII.

The Religious Orders.

The Augustinians—Their glorious founder—Austin Friars in England—Scotland—Mexico—They sail with Villalobos for the Islands of the Setting Sun—Their disastrous voyage—Fray Andres Urdaneta and his companions—Foundation of Cebú and Manila with two hundred and forty other towns—Missions to Japan and China—The Flora Filipina—The Franciscans—The Jesuits—The Dominicans—The Recollets—Statistics of the religious orders in the islands—Turbulence of the friars—Always ready to fight for their country—Furnish a war ship and command it—Refuse to exhibit the titles of their estates in 1689—The Augustinians take up arms against the British—Ten of them fall on the field of battle—Their rectories sacked and burnt—Bravery of the archbishop and friars in 1820—Father Ibañez raises a battalion—Leads it to the assault of a Moro Cotta—Execution of native priests in 1872—Small garrison in the islands—Influence of the friars—Their behaviour—Herr Jagor—Foreman—Worcester—Younghusband—Opinion of Pope Clement X.—Tennie C. Claflin—Equality of opportunity—Statuesque figures of the girls—The author’s experience of the Friars—The Philippine clergy—Who shall cast the first stone?—Constitution of the orders—Life of a friar—May become an archbishop—The chapter—The estates—The Peace Commission—Pacification retarded—Who will collect the rents?

Before referring further to these estates it may be as well to give a brief sketch of the religious orders, whose existence is bound up with the history of the Philippines, to the conversion and civilisation of which they have so largely contributed. They won the islands for Spain, they held them for centuries, and now, having served their purpose, they have lost them, doubtless for ever.

The Augustinians were the pioneers in converting the inhabitants of the Philippines, and they have maintained their predominance ever since.

I therefore begin my description with this venerable order, and it will be proper to say something about its glorious founder. [58]

The following data are taken from the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica’ and other sources.

Augustine (Aurelius Augustinus) one of the four great fathers of the Latin Church, and admittedly the greatest of the four, was born at Tagaste (Tajelt), a town of Numidia, North Africa, A.D. 354. His father, Patricius, was a burgess of this town, and was still a pagan at the time of his son’s birth.

His mother, Mónica, was not only a Christian, but a woman of the most elevated, tender, and devoted piety, whose affectionate and beautiful enthusiasm have passed into a touching type of womanly saintliness for all ages.

Augustine studied rhetoric at Madaura and Carthage, and visited Rome and Milan.

He passed many years in unrest of mind and doubt, but ultimately a passage from Romans xii. 13, 14 seemed to pour the light of peace into his heart. He became a Christian and was baptised in his thirty-third year. Patricius was also converted and baptised, and Monica found the desire of her life fulfilled and her dear ones united to her in faith.

After some years of retirement, Augustine made a journey to Hippo Regius, a Roman colony on the River Rubricatus in North Africa, and became a presbyter.

His principal writings are ‘The City of God,’ ‘Confessions,’ and ‘The Trinity.’

He died during the siege of Hippo by the Vandals at the age of 75.

The theological position and influence of Augustine may be said to be unrivalled. No single name has ever exercised such power over the Christian Church, and no one mind has ever made such an impression upon Christian thought.

The Augustinians look upon this great Christian moralist as their founder, and reverence his memory and that of his saintly mother.

Whether he personally drew up the rules they observe or not, they were his disciples, following in his foot-steps, and finding their inspiration in his writings and example.

Great indeed must have been the magnetic force of that vehement nature that it could give an impetus to his followers that carried them all over Europe, that made them the companions of the discoverers and conquerors of [59]the New World, and that filled their hearts with zeal and courage to face the dangers of the great lone ocean in company with Villalobos and Legáspi.

The Order traces its inception to the town of Hippo, and fixes the date at A.D. 395. Many, doubtless, were its vicissitudes, but in the year 1061, and again in 1214, we find the Order remodelled and extended. The Augustinians were very numerous in England and Scotland. In 1105 they had settled at Colchester and at Nostell, near Pontefract. Later they had abbeys at Bristol, Llantony, Christchurch, Twynham, Bolton and London, where part of their church (Austin Friars) is still standing. Altogether they had 170 houses in England. Their first house in Scotland was at Scone in 1114, and they soon had 25 houses, including churches or abbeys at Inchcolm in the Firth of Forth, St Andrew’s, Holyrood, Cambuskenneth and Inchaffray.

The Austin Friars or Black Canons were then described as an order of regular clergy holding a middle position between monks and secular canons, almost resembling a community of parish priests living under rule, and they have retained these characteristics to the present day.

They were numerous in Spain, and some of the other Orders, such as the Dominicans or Preaching Friars, the Franciscans, and the Recollets, may almost be looked upon as offshoots of this venerable order, for they conformed to its general rule, with certain additions. Thus the Dominicans, founded by Saint Dominic de Guzman, were incorporated in 1216 by a Bull of Pope Honorius III. and adopted a rule of absolute poverty or mendicancy in addition to the usual vows of chastity and obedience.

This Order held its first chapter in 1220 at Bologna, under the presidency of its founder.

The vows of poverty of this powerful Order have not prevented it from holding large estates in the Philippines, from owning blocks of buildings in Manila and Hong Kong, and from having a huge sum invested in British and American securities. These however belong to the Corporation and not to the individual members.

From Spain the Augustinians spread to Mexico and assisted the Franciscans, who were the pioneers there under Father Bartolomé de Olmédo and Father Martin de Valencia, to gather in the abundant harvest. Father Toribio de Benavénte was one of twelve Franciscans sent out in 1523, [60]and he has left records of the success of these missionaries. They opened schools and founded colleges, and in twenty years nine millions of converts had been admitted into the Christian fold.

By this time Magellan had passed the narrow straits, and sailing across the vast solitudes of the Pacific had reached the Visayas Islands to meet his fate, and Sebastian de Elcano had completed the circumnavigation of the globe and had arrived in Spain with accounts of the new lands which the expedition had discovered.

When, in 1542, Captain Ruy Lopez de Villalobos sailed from Natividad (Mexico) for the Islands of the Setting Sun, only to die of grief at Amboyna, there accompanied him a group of Augustinian Friars. After the loss of his vessels the survivors took ship for Goa and from thence returned to Europe, arriving at Lisbon in August 1549, seven years after leaving the port of Natividad.

The Order has carefully preserved the names of these early missionaries; they are, Frs. Jeronimo de San Esteban, Sebastian de Trasierra, Nicolas de Perea, Alonso Alvarado.

In the expedition under General Don Miguel Lopez de Legáspi, which sailed in 1564, Fray Andres Urdanéta, an Augustinian, went as chief navigator and cartographer, and the following friars accompanied him: Frs. Andres de Aiguirre, Martin de Rada, Diego Herrero, Pedro Gamboa.

Since founding the city of Cebú in 1570, and the city of Manila the following year, the Augustinians have continued to found town after town, and down to 1892 had founded no less than two hundred and forty-two, administered by two hundred and forty-seven priests of the Order as by the following table:—

Year 1892.

Summary of Towns founded by the Augustinians.

Handed over to other Orders 28
Amalgamated with other towns 11
Administered by Augustinians 203
Total 242

Population of the above 203 towns, 2,082,181. [61]

The Augustinians in the Philippine Islands.

In Parish Ministry. Parish Priests 188
Stewards 37
Coadjutors 7
Vicars (learning dialects) 3
Missionaries 12
Residing in the convents of Manila, Cebú, and Guadalupe. Superiors or Office bearers 19
Conventual Priests 7
Students 14
Invalids 6
Lay Brethren 17
Total 310

In former years this Order had established missions in Japan, and they were very successful in making converts, but during the persecution many members of the Order lost their lives, or, as they phrase it, “attained the palm of martyrdom.”

At the present time they maintain seven missionaries in the province of Hun-nan in China. In Spain they support three colleges, Valladolid, La Vid, and La Escorial. They are also in charge of the magnificent church of that extraordinary palace, and of the priceless library of which they are editing a catalogue.

The Augustinians have published a great many works, such as grammars and vocabularies of the native dialects, and many books of devotion.

One of their leading men, Father Manuel Blanco, was a most learned and laborious botanist. He collected and classified so many of the Philippine plants that the Order decided to complete his work and publish it. Fray Andres Naves and Fray Celestino Fernandez Villar, both well-known to me, worked for years at this, and were assisted by my illustrious friend H. E. Don Sebastian Vidal Soler and others.

The result is a most sumptuous and magnificent work—published in Manila—there being four folio volumes enriched by many hundreds of coloured plates of the different trees, shrubs, orchids and lianas, most beautifully executed from water-colour paintings by D. Regino Garcia and others. This monumental book is called the ‘Flora Filipina.’ It received a diploma of honour at the International Colonial Exhibition of Amsterdam in 1883. The British Museum [62]possesses a copy, but unfortunately most of the work was destroyed by fire in the bombardment of the Convent of Guadalupe during the war.

However, the widow of Señor Vidal, now Mrs. Amilon of Philadelphia, still has some copies to dispose of.

I hope that what I have said about the Augustinians will show that they are not the lazy and unprofitable persons they are sometimes represented. The same may be said of the Dominicans.

The Augustinians were followed, after an interval of seven years, by the Franciscans, four years after that by the Jesuits, six years after the Jesuits came the Dominicans.

Last of all came the Recollets, or bare-footed Augustinians.

The following Table gives the numbers of friars of the five religious orders in the Philippines, at the dates mentioned, taken from their own returns. The first column gives the dates of the first foundation of the Order, the second the date of its arrival in the Archipelago. The other columns give the statistics of baptisms, marriages and deaths, taken from the parish registers.

Statement of the Population Administered by the Religious Corporations and Secular Clergy in the Philippines, 1896.

Year of Foundation or Revival. Year of Arrival. Corporation. Towns. Provinces. Friars. Baptisms. Marriages. Burials. Souls.
1570 Augustinians 203 16 310 98,731 20,355 83,051 2,082,131
1532 1606 Recollets 194 20 192 56,259 11,439 40,008 1,175,156
1208 1577 Franciscans 153 15 455 38,858 11,927 35,737 1,010,753
1216 1587 Dominicans 69 10 206 27,576 7,307 32,336 699,851
1534 1581 Jesuits1 33 6 167 15,3022 2,017 4,937 191,493
Secular Clergy .. .. .. .. .. .. 967,294
Total 1,330 6,126,678
N.B. The population of the Islands according to the census of 1877 5,995,160
Probable Christian population, 1899 8,000,000


These holy men have, since very early times, shown themselves rather turbulent, and then and always endeavoured to carry matters with a high hand. Thus in 1582 we find them refusing to admit the diocesan visit of the Bishop of Manila, and that old dispute has cropped up on and off many times since then. At the same time we find them taking the part of the natives against the Encomenderos. They have always been ready to fight for their country and to subscribe money for its defence. When Acting Governor Guido de Lavezares headed the column which attacked the pirate Li-ma-Hon, he was accompanied by the Provincial of the Augustinians. In 1603 all the friars in Manila took up arms against the revolted Chinese, and three years later the Augustinians not only furnished a war ship to fight the Portuguese, but provided a captain for it in the person of one of their Order, Fray Antonio Flores. It appears that the estates of the Augustinians and the Dominicans were very early a bone of contention, for in 1689 a judge arrived in Manila, and, in virtue of a special commission he had brought from Madrid, he required them to present their titles. This they refused to do, and the judge was sent back to Mexico, and a friend of the friars was appointed as Commissioner in his place. Then the friars condescended to unofficially exhibit their titles. Now more than two centuries after the first abortive attempt, the question of the ownership of these lands is still under discussion.

During the British occupation of Manila in 1763 the friars took up arms in defence of their flag, and gave their church bells to be cast into cannon. No less than ten Augustinians fell on the field of battle. The British treated them with great severity, sacking and destroying their rectories and estate houses, and selling everything of theirs they could lay hands on. I have visited the ruins of the old estate house of Malinta which was burnt by the British.

In 1820, when the massacre of foreigners by the Manila mob took place, owing the cowardice of General Folgueras, the archbishop and friars marched out in procession to the scene of the disturbance and succeeded in saving many lives. In 1851 a Recollet, Father Ibañez, raised a battalion from his congregation, trained and commanded it. He took the field at Mindanao and with the most undaunted bravery led his men to the assault of a Moro Cotta, or fort, dying [64]like our General Wolfe at the moment of victory. Not one man of this battalion ever deserted or hung back from the combats, for the worthy priest had all their wives under a solemn vow never to receive them again unless they returned victorious from the campaign.

The religious orders have frequently interfered to protect the natives against the civil authorities, and were often on very good terms with the mass of their parishioners. The greatest jealousy of them was felt by the native clergy.

The military revolt which broke out in Cavite in 1872, was doubtless inspired by this class, who saw that a policy had been adopted of filling vacancies in all benefices except the poorest, with Spanish friars instead of natives. The condemnation of Burgos, Gomez, and Zamora, three native priests who were executed at Manila soon after the suppression of the revolt, is ascribed by the natives and mestizos to the subornation of justice to the friars, who are said to have paid a large sum for their condemnation.

However this may be, there is no doubt that since that date the feeling against the friars has become intensified.

The friars were the chief outposts and even bulwarks of the government against rebellions. Almost every rising has been detected by them, many plots being revealed by women under the seal of confession. It was only by the assistance of the friars that the islands were held by Spain for so many centuries almost without any military force.

The islands were not conquered by force of arms—the people were converted almost without firing a shot.

The greater part of the fighting was to protect the natives against Chinese pirates, Japanese corsairs, Dutch rovers, or the predatory heathen.

The defensive forces consisted of local troops and companies of Mexican and Peruvian Infantry. It is only since 1828 that Manila has been garrisoned by regular troops from the Peninsula.

During my residence in the islands I do not think there were more than 1500 Spanish troops in garrison in the whole islands, except when some marines were sent out. These troops belonged to the Peninsular Regiment of Artillery, and were a very fine looking set of men.

That this small force could be sufficient is evidently [65]due to the influence of the friars in keeping the people quiet.

Yet the feeling of a great majority of Spanish civilians was against the friars, and I think many of those who supported them, only did so from interested motives.

The consequence was that as the number of Spaniards increased, the influence of the friars diminished, for the Spanish anti-clericals had no scruples in criticising the priests and in speaking plainly to the natives to their prejudice.

The friars have fared badly at the hands of several writers on the Philippines; but it will be noticed that those who know the least about them speak the worst of them.

Herr Jagor, who was much amongst them, bears witness to the strict decorum of their households, whilst he very justly says that the behaviour of the native clergy leaves something to be desired.

Foreman hints at horrors, and with questionable taste relates how he found amongst a priest’s baggage some very obscene pictures.

Worcester thinks the priests’ influence wholly bad. From what he states in his book, he must have come across some very bad specimens amongst the smaller islands where he wandered.

Younghusband, who perhaps got his information at the bar of the Manila Club, describes them as “monsters of lechery.”

There is a tradition that when the conclusions of a tribunal favourable to the canonisation of Santa Rosa de Lima, Patroness of the Indies, were laid before Pope Clement X., that Pontiff manifested his incredulity that a tropical climate could produce a saint. He is even credited with the saying that bananas and saints are not grown together.

The tradition may be erroneous, but there is something in the opinion that deserves to be remembered.

Temperature does have something to do with sexual morality, and in comparing one country with another an allowance must be made for the height of the thermometer.

The friars in the Philippines are but men, and men exposed to great temptations. We should remember the tedium of life in a provincial town, where, perhaps, the parish priest is the only European, and is surfeited with the conversation of his native curates, of the half-caste [66]apothecary and the Chinese store-keeper. He has neither society nor amusement.

I have previously remarked upon the position of women in the Philippines. I may repeat that their position, both by law and custom, is at least as good as in the most advanced countries.

I remember reading with great interest, and, perhaps, some sympathy, a remarkable article in the New York Herald, of January 10th, 1894, headed “Virtue Defined,” signed by Tennie C. Claflin (Lady Cook), and it seemed to me a plea for “equality of opportunity” between the sexes, if I may borrow the phrase from diplomacy. Well, that equality exists in the Philippines. Whilst unmarried, the girls enjoy great freedom. In that tolerant land a little ante-nuptial incontinence is not an unpardonable crime in a girl any more than in a youth, nor does it bar the way to marriage.

The girls whilst young possess exceedingly statuesque figures, and what charms they have are nature’s own, for they owe nothing to art. Their dress is modest, yet as they do not wear a superfluity of garments, at times, as when bathing, their figures are revealed to view.

Bearing in mind the above condition of things and that the priest is the principal man in the town and able to do many favours to his friends, it is not surprising if some of the young women, impelled by the desire of obtaining his good graces, make a dead set at him, such as we sometimes see made at a bachelor curate in our own so-very-much-more frigid and, therefore, moral country. The priest, should he forget his vows of celibacy, is a sinner, and deserving of blame for failing to keep the high standard of virtue which his Church demands. But I do not see in that a justification for calling him a monster. Have we never heard of a backslider in Brooklyn, or of a clerical co-respondent at home, that we should expect perfection in the Philippines? As for the statements that the priests take married women by force, that is an absurdity. The Tagals are not men to suffer such an outrage.

The toleration enjoyed by the girls, above referred to, is a heritage from heathen times, which three centuries of Christianity have failed to extirpate. In fact, this is a characteristic of the Malay race.

During the many years I was in the islands I had frequent occasion to avail myself of the hospitality of the [67]priests on my journeys. This was usually amongst the Augustinians, the Dominicans and the Recollets. I declare that on none of those many occasions did I ever witness anything scandalous, or indecorous in their convents, and I arrived at all hours and without notice.

As to Younghusband’s denouncement of them as “monsters of lechery,” I would say that they were notoriously the most healthy and the longest-lived people in the islands, and if that most unjust accusation was true, this could hardly be the case. It should be remembered that the priest of any large town would be a man advanced in years and therefore less likely to misconduct himself.

There was also the certainty that any open scandal would be followed by punishment from the provincial and council of the order. I have known a priest to be practically banished to a wretched hamlet amongst savages for two years for causing scandal.

Some late writers speak of the native clergy as if they were of superior morality and better behaved than the Spanish priests. That appreciation does not commend itself to those who have had some experience of the Philippine clergy.

Some of those I have known were of very relaxed morals, not to say scandalous in their behaviour. The Philippine Islands, in short, are not the chosen abode of chastity: but I do not know why the Spanish friars should be singled out for special censure in this respect.

I can truly say that I was not acquainted with any class out there entitled to cast the first stone.

Each of the orders (except the Jesuits) is a little republic governed or administered by officers and functionaries elected by the suffrages of the members. The head of the order is a Superior or General, who resides in Rome, but the head in the Philippines is called the Provincial.

The brethren render him the greatest respect and obedience, kneeling down to kiss his hand.

There is a council to assist the provincial, they are called definidores or padres graves, the exact nomenclature varies in the different orders.

There is a Procurator or Commissary in Madrid, a Procurator-General in Manila, a Prior or Guardian to each convent not being a rectory, an Orator or preacher, lay-brethren in charge of estates or of works, parish priests, missionaries, and coadjutors, learning the native dialects. [68]

The members of the order were appointed to benefices according to their standing and popularity amongst their brethren. The neophytes are trained in one of the seminaries of the order in Spain; for instance, the Augustinians have colleges at Valladolid, La Vid, and La Escorial, with more than 300 students.

When a young priest first arrived in the Philippines, he was sent as a coadjutor to some parish priest to learn the dialect of the people he is to work amongst. Then he would be appointed a missionary to the heathen, where he lived on scanty pay, amongst savages, either in the highlands of Luzon or in some remote island, remaining there for two or three years. His first promotion would be to a parish consisting of a village of thatched houses (nipa) and, perhaps, the church and convent would be of the same material. This meant a constant and imminent dread of the almost instantaneous destruction of his dwelling by fire. Perhaps there is communication with Manila once a month, when, by sending to the nearest port, he may get letters and newspapers and receive some provisions, an occasional cask of Spanish red wine, some tins of chorizos (Estremeño smoked sausages), a sack of garbanzos, or frijóles, a box of turron de Alicante, and some cigars from the procuration of the convent in Manila. These would be charged to his account, and frugally as he might live, many a year might pass over his head before he would be out of debt to his Order. And poor as he might be, he would never refuse his house or his table to any European who might call upon him. Later on, if his conduct had satisfied his superiors, the time would come when he would get nominated to a more accessible and more profitable parish, that would quickly enable him to pay off the debt due to the procuration. He would have a church and convent of stone, keep a carriage and pair of ponies, and begin to have a surplus, and to contribute a little to the funds of his Order.

Soon he would become Padre Grave, and begin to have influence with his colleagues. He would be removed to a richer town and nominated Vicario Foráneo, equivalent to an archdeacon in England. Later on, he might be elected a Definidor, or councillor. Then, perhaps, one of the great prizes of the order fell to his lot. He might be appointed parish priest of Taal or Biñan, worth at least ten thousand dollars a year, or of rich Lipa, high amongst its coffee groves (now, alas! withered), which used to be worth twenty [69]thousand dollars in a good year. He would treat himself well, and liberally entertain all who visited him, and governors of provinces, judges, officers of the Guardia Civil, would often be seen at his table.

He would make large contributions to the funds of the Order, with the surplus revenue of his parish.

If, however, the priest whose career we have been following, had shown sufficient character for a champion, and had become popular in the Order, he might, perhaps, be elected Provincial, and then, disposing of the influence of his Order, some day get himself made a Bishop or even Archbishop of Manila, should a vacancy occur, and so become a prince of the Church.

Whatever talents a friar had, a sphere could always be found for their exercise. If he had a gift for preaching, he could be appointed Orator of the Order. If he was good at Latin and Greek, he could be made a professor at the university. If he was a good business man, he could be chosen procurator. If he had diplomatic talents, he could be made commissary of the order at Madrid. In any case he was sure to be taken care of to the end of his days.

As for the Orders in themselves, I have already said that, excepting the Society of Jesus, they are little republics, and that office-holders are elected by the votes of the members. When a general Chapter of the Order is held for this purpose, the members come from all parts and assemble in their convent in Manila.

I am sorry to say that there has sometimes been so much feeling aroused over the question of the distribution of the loaves and fishes, that the opposing parties have broken up the chairs and benches to serve as clubs, and furiously attacked each other in the battle royal, and with deplorable results.

In consequence of this, when the chapter or general assembly was to be held, the governor-general nominated a royal commissary, often a colonel in the army, to be present at these meetings, but only to interfere to keep the peace. It was something of an anomaly to see a son of Mars deputed to keep the peace in an assembly of the clergy. The meeting commenced with prayer, then one by one all the dignitaries laid down their offices and became private members of the Order, so that at the end of this ceremony every one was absolutely equal.

Then the eldest rose and solemnly adjured any one [70]present who held a Bull of the Holy Father, to produce it then and there under pain of major excommunication. Three times was this solemn warning delivered.

It owes its origin, perhaps, to some surprise sprung on a brotherhood in former days, yet it is to be noted that one of the privileges of their Catholic majesties the kings of Spain was, that no Bull should run in their dominions without their approval.

Then free from outside interference, and all present being on an equal footing the election takes place. Amidst great excitement the Provincial, the Procurator, the Orator, the Definidores, or Councillors, are chosen according to their popularity, or as they are deemed best fitted to advance the interests of the voter or the Order.

The selection of office-holders is a matter of the greatest importance to the members, as those in power distribute the benefices and are apt to be more alive to the merits of their supporters, than to the pretensions of those who have voted for others.

But, however divided they may be on these occasions, they unite against any outsider, and unless the question is evidently personal, he who offends a member finds the Order ranged against him, and, perhaps, the other Orders also, for in matters affecting their interests the Orders act in unison, and as has been said, have succeeded in removing not only governors of provinces, but governors-general also when these have failed to do their bidding. [71]

1 Expelled in 1768. Readmitted, 1852, for charge of schools and missions.

2 Of these 4102 were baptisms of heathen in 1896.


Chapter VIII.

Their Estates.

Malinta and Piedad—Mandaloyan—San Francisco de Malabon—Irrigation works—Imus—Calamba—Cabuyao—Santa Rosa—Biñan—San Pedro Tunasan—Naic—Santa Cruz—Estates a bone of contention for centuries—Principal cause of revolt of Tagals—But the Peace Commission guarantee the Orders in possession—Pacification retarded—Summary—The Orders must go!—And be replaced by natives.

The Augustinians own some fine estates near Manila. In 1877 I visited Malinta and Piedad, which, according to an old plan exhibited to me, drawn by some ancient navigator, measured over 14,000 acres in extent, a good part of which was cultivated and under paddy; still a large expanse was rocky, and grew only cogon (elephant grass). The lay-brother in charge, Aureliano Garcia, confided to me that he went about in fear, and expected to end his life under the bolos of the tenants. I was then new to the country, and saw no signs of discontent. I afterwards visited Mandaloyan, another estate nearer Manila. This was nearly all arable land. The house was large and commodious, and was used as a convalescent home for the friars. I have not a note of the extent of this estate, but it occupies a great part of the space between the rivers Maibonga and San Juan, to the north of the Pasig. The lay-brother in charge, Julian Ibeas, did not seem at all anxious about his safety. The land here was more fertile than that of Malinta, and there was water carriage to a market for the crops.

In view of my report, which was not, however, unduly optimistic, my clients deputed me to ask the Augustinians for a lease of the above three estates for twenty-five years, the rent to be $40,0001 per year for three years, and each year after that an addition of a thousand dollars, so that [72]the ultimate rent would be $62,000 per annum. However, after taking some time to consider, the procurator declined the offer.

On the above estates there was little or nothing done by the owners to improve the land. They had limited themselves to building large and convenient houses and granaries for their own accommodation, and to entertain their friends.

In 1884 I constructed a pumping station on the River Tuliajan in this estate, and laid a pipe line right through the property to supply fresh water to the sugar refinery at Malabon, five miles distant. I had no difficulty in obtaining permission, indeed, Fray Arsenio Campo (now Bishop of Nueva Cáceres) facilitated the work in every way. The only protest was by Doroteo Cortes, a half-caste lawyer, who interposed as the pipe had to pass between two fish-ponds belonging to him, and he extorted a blackmail $800 to withdraw his opposition. Let the reader contrast the behaviour of the Spaniard and the half-caste, now posing as an “Americanista.”

San Francisco de Malabon, another possession of theirs, is a magnificent property, situated on the fertile, well-watered land that slopes from the summits of the Tagaytay range, north of the vast crater-lake of Bombon, to the shores of the ever-famous Bay of Bacoor, the scene of Spain’s naval collapse.

Through the volcanic soil three rivers, the Ilang-ilang, the Camanchíle, and the Jálan, have cut deep gashes down to the bed-rock, on the surface of which the rapid waters rush downwards to the sea.

A nobly-proportioned house of stone, almost a fortress, was planted where it commanded a grand, a stately view. From its windows the spectator looked over fields of waving grain, over fruit trees, and town and hamlets, down to the sea shore, and across the vast expanse of placid bay to where in the far north solitary Arayat rears his head. The thick walls and lofty roof excluded the solar heat, and the green-painted Venetians saved the inmate from the glare. Very welcome was that hostel, furnished in severe ecclesiastical almost mediæval style, to me, after the dusty up-hill drive of eight miles from Cavite.

I visited this estate in 1879, and found that extensive irrigation works had been carried out. A new dam on one of the rivers, about fifty feet high, was approaching completion. [73]Unfortunately, the work had been executed by a lay-brother, a stone mason, without professional supervision. He was ignorant of the necessity of taking special precautions when preparing the seat for the dam. Although he had a bed of volcanic tuff to build upon he would not go to the trouble to cut into and stop all faults and crevices in the rock before laying his first course of masonry, and he hurried on the job to save expense as he supposed. For the same reason he did not attempt to follow the correct profile of the dam. When the pressure came on, the water spouted up in little fountains, and gradually increased as it cut away the soft stone. I advised them what to do, and after a good deal of work, Portland cement and puddled clay got them out of their difficulty.

About four miles to the eastward of San Francisco de Malabon, and on the same volcanic soil, is the great estate of Imus belonging to the Recollets, or unshod Augustinians. It is about five miles from the landing-place at Bacoor. Here again three rivers run through the property, and the view from the house is the same.

The house itself was a grim fortress and served the rebels well in 1896, for they found arms and ammunition in it, and successfully defended it against General Aiguirre who had to retire, being unable to take it without artillery.

In 1897 the army of General Lachambre advanced against Imus, and on the 24th March took the outer defences of the town, notwithstanding the determined resistance of the Tagals, of whom three hundred were killed in a hand-to-hand combat. Next day the estate house, which adjoins the town and had been for six months the stronghold of the Katipunan, was bombarded and burnt, only the ruins remain.

There are extensive works of irrigation at this place also, and formerly a large sugar works was built here by the owners, but it failed, as there was no one fit to take charge of it.

I have not visited this Hacienda, and cannot give its extent or value.

Of all the Orders the greatest land-owners are the Dominicans. They have vast estates in Calamba, Cabuyáo, Santa Rosa, Biñan, and San Pedro Tunasán, all on the Lake of Bay, also at Naic and Santa Cruz on the Bay of Manila. I have several times visited their estates at the first two places, and can affirm that they have expended [74]considerable sums in building dams for irrigating the lands, and I supplied them with some very large cast-iron pipes for the purpose of making a syphon across a ravine or narrow valley to convey water for irrigating the opposite plain. They have consequently very largely increased the value of these lands.

The house at Calamba, solidly built of stone, with a strong and high encircling wall, served as a fortified camp and headquarters for the Spanish army in operation against the rebels in 1897.

This estate of Calamba has earned a sad notoriety in the Philippines, for the disputes which constantly arose between the administration and their tenants.

It is hardly too much to say that the possession of estates has been fatal to the Orders. They claim to have always been good and indulgent landlords, but the fact remains that all these estates are in Tagal territory, that only the Tagals revolted, and that the revolt was directed against the Orders because of their tyranny and extortions, and because they were landlords and rack renters.

It was, is now, and ever will be an Agrarian question that will continue to give trouble and be the cause of crime and outrage until settled in a broad-minded and statesman-like manner.

These estates have been a bone of contention for centuries, and were a principal cause of the last revolt of the Tagals. Yet the Peace Commission at Paris appears to have given the three Orders a new title to their disputed possessions by guaranteeing to the Church the enjoyment of its property, which, if the Spaniards had continued to rule the islands, must ultimately have been taken from it in the natural course of events, as has happened in every other Catholic country.

I have no doubt that the pacification of the Philippines by the American forces has been greatly retarded, and is now rendered more difficult, by this clause, which must have been accepted by the American commissioners under a misapprehension of its import, and from imperfect information as to the status quo. This difficult matter can still be arranged, but it will require the outlay of a considerable sum of money, which, however, would eventually be recouped.

Some of the Rising Generation in the Philippines. Scholars of the Manila Athenæum, Belonging to the Congregation of the Virgin.

Some of the Rising Generation in the Philippines. Scholars of the Manila Athenæum, Belonging to the Congregation of the Virgin.

To face p. 75.

In present circumstances I venture to say that a garrison would be needed at each estate to protect an administrator [75]or collector, for the Tagal tenants are as averse to paying rent for land as any bog-trotter in Tipperary. I do not envy anybody who purchases these estates, nor would I consider the life of such a one a good risk for an insurance company, if he intended to press the tenants for rents or arrears.

To sum up the Religious Orders, they were hardy and adventurous pioneers of Christianity, and in the evangelisation of the Philippines, by persuasion and teaching, they did more for Christianity and civilisation than any other missionaries of modern times.

Of undaunted courage they have ever been to the front when calamities threatened their flocks; they have witnessed and recorded some of the most dreadful convulsions of nature, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and destructive typhoons. In epidemics of plague and cholera they have not been dismayed, nor have they ever in such cases abandoned their flocks.

When an enemy has attacked the islands they have been the first to face the shot. Only fervent faith could enable these men to endure the hardships, and overcome the dangers that encompassed them.

They have done much for education, having founded schools for both sexes, training colleges for teachers, the university of St. Thomas in Manila, and other institutions.

Hospitals and asylums attest their charity. They were formerly, and even lately, the protectors of the poor against the rich, and of the native against the Spaniard. They have consistently resisted the enslavement of the natives.

They restrained the constant inclination of the natives to wander away into the woods and return to primitive savagery by keeping them in the towns, or, as they said, “Under the bells.”

On the other hand, peace and plenty (those blessings for which we pray), have corrupted and demoralised the Orders. No longer liable at any moment to be called upon to fight for their lives, the sterner virtues have decayed. Increased production and export enriched the people, a gold coinage was introduced, and the friars allowed avarice to possess their souls.

In those lands of perpetual summer no death duties have to be paid to a Chancellor of the Exchequer, as in this island of fog and mist.

But the friars have a system of charges for performing [76]the funeral ceremonies, which comes to much the same in the end. I call it a system; it is a very simple system, and consists in extorting as much as they can get, taking into consideration the wealth of the family. To give an instance, I have been assured by a son of Capitan Natalio Lopez, of Balayan, a native gentleman well known to me, that the parish priest charged the family six hundred dollars for performing their father’s funeral ceremony. The same rule applies to baptisms and marriages, and this abuse calls for redress, and for the establishment of fixed fees according to the position of the parties.

Each friar, as a parish priest, was an outpost of the central government, watching for symptoms of revolt. Only thus could the Spaniards hold the archipelago with fifteen hundred Peninsular troops, and a small squadron of warships.

The greatest, and the best-founded, complaint of the natives against the priests, was that whoever displeased them, either in personal or money matters, was liable to be denounced to the authorities as a filibuster, and to be torn from home and family and deported to some distant and probably unhealthy spot, there to reside, at his own cost, for an indefinite time, by arbitrary authority, without process of law. Such a punishment, euphoniously termed “forced residence,” sometimes involved the death of the exile, and always caused heavy expense, as a pardon could not be obtained without bribing some one.

Ysabelo de los Reyes, and other natives, accuse the friars of extorting evidence from suspected persons by torture. I fear there can be no doubt that many victims, including a number of the native clerics, suffered flagellation and other tortures at the hands of the friars for the above purpose. The convents of Nueva-Cáceres and of Vigan, amongst other places, were the scenes of these abominable practices, and Augustinians, Dominicans and Franciscans, have taken part in them. This is referred to at greater length in another part of this work under the heading, “The Insurrection of 1896.”

Individual friars were sometimes, nay, often, very worthy parish priests. I have known many such. But a community is often worse than the individuals of which it is composed. One might say with the Italian musician who had served for many years in a cathedral, and had obtained the promise of every individual canon to support [77]his application for a pension, when he was told that the chapter had unanimously refused his request:

“The canons are good, but the chapter is bad.”

A board will jointly do a meaner action than the shadiest director amongst them, and should it comprise one or two members of obtrusive piety, that circumstance enables it to disregard the ordinary standard of right and wrong with more assurance.

There is a law in metallurgy which has a curious analogy to this law of human nature. It is this: An alloy composed of several metals of different melting-points, will fuse at a lower temperature than that of its lowest fusing constituent.

The Orders, then, have been of the greatest service in the past; they have brought the Philippines and their inhabitants to a certain pitch of civilisation, and credit is due to them for this much, even if they could go no farther. For years their influence over the natives has been decreasing, and year by year the natives have become more and more antagonistic to priestly rule.

A considerable intellectual development has taken place of late years in the Philippines. The natives are no longer content to continue upon the old lines; they aspire to a freer life. Many even harbour a sentiment of nationality such as was never thought of before.

But if the Orders had lost ground with the natives and with many Spaniards, their influence still preponderated. Owners of vast estates, possessors of fabulous riches, armed with spiritual authority, knowing the secrets of every family, holding the venal courts of justice as in the hollow of their hand, dominating the local government, standing above the law, and purchasing the downfall of their enemies from the corrupt ministries in Madrid, these giant trusts, jealous of each other, yet standing firmly shoulder to shoulder in the common cause, constitute a barrier to progress that can have no place nor use under an American Protectorate. They are an anachronism in the twentieth century, and they must disappear as corporations from the Philippines.

They should not, however, be buried under an avalanche of contumely and slander; their long and glorious past should be remembered, and in winding up their estates due regard should be paid to the interests of every member. I cannot here intimate how this is to be done, for it is an [78]intricate subject, rendered more complex by the reluctance of the American Government to interfere in religious matters, even though they are so bound up with the politics of the Philippines that no pacification can be effected without following popular sentiment upon this point.

So far as the landed estates are concerned, the settlement could be arrived at by a commission with ample powers. In the meantime, no sale of these estates should be recognised.

The benefices held by the friars should be gradually bestowed upon the secular clergy, as suitable men can be found. The native clergy have always been badly used by the friars; they have had to suffer abuse and ignominious treatment. They have not been in a position to develop their dignity and self-respect.

I have spoken of them in general as leaving something to be desired as to decorous conduct, but they will doubtless improve when placed in positions of consideration and responsibility.

Amongst them are men of considerable learning; some have passed brilliant examinations in theology and canon law.

As regards piety, Malays, whether heathen, Mahometan or Christian, take their religion lightly, and we must not expect too much. I daresay they are pious enough for the country and the climate. [79]

1 Exchange was then at 4s. 2d.


Chapter IX.

Secret Societies.

Masonic Lodges—Execution or exile of Masons in 1872—The “Associacion Hispano Filipina”—The “Liga Filipina”—The Katipunan—Its programme.

Fray Eduardo Navarro, Procurator of the Augustinians, and Ysabelo de los Reyes, an Ilocano, and author of some notable works, agree that the first masonic lodge of the Philippines was founded in Cavite about 1860. The latter states that Malcampo and Mendez-Nuñez, two distinguished naval officers, were the founders. Soon after this, another lodge was founded in Zamboanga, also under naval auspices. After 1868, a lodge was founded in Manila by foreigners, a wealthy Filipino being secretary. Another lodge was founded in Pandakan, another in Cebú, and still another in Cavite, to which Crisanto Reyes and Maximo Inocencio belonged.

These lodges at first had only Peninsular Spaniards or other Europeans as members, but gradually Creoles, Mestizos, and natives, joined the brotherhood, and subscribed liberally to its funds.

The Catholic clergy have always looked upon Masons as most dangerous enemies, and many pontiffs have launched their anathemas against the brotherhood. But, so far as one can see, to quote from ‘The Jackdaw of Rheims,’ “No one seemed a penny the worse.”

Masonry grows and flourishes in spite of them all. To give an example. Many years ago, in the very Catholic city of Lima, I attended the civil funeral of a priest, the learned Doctor Don Francisco de Paula Gonzales Vigil, who died excommunicate. Twelve thousand men, including the Masons with their insignia, deputations from the Senate and Chamber, from the Municipality, Army, Navy, and other bodies, formed the funeral cortège. The Municipality [80]presented a tomb in the public cemetery, which is one of the finest in the world, and an orator pronounced an impassioned eulogy upon the virtues and patriotism of the deceased. It was a wonderful manifestation, and remains graven upon my memory. On that day every priest and friar found something to occupy himself with at home. Whatever may be the case in Great Britain or in the United States, there can be no doubt that in Catholic countries the lodges are antagonistic to the clergy and the Church.

The lodges in the Philippines were founded by anti-clerical Spaniards of liberal views, and the Creoles, Mestizos and natives who joined them found brethren disposed to sympathise with them and to work with them against the friars. There was no idea of revolting against the mother country, but rather to introduce a more liberal government, with representation for the civilised provinces in the Spanish Córtes. It must be remembered that this representation had already existed, and only required to be revived. There had been deputies to the Córtes-Generales from 1810 to 1814, and from 1820 to 1823, and Procuradores from 1834 to 1837.

The Córtes of Cadiz, on 14th October, 1810, declared:—

“The kingdoms and provinces of America and Asia are, and ought to have been always, reputed an integral part of the Spanish monarchy, and for that same, their natives and free inhabitants are equal in rights and privileges to those of the peninsula.”

These are very noble words, and, delivered in the majestic language of Castile by some enthusiastic orator, must have gone straight to the hearts of those that heard them.

Spain is as celebrated for orators as Great Britain for the lack of them. Our generation has never produced a speaker like Castelar. But, unfortunately for the Philippines, these grand and sonorous phrases dissolved in air, and led to nothing practical. The friars stoutly opposed what to them seemed dangerous innovations; they were successful, and darkness again prevailed.

The insurrection of Cavite, in 1872, resulted in the execution or exile of many members of the masonic body, and the brotherhood was for some years under a cloud.

The Peninsular Spaniards dissociated themselves from [81]the revolutionary party. To use a simile which has been employed in England to describe the difference between Liberals and Radicals, they were “going by the same train, but not going so far.”

The Creoles and Mestizos gradually founded new societies, which were alleged to aim at obtaining reforms by legal and constitutional means.

“The Asociacion Hispano-Filipina” had for its first president Doroteo Cortés, and amongst its officers Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, Pedro Serrano, and Deodato Arellano.

The “Liga Filipina” was founded by Dr. Rizal and Domingo Franco; its first president was shot. Nearly all the members were Masons; they were well off, and of fair education, not inclined to put their persons or property in danger. They did not want to fight. Their programme may be summed up as follows:—

  • 1. Expulsion of the friars, and confiscation of their estates.
  • 2. The same political, administrative and economical concessions as had been granted to Cuba. Freedom of the press, and freedom of association.
  • 3. Equalisation of the Philippine and Peninsular armies, and a just division of Civil Service posts between natives and Spaniards.
  • 4. Return to owners of lands usurped by the friars, and sale of such lands as really belonged to the Orders.
  • 5. Prevention of insults to the Philippine natives, either in sermons or in the press.
  • 6. Economy in expenditure. Reduction of imposts. Construction of railways and public works.

It was certainly not without risk to be a member of one of these societies, for the Orders are vindictive in the extreme, and are not troubled with scruples when it is a question of punishing an opponent.

Still, the Creole and Mestizo element were made cautious by the possession of property, and its members cannot be called fighting-men. They did not intend to run the risk of having holes bored through them.

They founded newspapers in Spain; they wrote violent articles, they made speeches, they obtained the support of some Liberals and anti-clericals in the Peninsula, and [82]numbered many adherents in the islands. Still, they were comparatively harmless. Not so, however, was a society which was formed of very different elements. Taking a hint, perhaps, from the murderous brotherhood of the Ku-Klux-Klan, some resolute and courageous Tagals imagined and formed that terrible secret society, the Katipunan. There is no K in the Spanish alphabet, but this letter is found in the Malay dialects, and consequently in Tagal. Therefore, the symbol of the society, K.K.K., was as distinctly anti-Spanish as was the full title, which was represented by the initials—


The words corresponding to these initials were:—

Kataas-taasan Kagalang-gálang Katipunan
or Sovereign Worshipful Association
Nang Manga Anac Nang Bayan
of the (plural) sons of the Country.

They used signs and passwords. There were three grades of members:—

1st grade Katipun word Anak nang bayan.
2nd grade Kanal word Gom-bur-za.1
3rd grade Bayani.

Andrés Bonifacio, a warehouse-keeper in the service of Messrs. Fressel & Co., of Manila, was the guiding spirit of this society, and at the meeting of 1st January, 1896, the Supreme Council was elected as follows:—

President Andrés Bonifacio.
Fiscal and Doctor Emilio Jacinto ó Dison, alias Ping Kian.
Treasurer Vicente Molina.
Councillors Pantaleon Torres.
Hermengildo Reyes.
Francisco Carreon.
José Trinidad.
Balbino Florentine
Aguedo del Rosario.



The members of the Katipunan were poor people—writers, common soldiers, washermen, mechanics, and tenants on the friars’ estates. They subscribed small sums monthly for the purchase of arms, and for other expenses. Bearing in mind how many conspiracies had been denounced to the priests by the women, the leaders of this movement gave their meetings the outward appearance of benevolent associations, and directed the members to represent the society to their wives in that light.

Later on a woman’s lodge, with twenty-five members was organised, under the presidency of Marina Dison, but the women were not informed of the true object of the society.

Fray Eduardo Navarro, Procurator of the Augustinians, in a cleverly-written work, entitled ‘The Philippines; a Study of Certain Matters of Moment,’ published in 1897, prints under No. 3 of the Appendix the title granted by the Walana Lodge, No. 158, certifying that “our dear sister, Purificacion Leyva, has been initiated in the degree of Companion-Mason at the session of 8th April, 1894.”

On reading this work, I infer that the friars considered the Katipunan a Masonic body, but this is a mistake. The Katipunan adopted some of the Masonic paraphernalia, and some of the initiatory ceremonies, but were in no sense Masonic lodges.

The programme of the Katipunan was, in its own words, “to redeem the Philippines from its tyrants, the friars, and to found a communistic republic.” This was simple and direct, and they meant it.

How many men were affiliated to this society cannot be known. Estimates range from 10,000 to 50,000 members. I think there can be no doubt that it was the most potent factor in the insurrection of 1896, and that its members, unlike the Creoles and Mestizos, were ready to give their lives for their cause. [84]

1 This word is formed of the first syllable of the names of three native priests executed after the Cavite mutiny, Fathers Gomez, Burgos, and Zamora.


Chapter X.

The Insurrection of 1896–97.

Combat at San Juan del Monte—Insurrection spreading—Arrival of reinforcements from Spain—Rebel entrenchments—Rebel arms and artillery—Spaniards repulsed from Binacáyan—and from Noveleta—Mutiny of Carabineros—Prisoners at Cavite attempt to escape—Iniquities of the Spanish War Office—Lachambre’s division—Rebel organization—Rank and badges—Lachambre advances—He captures Silang—Perez Dasmariñas—Salitran—Anabo II.

The Augustinians take credit to themselves that one of their order, Father Mariano Gil, parish priest of Tondo, discovered the existence of the revolutionary conspiracy, on the 19th August. But already on the 5th of July a lieutenant of the Guardia Civil had declared in a written report that there were over 14,000 men belonging to the valley of the Pasig, affiliated to the conspiracy.

A council of the authorities was convened on the 6th of August, but nothing was done. On that same date, however, the Governor of Batangas telegraphed that a discovery of arms, ammunition and Republican flags had been made at Taal. In consequence of this, General Blanco ordered some arrests to be made.

On the 19th, Father Gil gave information to General Blanco that he had discovered the existence of a secret revolutionary society, and two days later Blanco reported to the Government in Madrid that there existed a vast organization of secret societies.

At this time the garrison of Manila consisted of some 1500 men, most of them being natives. As arrests were being continually made, the members of the Katipunan, or those suspected of being such, left their homes and took to the woods although very poorly equipped with fire-arms.

On 30th August a party of the rebels under Sancho [85]Valenzuela, Modesto Sarmiento, and others had a fight with some native cavalry and Guardias Civiles at San Juan del Monte near Manila. The rebels lost heavily in killed, their chiefs were taken prisoners and shot on the 4th September, at the Paseo de la Luneta.

A Spanish artilleryman was murdered by some rebels at Pandacan about this time, and martial law was proclaimed.

The Guardia Civil, all native soldiers, was now concentrated in Manila abandoning their outlying posts. After many vacillations and contradictory cablegrams to the Government in Madrid, General Blanco now definitely asked for large reinforcements.

On September 1st, the people of Noveleta revolted and killed a captain and a lieutenant of the Guardia Civil and three days later the rebels penetrated to the town of Caridad, close to Cavite.

Early in September rebels were in arms, and dominating great part of the Provinces of Manila, Cavite, Batangas, Bulacan, Pampanga and Nueva Écija.

By the middle of the month rebel bands appeared in Tarlac, Pangasinán, Laguna, Morong and Tayabas.

On the 9th September, the Cavite rebels attacked San Roque, which is close to the town of Cavite, and burned part of it. On the 12th, thirteen persons who had been convicted by a court-martial of complicity in the revolt were shot in Cavite.

The cables from General Blanco to the Madrid Government were all this time misleading and contradictory, and showed that he had no grasp of the state of affairs. These dispatches were subjected to severe criticism in the Heraldo, a Madrid newspaper.

By the middle of September troops arrived from Zamboanga and other southern stations, and the garrison of Manila was brought up to 6000 men, two-thirds of whom were natives. Reinforcements were sent to Cavite, for the rebels were in great force about Silang, Imus, and Noveleta.

On the 17th September another attack was made by the rebels on San Roque, but was repulsed.

On the 1st October the mail steamer Cataluña arrived with a battalion of marines from Spain, greatly to the delight of the Spaniards, who gave the force an enthusiastic reception. [86]

Next day the ss. Monserrat arrived with more troops, and from this time forward troops kept pouring in.

Still General Blanco remained on the defensive in and around the city of Manila and the town of Cavite, and repulsed attacks made by the rebels on the magazines at Binancáyan and Las Piñas.

The rebels were now firmly established over the rest of the Province of Cavite. The natural features of this part of Luzon made the movements of regular troops extremely difficult. The country abounds in rivers which run from south to north parallel to each other at short distances. They run at the bottom of deep ravines, which present excellent positions for defence. Many of these rivers have dams across them and the sluices in these might be opened by the defenders, or the dams could be blown up in case a column of the assailants should be entangled in the ravine below, when they would inevitably be overwhelmed in the descending torrent.

In places the country could be flooded and thus be rendered impassable for troops.

But the industry of the rebels, skilfully directed, had added enormously to these natural advantages. From the reports of eye-witnesses I can affirm that the entrenchments of the Tagals were colossal. Tagals and Boers have demonstrated that a competitive examination is not necessary to enable fighting-men to entrench themselves. The Tagal lines ran from the delta of the Zapote River to Naic in an almost unbroken line, approximately parallel to the coast.

They were doubled and trebled in front of villages or towns and across the roads.

The trace was en crémaillère, the section being 6 feet thick at the top and 8 feet high, the exterior face vertical, with a revetment of bamboos fastened together with rattans. It was in fact a bank of earth built up against a strong bamboo fence.

The defenders fired through loop-holes left in the parapet, and were very well covered, but they could only fire straight before them and horizontally.

The defences of the towns had thicker and loftier parapets; in some cases there were three tiers of loop-holes properly splayed.

The insurgents were very insufficiently armed, and at first there were ten men to a rifle. The man who was [87]reputed the best shot carried the rifle and cartridge belt, and if he was killed or wounded in an engagement, the next best shot took the weapon and continued the fight. In the early actions there was scarcely ever a rifle left on the ground by the insurgents.

The only cannon the rebels had at first were some ancient brass swivel guns called falconetes or lantácas, which they took from the estate-houses at Imus and Malabon.

They also had some brass mortars like quart pots, which are used for firing salutes on feast days. These they fastened at an angle to blocks of wood, thus making small howitzers, quite effective at short range. They loaded these with the punchings from boiler-plates and broken cooking-pots.

They showed a considerable ingenuity in making cannon out of any materials at hand. They would take a steel boiler-tube, a stay tube for choice, say about three inches bore and a quarter of an inch thick. Plugging up one end and drilling a touch-hole, they would drive this tube into a hole bored in a log of hard wood turned on the outside to a taper, then they drove eight or nine wrought-iron rings over the wood. They drilled through the wood to suit the touch-hole and the gun was ready.

They fitted no trunnions, but mounted this rude cannon upon a solid block of wood.

In other cases they made some wire guns by lapping steel boiler-tubes with telegraph-wire.

Towards the end of the campaign of Lachambre’s division against the rebels, some modern field-pieces of eight centimètres were captured from them, but it is not clear where these came from.

To supplement their scanty stock of rifles, they made some hand-guns of gas-tube. These were fired by applying a match or lighted cigar to the touch-hole, and would seem to be very clumsy weapons. But I may say that when on a visit to the estate of Palpa, in Peru, I saw a Chinaman who was in charge of the poultry corral, kill a hawk hovering, with a similar gun.

The Spanish Military and Naval Authorities now took the revolt very seriously, and on the 8th November the squadron comprising the Castilla, Reina Cristina, and other vessels, and the guns of the forts at Cavite and Puerto Vaga, opened upon the rebel position at Cavite, [88]Viejo, Noveleta, Binancáyan, and other places within range, and kept it up for hours. The next morning the firing was resumed at daylight, supplemented by the guns from launches and boats well inshore. Troops were landed under the protection of the squadron, and advanced against the entrenchments of Binancáyan. They delivered three frontal attacks with great gallantry, reaching the parapet each time, but were beaten back, leaving many dead upon the ground. No flanking attack was possible here for the parapet extended for many miles each way.

A simultaneous attack was made upon Noveleta by a column of 3000 Spanish and native infantry under Colonel Fermin Diaz Mattoni.

This force started from Cavite and marched through Dalahican and along the road to Noveleta. This road is a raised causeway running through a mangrove swamp, having deep mud on each side impassable for troops. This is at least a mile of swamp, and the troops advanced along the causeway and crossed a bridge which spanned a muddy creek.

No enemy was in sight, and the town was not far off. Suddenly the head of the column fell into a most cunningly devised pitfall. The road had been dug out, the pit covered with wattle, and the surface restored to its original appearance. The bottom of the pit was set with pointed bamboo stakes which inflicted serious wounds upon those that fell upon them.

At the moment of confusion the rebels opened a withering fire from concealed positions amongst the mangroves upon the column standing in the open.

The Spaniards and native troops made great efforts to get forward, but could not stand the fire and had to retire. When they got back to the bridge it was down, and they had to wade across the creek under a close fire from the rebels hidden amongst the mangroves. In this action the Spaniards are said to have lost 600 killed and many hundreds wounded. The loss fell principally on the 73rd and 74th Regiments of Native Infantry.

The rebels were greatly encouraged, and got possession of a large number of rifles, with ammunition and accoutrements.

Both these attacks were made under the direction of General Blanco, who witnessed them from a lofty staging erected within the lines of Dalahican. After these disasters [89]he resumed the defensive, except that the squadron and the batteries at Cavite and Puerto Vaga frequently bombarded the rebel positions.

At this time thousands of natives were in prison in Manila awaiting their trial. A permanent court-martial had been organised to try the suspects. Great numbers were shot, and many hundreds were transported to the Caroline Islands, to Ceuta, and Fernando Pó. Wealthy natives were mercilessly blackmailed, and it is reported that those who were discharged had to pay large sums for their release.

The Spanish Volunteers in Manila committed many arbitrary and even outrageous actions, and aroused the hatred of the natives far more than the regular troops did. They allowed their patriotism to carry them into most lamentable excesses.

On the 25th February a rising and mutiny of the Carbineers or Custom-House Guards took place in Manila at the captain of the port’s office. The scheme miscarried and was only partially successful. The officer on duty was shot, and also the sergeant, and the rebels made off with some rifles and ammunition.

The volunteers and some troops hastily called together pursued the rebels through Tondo as far as the Leper Hospital, till nightfall, the last volley being fired at 6.15 P.M. In this affair the mutineers lost a great many men, but some of them got away and joined the rebels.

Blanco had not been severe enough with the rebels or suspected rebels to please the friars. His management of the attacks upon Noveleta and Binancáyan had been faulty, and his health was bad. It was not surprising, having the priests against him, and the military dissatisfied, that he was recalled. He left at the end of 1896. General Polavieja, an officer who had risen from the ranks by his military talents, and who, when serving in Cuba, had very accurately gauged the situation, and had made a remarkably clever report to the government, was sent out to replace Blanco. Polavieja was inexorable with the rebels and their sympathisers. Military executions took place about once a week for two months. Francisco Roxas, a mestizo ship-owner, Numeriano Adriano, and many other mestizos and natives were shot at the Paseo de la Luneta.

On December 6th the prisoners in Cavite jail rose, murdered their jailer, and attempted to escape. One [90]hundred and fifty prisoners were concerned in this affair. Of these, forty-seven were shot in the streets of the town, and twenty-one were captured, whilst thirteen were shot in the bushes behind Cañacao. Those recaptured were tried for prison-breaking, and were all shot the next morning.

By the beginning of 1897, a large number of troops had arrived from Spain. They were, however, largely conscripts, raw youths who had never handled a rifle, mere raw material in fact, sent out without uniform or equipment, many having only what they stood up in, or at most, having a spare shirt and a singlet tied up in a handkerchief. We talk about the shortcomings of our War Office officials, and certainly they sometimes give examples of wooden-headed stupidity, and are behind the age in many particulars. But for deliberate inhumanity, for utter callousness to human suffering, to loss of health and life, I think the Spanish War Office could hardly be outdone. And I speak of their misdeeds from personal knowledge in the Philippines and in Cuba. What an enormous amount of suffering was caused to the working-people of Spain by the sending to Cuba and to the Philippines of over 200,000 men in 1895–96. Never in this generation were men shipped away so destitute of clothing, provisions, surgeons and medical comforts. Never have I seen troops in the field with such wretched equipment, or so devoid of transport, tents, and supplies.

Whatever successes they achieved were secured by the inborn valour of the troops, and by extraordinary exertions on the part of the generals and staff to improvise on the spot what the national treasury should have supplied them with at the commencement of hostilities.

The raw recruits having been drilled and exercised with the rifle were organised in fifteen battalions and called Cazadores (chasseurs). These battalions, with four regiments of native infantry and some native volunteers, were formed into brigades under Generals Cornell, Marina, Jaramillo and Galbis. The first three brigades constituted a division, which was placed under the command of General Lachambre, an officer of great energy, and of long experience in the Cuban wars.

By the beginning of 1897 the Tagal rebellion had concentrated its forces in the province of Cavite. Embers of rebellion still smouldered in other provinces of Luzon, [91]but many rebels from outlying places had thrown in their lot with those of Cavite, and in great numbers, very indifferently supplied with arms and ammunition, but amply with provisions, they confidently awaited the long-prepared attack of the Spanish forces behind the formidable entrenchments that their persevering labour had raised. In the interval they had organised themselves after a fashion, and had instituted a reign of terror wherever they held sway.

The organisation of the rebels in the province of Cavite was of a somewhat confused nature, and seemed to respond to the ambition and influence of particular individuals rather than to any systematic principle.

Thus Silang was declared a vice-royalty under Victor Belarmino, styled Victor I.

The rest of the province was divided into two districts, each ruled by a council; the first was Imus and its vicinity, under Bernardino Aguinaldo with ministers of war, of the treasury, of agriculture and of justice.

The second was San Francisco de Malabon, presided over by Mariano Alvarez, with ministers of state as above.

But above the kingdom of Silang and the two republics, the President of the Katipunan, Andres Bonifacio, held sway as lieutenant of the Generalissimo Emilio Aguinaldo. He resided in his palace at San Francisco, and from there dictated his orders. The supreme power was in the hands of Aguinaldo.

All these authorities exercised despotic power, and certainly ill-treated and robbed their own countrymen who did not desire to join them, far more than the Spaniards have ever done in the worst of times. They frequently inflicted the death-penalty, and their so-called courts-martial no more thought of acquitting an accused person than a regimental court-martial in England would. The terrible President of the Katipunan ultimately became a victim of one of these blood-thirsty tribunals.

Their military organization was curious. The province was sub-divided into military zones. First Silang, second Imus, third Bacoor, fourth San Francisco de Malabon, fifth Alfonso. Each zone had an army which consisted of all the population able to work, and was divided into two parts, the active or fighting force and the auxiliary but non-combatant part. The active force was divided into regiments and companies, and these last into riflemen and spearmen, there being commonly five of the latter to one [92]of the former. Besides the usual military ranks, they instituted the following functionaries:

Minister of Marine Marcelo de los Santos.
Principal Chaplain to the Forces Eladio Almeyda.
Intendant-General of Taxes Silvestre Aguinaldo.
General of Artillery Crispulo Aguinaldo.
Inspector of Ordnance Factories Edilberto Evangelista.
General of Engineers
Judge Advocate General Santos Nocón.

All the above held the rank of lieutenant-general. The badges of rank were as follows:

Rebel Badges of Rank.

Generalissimo, K on the hat or cap.
Z. L. I. B. on the arm.
on the left breast.
Lieutenant Generals,
Majors, K
The Ministers, K
The Secretary to the Generalissimo, K K K

The rebels occupied the whole of the province of Cavite, except the fortified town of that name containing the naval arsenal, and a small strip on the shores of the Laguna where the Spanish troops were posted.

Cornell’s brigade was at Calamba and Marina’s brigade at Biñan. They had outlying detachments amounting to 1500 men at Santa Cruz, Santo Domingo, Tayabas, and along the line from Tanáuan to Bañadero, leaving each brigade 4000 men for the advance into the rebel territory. The divisional troops numbered about 1300, making a total of 9300 combatants.

The brigade under Jaramillo had its headquarters in Taal, Batangas Province, with outlying detachments at Batangas, Calacá, Lián Balayan and Punta Santiago, and a force holding the line of the Pansipit River, altogether amounting to 1000 men, leaving 1600 free to operate.

Besides this a fourth brigade, not belonging to the division, having General Galbis as brigadier, was extended along the northern bank of the Zapote River, under the immediate orders of the governor-general. The Lakes of Bay and Bombon (Taal) were guarded by armed steam-launches and other small craft, whilst the gunboats of the squadron patrolled the sea coast. The rebel province was thus held in a grip of iron.

On the 12th February, 1897, General Lachambre reported himself ready to advance. General Polavieja ordered Jaramillo to attack the rebel trenches at Bayuyungan on the 14th, and to keep up the attack until Lachambre had seized Silang, when he was to attack Talisay on the Lake of Taal. The marines at Dalahican were ordered to attack Noveleta, whilst Lachambre was to advance on the 15th, the two brigades taking different routes, but converging on Silang.

The march was extremely difficult, and the nine-centimètre [94]guns were only taken through, at the cost of most strenuous efforts. The enemy tenaciously defended every favourable position, and were only driven off at the cost of many lives.

On the 19th, Silang, one of the principal rebel towns, was taken by assault and at the point of the bayonet, after a preparatory bombardment in which the artillery fired 105 rounds of shell, whilst 25,000 rifle cartridges were used by the infantry.

The rebels lost 2000 men killed and wounded, whilst the Spanish losses were 12 killed and 70 wounded. The town was strongly entrenched and stoutly defended, and its capture with so small a loss may justly be called a creditable operation. Marina’s brigade attacked from the south and Cornell’s brigade from the east.

The action lasted from 7 to 11.30 A.M. The rebels were discouraged, but still, on the 22nd, they delivered an attack as if they would retake the town, and pressed on with great fury. They killed four of the Spaniards and wounded twenty-one, but in the end were driven off, leaving 400 dead on the ground. The houses in Silang were found fully furnished and provisioned. In the house of the so-called Viceroy of Silang, Victor Belarmino, the principal ornament of the sala was a chromo-lithograph portrait of the Queen Regent.

The church-doors were wide open and the altars profusely illuminated. On the sacristy table lay the priestly robes and ornaments, ready, doubtless, for the celebration of a Te Deum for the expected victory. But he who was to wear them, the celebrated Tagal Bishop, lay with a bullet through his heart across the parapet he had fiercely defended.

Lachambre preserved the best houses around the church and convent and utilised them as storehouses, hospital, and barracks, burning the rest of the town as a punishment to the rebels. He then garrisoned and fortified the post and connected it with the telegraph line.

On the 24th Lachambre marched from Silang, his main body advancing by the direct route to Perez Dasmariñas parallel to the River Casundit, a flanking force of three companies guarding the left of the column, whilst Lieutenant Colonel Villalon, with a battalion and a half having started an hour earlier than the main body, took the road to Palimparan, having the Rio Grande on his right, and by [95]his advance protecting the right flank of the column. Villalon advanced rapidly, and, brushing aside all opposition, rushed Palimparan with a loss of one killed and one wounded, killing seven of the rebels in the attack. Here he bivouacked, and at sunset was joined by another force consisting of half a brigade under Colonel Arizon, detached from General Galbis’ force on the Zapote River.

In the meantime the main body had advanced to within three miles of Perez Dasmariñas and bivouacked at the hamlet called Sampalcoc. On the following day Perez Dasmariñas was taken by assault, after a short bombardment by the mountain batteries. The rebels were strongly entrenched, and made a stout resistance. They had flooded the rice fields to the east of the town and rendered them impassable.

The town was attacked from the south and west, but it took hours of hard fighting for the Spaniards to break in, and even then the rebels fought hand to hand, and many preferred death to surrender. Those who fled were taken in flank by Arizon’s force, which approached the northern end of the town from the eastward. The loss of the Spaniards was 21 killed and 121 wounded, whilst the natives left 400 dead at the foot of their defences, and a great number were killed outside the town.

The early part of the defence was directed by Aguinaldo, but he fled when the Spanish forces closed up, leaving Estrella, an ex-sergeant of the Guardia Civil, in his place. Estrella fled later on when the Spaniards had entered the town. Unintimidated by this rude lesson, the rebels that same night fired into the town, and on the 27th they attacked a column which went out to make a reconnaissance towards Palimparan, and gave a mountain battery a chance, which they promptly took, of getting at a dense body of them with case. The artillery fired 22 rounds in this action, and the infantry used 63,000 cartridges. The Spanish loss was two killed and ten wounded, whilst the rebels lost at least 300.

The church, convent, and stone homes round the Plaza of Perez Dasmariñas were loopholed and prepared for defence, and occupied by a garrison of two companies of infantry. Owing, however, to the difficulty of bringing up supplies, the division could not resume its advance till the 7th March. Then the division took the eastern road to Imus, whilst the half brigade under Arizon marched by a [96]parallel road on the right flank, which converged upon the Imus road at Salitran, a village with a large stone estate-house belonging to the Recollets, strongly entrenched and held by the rebels.

On arriving within range two guns of Cornell’s brigade opened fire on the estate-house from an eminence, but after the fifth round the Spanish flag was shown from the house, it having been occupied by Arizon’s force arriving from the east after a very slight resistance, for the rebels seemed to have no one in command. They had prepared for an attack from the east, but when they found the Spaniards arriving in great force upon their right flank, enfilading their strong entrenchments, they became demoralised and took to flight.

The scouts now reported that a formidable entrenchment a mile and a quarter long, was occupied by the rebels about a mile north of the village. This entrenchment, called Anabo II., covered both the roads to Imus, and each flank rested on a deep ravine—the eastern end had a redoubt, and the western end a flanking epaulement.

The ground in front was perfectly open, and there was difficulty in making a flanking attack, so General Zabala, with a half brigade, made a direct attack. The fighting line gradually advanced, taking such cover as the pilápiles of the rice-fields could give, until they arrived within 100 yards of the parapet, when Zabala, waving high his sword, gave the order for the assault, falling a moment after pierced through the breast by a shot from a lantaca. Two captains fell near him, but the lieutenants led their companies to the assault; the cazadores sprang across the ditch and clambered up the high parapet with the agility and fury of leopards, bayoneting those of the defenders who remained to fight it out, and sending volley after volley into those who had taken to flight.

The Spanish loss was 11 killed and 33 wounded, whilst 200 of the rebels were killed. This heavy loss did not however appear to intimidate them in the least, for on the 8th they made two desperate attempts to retake the position, in both of which they came within close range of the Spaniards, who poured repeated volleys into them by word of command, whilst the mountain-guns played upon them with ease. In this action the Spaniards lost 5 killed and 25 wounded, and they calculated the rebel killed at 300. [97]


Chapter XI.

The Insurrection of 1896–97—continued.

The Division encamps at San Nicolas—Work of the native engineer soldiers—The division marches to Salitran—Second action at Anabo II.—Crispulo Aguinaldo killed—Storming the entrenchments of Anabo I.—Burning of Imus by the rebels—Proclamation by General Polavieja—Occupation of Bacoor—Difficult march of the division—San Antonio taken by assault—Division in action with all its artillery—Capture of Noveleta—San Francisco taken by assault—Heavy loss of the Tagals—Losses of the division—The division broken up—Monteverde’s book—Polavieja returns to Spain—Primo de Rivera arrives to take his place—General Monet’s butcheries—The pact of Biak-na-Bato—The 74th Regiment joins the insurgents—The massacre of the Calle Camba—Amnesty for torturers—Torture in other countries.

On the 10th (March) the division marched to Presa-Molino, which was occupied that same evening, and leaving three companies of infantry to guard the position, the division continued its march through a most difficult country, arriving in the afternoon on the Zapote River, in touch with the 4th Brigade, formerly commanded by Galbis and now by Barraquer.

From there Lachambre with his staff rode over to Parañaque, and reported himself to the Captain-General Polavieja.

The troops encamped on the downs of San Nicolas, one brigade on each side of the River Zapote. Notwithstanding the comparatively favourable emplacement of the camp, the troops and their officers suffered severely from the effect of the climate upon frames weakened by over-exertion, by indifferent nourishment and by sleeping on the ground. Malarial fevers, intestinal catarrh, dysentery, and rheumatism sapped their vitality, whilst nostalgia preyed upon the younger soldiers and depressed their spirits. Since the 15th February the division had lost in killed, [98]wounded, and invalided, no less than 135 officers, and troops in greater proportion.

Yet still greater exertions were to be required from the soldiers. The 4th Brigade was incorporated in the division, and two additional battalions, one from the 3rd Brigade and the other from the Independent Brigade, brought the number of combatants nearly up to 12,000.

Having previously made a practicable road by Almansa to Presa Molino and Salitran, defended by redoubts at the most difficult fords, and having organised his transport with such means as the country afforded, Lachambre again set out, his objective being Imus, but the attack was to be from Salitran.

The work of the native engineer soldiers, and of the 74th Native Regiment in constructing this road and the redoubts, merits the highest praise, and it must be admitted that it is almost impossible for an army of white men to carry on a campaign in the Philippines or in similar territory, without the assistance of native pioneer or engineer troops.

The road being ready, and the convoys of provisions having gone forward, on the morning of the 22nd March the division started on its march to Salitran, where it arrived on the evening of the 23rd, having had some sharp skirmishes on the way.

Early on the 24th the division set out for Imus, and once more the formidable trenches and redoubts of Anabo II., restored, strengthened, and crowded with determined defenders, barred their path. These works had once already been taken by assault, and had cost the division the loss of the brave General Zabala and other officers and men.

Protected on each flank by a deep ravine with a river at the bottom, and with open ground in front, the attack had been rendered more difficult by flooding the arable land before the trenches, and the position of the rebels was an exceedingly strong one. Lachambre had to accept a direct attack, but he sent a body of troops forward on each flank to advance simultaneously and overlap the ends of the entrenchment.

The infantry deployed, the firing line advanced under fire without stopping to within three hundred yards of the parapet, when they halted, taking what cover they could and keeping up a steady fire. Then the mountain battery [99]was brought up and fired common shell at close range, breaching the parapet. A rush forward soon brought the firing-line within 150 yards of the parapet. General Marina, watching the engagement well to the front, had one of his staff officers killed at his side; seeing the favourable moment arrive, he gave the order for the assault.

Once more the troops exhibited their conspicuous bravery. The long line, led by its officers, dashed forward with the bayonet, the bugles sounding the charge, and with impetuous speed, soon reached the parapet. However terrible the attack, the stout-hearted Tagals stood firm, disdaining to fly.

Bolo and bayonet clashed, European courage and Malay fury had full play, till in the end, as ever in equal numbers and in stand-up fight, the European prevailed. Many of the defenders fell, the rest sought safety in flight.

The engagement lasted two and a half hours without cessation, and over three hundred rebel dead were counted in or near the works, amongst them was Crispulo Aguinaldo, a brother of General Emilio Aguinaldo. The Spaniards lost 9 killed and 108 wounded.

After a short rest the division resumed the advance upon Imus, and bivouacked after marching about a couple of miles.

On the 25th the advance was continued on a broad front. Scarcely had the division marched for half-an-hour when the leading ranks came in sight of another line of entrenchments more than two miles long, six feet high, and five feet thick, well protected with cane fences in front, one of these being at a distance of 100 yards from the parapet.

Lachambre orders the centre to make a direct attack and the wings a flanking movement. The rebels retain their fire till the Spaniards arrive within two hundred yards, and then the parapet is crowned with flame both from small arms and lantacas. The scene of the day before was repeated, the parapet stormed, with a rebel loss of over six hundred. After a short halt the advance against Imus was resumed. The distance was short, and the appearance of the thousands of bayonets and the explosion of a few shells produced an indescribable panic amongst the inhabitants and the many who had come from other towns to assist in the defence.

They took to flight, disregarding the protests of their [100]leaders Emilio Aguinaldo and Andrés Bonifacio. In order to cover his retreat, the former ordered the magazine to be blown up and the town to be burned. This delayed the advance of the Spaniards in the centre, but the wings moved forward and the thousands of fugitives were exposed to a flanking fire, and more than eight hundred of them bit the dust. It was afternoon before Lachambre could enter what remained of Imus, when as a mark of honour for their splendid services, the colour of the 74th Regiment of Native Infantry was raised upon the tower of the church—all the troops presenting arms and afterwards giving enthusiastic cheers.

Thus was taken the citadel of the Katipunan with a loss to the Spaniards of 25 killed and 129 wounded.

The taking of Imus gave General Polavieja an opportunity of offering an amnesty to the rebels, which he did not neglect. On the 26th of March he issued a proclamation offering pardon to all who had borne arms against the Royal Authority, or who had assisted the rebels, provided they presented themselves before Palm Sunday the 11th of April. Leaders of the rebels were to present themselves with their forces and arms.

On the 26th March the division, leaving a garrison in Imus, started for Bacoor to take the defences in reverse, and such was the effect on the rebels of their defeat at Imus and of the advance in overwhelming force, that they fled, and the division occupied Bacoor almost without firing a shot.

It was otherwise with Binacayan, for Marina’s Brigade having made a reconnaissance in force on the 28th, were received with a heavy fire, and after an hour’s skirmish in which some were killed on each side, they returned to their camp at Bacoor; Lachambre considering that an attack in that direction would result in a useless waste of life, for the advance would be along narrow causeways across swamps. Having received provisions and ammunition by sea from Manila, he returned with his division to Imus, the garrison of which had not been molested by the rebels.

At daylight on the 31st March, the division left Imus and marched across country in a westerly and southerly direction, fording numerous streams running at the bottom of deep ravines, as well as many irrigating canals and ditches. Soon after the start the right flank was fired upon, the fire increasing as the column moved forward. The [101]engineers had to improve the approaches to the fords of the Rivers Julian and Batong Dalig under fire.

The leading brigade carried several entrenchments on its front and flank without halting, but extending skirmishes on either flank to beat off the enemy. The rear brigade was attacked on both flanks and had to fight a rearguard action as well. The division bivouacked for the night at Bacao, a point from which it threatened the rebel towns of San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Rosario and Noveleta, all within easy reach.

The losses on the day’s march were 6 killed and 37 wounded, whilst 400 rebel killed were counted on open ground, and many must have fallen amongst the bushes and trees.

They, however, were not at all dismayed, and surrounded the bivouac at night, firing repeated volleys and engaging the outposts.

On the following day (1st April), the division with all its baggage crossed the River Ladron, and took up a position in the centre of a large tract of rice-fields, having Noveleta on the north, San Francisco on the south, Rosario and Santa Cruz to the west, and San Antonio on the east. San Antonio was first taken by assault after the parapet had been breached by the fire of two batteries of mountain guns. The fugitive Tagals who escaped with their lives took refuge in Noveleta.

The situation was now as follows: Arizon’s Brigade threatened Noveleta, Marina’s Brigade threatened Rosario and Sarralde’s Brigade attacked Santa Cruz—the baggage being in the centre and out of fire.

At this moment a dense mass of the enemy issuing from San Francisco, made a desperate attack upon the Spaniards nearest to them.

The whole of the division with its twelve guns, was now in action and surrounded by the enemy, Lachambre in the centre keenly watching the fight. When he judged the right moment had arrived, he ordered Arizon’s Brigade to storm Noveleta.

The Brigade greeted this order with thundering shouts of “Viva España,” and with the pluck that has always distinguished the Spanish soldier when well led, carried the entrenchments at a run, and fought a hand to hand combat with the defenders, who were either killed or driven out, notwithstanding that these were the very best of the rebel [102]troops, amongst them being many of Aguinaldo’s Guards, wearing a special uniform, some of them having served in the native regiments. Here, again, the 74th Native Infantry distinguished themselves by their remarkable bravery, and once more their colour was displayed from the church tower as a recognition of their valuable and loyal services.

The capture of Noveleta placed the division in communication with the marines occupying the entrenchments of Dalahican.

This action cost the division 11 killed and 58 wounded, but many hundreds of the rebels were killed.

In consequence of this, the rebels abandoned Cavite, Viejo, and Binacayan, which were occupied the following day without resistance.

The rebels, however, on the 4th, and again on the 5th, attacked the troops in Noveleta and sustained the combat for some time, killing 10 and wounding 33 Spanish, but leaving 50 of their own dead on the ground.

On the 6th the division marched from Noveleta, which was occupied by a garrison of marines, and took the direction of San Francisco, the advanced guard in extended order across the same open ground upon which the engagement of April 1st was fought. The rebel positions on the right flank were marked by lines of skirmishers with their supports and reserves. The Tagals had, however, inundated the part of this plain immediately in front of the town, and the advance was made with great difficulty; the guns and ammunition boxes having to be carried by the gunners with the assistance of the infantry. With undaunted bravery the troops struggled on under a heavy fire, but Lachambre, realising the difficulty and the danger incurred, changed the direction of the advance. The right wing under Arizon inclined to the right, and the left, under Marina, bore away to the left. Half a brigade crossed the River Ladron, notwithstanding the opposition of the rebels, and attacked the town from the east. Firmer ground was soon reached, the guns that had cost so much labour taking up, were mounted, and a rain of shell soon fell amongst the rebels. The infantry poured in steady volleys, advancing in the intervals of firing. The whole combined attack being within a proper distance for the final rush, Lachambre gave the word, and like greyhounds released, the Spanish and native infantry leaped to the assault. The parapet [103]was high and deep the ditch, for the defenders had not spared their labour on it, and as the Spanish line reached the edge, the rebels boldly mounted the parapet and discharged their arms at close quarters. In this critical moment the moral superiority of the white man once more was manifest. The Spanish troops reached the parapet and a hand-to-hand combat with the bolder rebels took place, the bayonet against the spear or bolo. The less-determined of the enemy fled, and in a few minutes 120 Tagals lay dead against the parapet, and five guns and eighty rifles remained as trophies to the victors. The companies re-formed for the pursuit, but the enemy fired the thatched huts to interpose a curtain of flame between them and their pursuers; a measure which was only partially successful, for some of the troops, nimbly darting through the lanes, shot down or bayoneted many of the fugitives, killing 400 in the pursuit, besides those who died at the entrenchments. The Spanish loss was 25 killed and 125 wounded, including several officers. The fighting had lasted four hours over very difficult ground, and the troops were exhausted. Lachambre therefore camped in the town, which has many fine edifices and a spacious, church and convent. The bells of the church, in a joyful peal, announced the Spanish triumph. The rebels were under the command of Andrés Bonifacio, the President of the formidable Katipunan. This terrible blow to the insurrection was followed by the occupation of the towns of Santa Cruz and Rosario, without firing a shot.

Many of the natives had joined the rebellion under compulsion, and had long desired to submit themselves. Now they came in by hundreds every day to claim the amnesty offered by General Polavieja.

Fifty-two days had the campaign lasted, fifty-seven combats had taken place, and the total loss of the division was 1 general, 14 officers, and 168 men killed, and 56 officers and 910 men wounded. Probably a far larger number died or were invalided from disease, induced by the fatigue, exposure and privations inseparable from such a campaign, especially as most of the men were mere youths, raw recruits, and with little possibility of taking care of themselves, even if they knew how. Notwithstanding the excessive fatigue and the depressing nature of the surroundings, the Spanish troops maintained a fine martial spirit, and ever showed themselves ready to respond [104]to the calls made upon them. They were well led by their officers, who devoted themselves unsparingly in their country’s service, and they had confidence in their generals, who were untiring in their exertions to do their best for their men. Lachambre displayed the greatest solicitude for the well-being of the force under his command; whilst showing the utmost resolution, and pushing his attacks home in every case, yet he sacrificed his men as little as possible, and always had patience to wait till his flanking attacks could join in the assault. The distances the division had to traverse were very small, but the absence of roads and bridges made the provisioning of the army a matter of the utmost difficulty.

Those who know the poverty of the Spanish Army in animals, vehicles, and stores, will understand what Lachambre and his staff accomplished. On the 12th April, 1897, the division was broken up, and the brigades were stationed at various places in Cavite and the neighbouring provinces.

The general, brigadiers, officers, and troops, are fortunate in having as chronicler of their exploits, so painstaking and appreciative an officer as Lieut.-Colonel Don Federico de Monteverde y Sedano, who in his book, ‘La Division Lachambre,’ published in 1898, gives a detailed account of the campaign, with sketches illustrative of the various actions. Señor Monteverde does justice to every Spaniard, from the divisional-general downwards. I could wish he had said something more about the services of the 73rd and 74th Regiments of Native Infantry, who seem to have been always in the forefront of the battle and where the hardest work was being done, as in assisting the magnificent engineer corps, without whom I doubt if the campaign could have been successful. His book, however, is invaluable to those who may have to conduct operations in the Philippines, and the invariable success achieved by Lachambre, contrasts remarkably with the failures in the early part of the rebellion, and one cannot help seeing a parallel between this little war and the greater one in South Africa. Each was mismanaged at the beginning, but as soon as the invading forces were organised in one command, success was achieved.

A few days after the breaking up of the division, General Polavieja embarked for Spain, very much broken in health. In a letter written on the 9th March to the [105]Minister of War, Polavieja declared himself too ill to ride and asked for his relief. He, however, still remained at Parañaque, directing the campaign till after the capture of San Francisco.

The Spanish press took sides for or against him, the papers advocating the interests of the friars praised him, whilst the Liberal press held him up to ridicule.

There is no doubt that he directed the military operations in an efficient manner, but under his government the arbitrary arrests, cruelties, and tortures, inflicted upon all who were suspected of being sympathisers with the rebels, or from whom money would be extorted, that had begun under Blanco, continued and increased. For Blanco, having been informed of the cruelties inflicted, issued an order forbidding the practice.

The next governor-general was General Primo de Rivera, who had held that office from 1880 to 1883, and had found it a very profitable one. He arrived on the 23rd April and went to the front on the 29th; on the 4th May, Naic was taken, also a small place called Quintana, and Indang. At Naic there was very heavy fighting, and some at Indang.

The troops then advanced to Maragondón, which was taken on the 10th after a most stubborn resistance, the Spaniards losing many men and the rebels still more heavily.

This place was the last where the rebels made a stand, in Cavite province. After this defeat they dispersed in roving bands and kept on the move.

The whole province was a scene of desolation, towns burnt, churches bombarded, stone houses blown up, property looted, putrefying bodies lying about in hundreds, the fields laid waste, the cattle driven off, the country depopulated, a remnant of the inhabitants hiding in the woods; a few of the bolder ones returned to the ruined houses. Such was the result of this unhappy rebellion.

I have this description from an eye-witness, and he assured me that he had been told by a colonel commanding one of the most distinguished regiments engaged in the campaign, that not less than 30,000 natives lost their lives in that province alone during the rebellion.

The rebels gave no quarter to Spaniards, and the Spaniards only occasionally took prisoners. However, once [106]taken they were usually released after being exhorted to return to their homes.

Whilst the operations of Lachambre’s division were proceeding in Cavite, General Monet, with a force of 3000 men, was carrying on an indiscriminate butchery of men, women, and children, in Bulacan and Pampanga, but he displayed no military qualities, and ultimately escaped, leaving his forces to surrender.

The Spanish Volunteers in Manila continued their series of abominable outrages, although in August, Primo de Rivera issued a decree forbidding intimidation, plundering and ravishing. He was ultimately obliged to disband them.

Driven out of Cavite, the remnant of the rebels under Aguinaldo took refuge in the hills and held a strong position near Angat, in the province of Bulacan. As it would have taken a long time to reduce them, Primo de Rivera tried conciliation, and employed Don Pedro Paterno, a native gentleman of means, who had been educated in Spain, as mediator. By his instrumentality, an arrangement was arrived at which, after being approved by the Government in Madrid, was signed by the mediator as attorney for the rebels and the governor-general for Spain.

This, known as the pact of Biak-na-bato, was signed on December 14th, 1897.

In consequence, Aguinaldo and a number of the prominent rebels were escorted to Hong Kong by a relative of the governor-general, and there received a sum of $400,000, being the first instalment of the sum agreed upon.

They lived in a quiet and economical manner upon their own resources. They did not divide the indemnity nor convert it to their own use, but kept it as a war fund in case of need.

The event showed the wisdom of this course, for Primo de Rivera had led them to understand that an amnesty and reforms were to follow, but, apparently, had caused the Spanish Government to look upon the arrangement in a very different light, and he subsequently denied that any treaty existed. No reforms were ever granted, and things in Luzon went on in the same old way. The friars joined in raising a large subscription for Primo de Rivera, and this seemed to incline him more favourably towards them.

The amnesty was disregarded, and the priests continued their arbitrary courses against those who had been concerned [107]in the rebellion. Bands of marauders infested the provinces and the country was in a very unsettled state, some insurgent bands approaching Cavite.

On March 24th, the 74th Regiment of Native Infantry in garrison at that town, the regiment that had distinguished itself so remarkably in Lachambre’s division, being always in the front, was ordered to march out against them. Whatever the reason, whether they felt that their splendid services had not been duly acknowledged, or, as is likely, their pay was months in arrears, they refused to march against their own countrymen. Eight corporals were called out of the ranks and shot then and there in the presence of the regiment, which was again ordered to advance, and a threat made that a refusal would mean death to all.

All did refuse and were sent to barracks to await sentence. The next morning the entire regiment with arms and equipment, marched out and deserted in a body to the insurgents, saying they were willing to fight the foreign enemies of Spain, but not against their own friends. The following day another regiment joined them, but I have no note of its number.

It was now that an event occurred in Manila that showed how little desire there was amongst the Spaniards to treat the natives with ordinary justice, much less to conciliate them.

This was the massacre of the Calle de Camba, quite a short distance from the American Consulate, and it was perpetrated on the 25th and 26th of March. On the first of those day a number of Visayan sailors from the vessels in the Pasig had assembled in a house in the above street, which was their usual resort.

Somehow the story got about that an illegal assembly was being held, and the police, without more ado, attacked the meeting and shot down a dozen, taking sixty-two prisoners. The next morning the whole of these prisoners were marched to the cemetery, and all shot, though many them were known to have been merely passing by at the time.

This is vouched for by Mr. Oscar F. Williams in an official letter to Mr. Cridler, dated 27th March, 1898. It could hardly have been a mere coincidence that a revolt of the Visayas broke out about ten days later, when they made a desperate attack upon the city of Cebú in which many lives were lost and much property damaged. [108]

It seems hardly worth while to relate any more instances of Tagal revenge or Spanish brutality. The country that had been almost pacified was now again in revolt and amongst the insurgents were two battalions of well-trained and veteran troops.

But now events were impending of transcendent importance—the Spanish-American War had broken out.

Previously, however, Primo de Rivera left Manila to return to Spain, but before going he granted an amnesty to all who had tortured suspected persons to extort evidence from them.

Some of the victims had died under torture rather than bear witness against their friends, for the Tagal is a Stoic after the manner of the Red Indian. Others survive, mere wrecks, maimed for life, and living mementoes of Spanish cruelty.

Torture for extracting evidence from suspected persons is illegal in all Christian countries and their dependencies, and also in Japan, but has not yet been entirely routed out in British India nor in Egypt. In 1897, four cases of police torture in the North-West Provinces and Oudh, ended in convictions.

In Spain, some police officers are now on their trial for applying the thumb-screw to the fingers of anarchist prisoners in the Castle of Monjuich with such severity, that one of them, a railway porter, lost the use of his hands and arms. And Ysabelo de los Reyes, a native of Ilocos, declares that he was tortured in the same prison by thirst, having been fed upon salt food and deprived of water.

Last March (1900), a captain of police was tried at Sambor, in Austrian Galicia, for torturing prisoners with the thumb-screw and by deprivation of food, and was sentenced to a long term of imprisonment. In Corea, China, and Siam, torture forms part of the legal procedure before sentence, to say nothing of the various and lingering deaths the judge may order after the prisoner has confessed. Let us hope that now there will be no more of it in the Philippines. [109]


Chapter XII.

The Americans in the Philippines.

Manila Bay—The naval battle of Cavite—General Aguinaldo—Progress of the Tagals—The Tagal Republic—Who were the aggressors?—Requisites for a settlement—Scenes of drunkenness—The estates of the religious orders to be restored—Slow progress of the campaign—Colonel Funston’s gallant exploits—Colonel Stotsenburg’s heroic death—General Antonio Luna’s gallant rally of his troops at Macabebe—Reports manipulated—Imaginary hills and jungles—Want of co-operation between army and navy—Advice of Sir Andrew Clarke—Naval officers as administrators—Mr. Whitelaw Reid’s denunciations—Senator Hoar’s opinion—Mr. McKinley’s speech at Pittsburgh—The false prophets of the Philippines—Tagal opinion of American Rule—Señor Mabini’s manifesto—Don Macario Adriatico’s letter—Foreman’s prophecy—The administration misled—Racial antipathy—The curse of the Redskins—The recall of General Otis—McArthur calls for reinforcements—Sixty-five thousand men and forty ships of war—State of the islands—Aguinaldo on the Taft Commission.


Manila Bay.

The width of the entrance to the vast Bay of Manila is nine and a half marine miles from shore to shore. It is divided into two unequal channels by the Island of Corregidor and Pulo Caballo, and a rock called El Frayle, about a mile and a half from the southern shore, farther reduces that channel.

The Boca Chica, or northern entrance between Corregidor Island and Punta Lasisi, is two marine miles wide, and in the middle of the channel the depth of water is about thirty fathoms.

The Boca Grande, or southern entrance between Pulo Caballo and El Frayle, is three and a half marine miles wide, with a depth of water in the fairway of about twenty fathoms. [110]

In both channels the tide rushes in and out with great force.

With channels of such a width there was no difficulty in taking a squadron in at night, and little chance of suffering damage from the hastily improvised batteries of the Spaniards.

And it will be evident to all having the slightest knowledge of submarine mining that the conditions are most unfavourable to defence by such means. As a matter of fact, the Spaniards possessed only nine obsolete submarine mines fitted to explode by contact. These were sent over to Corregidor, but were not sunk, as it was obvious that they were useless.

On the other hand, it was a perfect position for the employment of torpedo boats or gunboats, there being excellent anchorage for such craft on both sides of the Channel and in Corregidor Cove. But at the time of the declaration of war, the Spaniards had no torpedo boats in the Philippines. The Elswick-built cruisers Isla de Cuba and Isla de Luzon were fitted with torpedoes, and might have been watching the channels for a chance to use them. Admiral Montojo knows best why he did not detach them on this service.

There was then nothing to prevent the entrance of the American Squadron; the mines, torpedo boats and narrow channels only existed in the imagination of some American newspaper correspondents.

But Admiral Dewey’s exploit does not need any such enhancing, it speaks for itself.

To any one having a knowledge of the Spanish navy, and especially of the squadron of the Philippines, the result of an action against an American Squadron of similar force could not be doubtful. As a matter of fact the Spanish ships, except the two small cruisers built at Elswick in 1887, were quite obsolete. The Castilla and Reina Cristina were wooden vessels, standing very high out of the water, and making admirable targets, whilst their guns were small, some of them had been landed at Corregidor, though never placed in battery. The boilers of one vessel were in the arsenal.

But even allowing for the fact that the tonnage of the American Squadron was half as much again as that of the Spaniards, and that they had more than twice as many, and heavier guns, no one would have supposed it possible [111]that the Spanish Squadron could have been completely destroyed without inflicting any damage upon the enemy.

It was indeed a brilliant victory, reflecting great credit upon Admiral Dewey and the officers and crews of the American ships, not only for what they did that day, but for their careful preparation that enabled them to score so decided a success.

The Spanish sailors put up a good fight and showed pluck, but they had no skill as gunners, and so failed in the hour of their country’s need. Admiral Montojo bravely commanded his fleet, but as soon as the action was over he seems to have considered that his duty had terminated, for he returned to his Villa in San Miguel, leaving the remnants of his squadron and the Cavite arsenal to its fate.

We must infer that Admiral Dewey’s victory and its consequences were not foreseen by the American Government, for they had made no preparations to send troops to Manila, and from the time they learned of the destruction of the Spanish Squadron, till they had assembled a force strong enough to take and hold the city, three weary months elapsed. This was a very hap-hazard way of making war, and the delay cost many thousands of lives as will be seen later on.


General Aguinaldo.

On the 19th May, 1898, Don Emilio Aguinaldo, former chief of the insurgents, arrived in Manila in pursuance of an arrangement with the American Consul-General at Singapore. He came with a suite of seventeen persons on board an American gunboat, and after an interview with Admiral Dewey, was landed at Cavite and given two field-pieces, a number of rifles and a supply of ammunition.

He soon reasserted himself as the leader of the insurrection, which was already in active progress, and gained some signal successes against the Spaniards. On the 24th May he issued a proclamation enjoining his followers to make war in a civilized manner and to respect property.

I do not intend to discuss the negotiations between Mr. Pratt and Aguinaldo, nor between the latter and Admiral Dewey. This subject has been very fully treated by Mr. Foreman in the second edition of his book. The treating with Aguinaldo was not approved by Mr. Day at Washington, and the Consul-General and Consuls who had [112]participated in it, and even taken credit for it, were severely rapped over the knuckles and promptly adopted an apologetic tone (see Blue Book). But whatever was the agreement with Aguinaldo, it is evident that had it not been for his assistance and that of the insurgents, the Spanish forces could have retired from Manila to Tarlac or other place inland out of reach of the guns of the fleet and could have prolonged their resistance for years.


The Tagal Republic.

The Tagals had made much progress since the insurrection of 1896–7. Their ideas had advanced considerably since their rudimentary organization in the Province of Cavite, as can be gathered from the improved style of the various proclamations and decrees published by Aguinaldo.

They now organized a Government, a real Civil Administration, extending over a great part of Luzon, and sent an expedition to Visayas. They established a Constitution, a representative government, and reopened the courts and schools, whilst the native clergy carried on public worship as usual. Aguinaldo repeatedly asserted the determination of the Tagal people to fight to the death for independence. At this time the insurgents held 9000 Spaniards as prisoners of war, and they claimed to have 30,000 men under arms.

Paymaster Wilcox, U.S.N., and Mr. Leonard R. Sargent who travelled through part of Luzon for more than 600 miles, and during six weeks, reported1 to Admiral Dewey that a regular and orderly Administration had been established, and was in full working order.

Aguinaldo was at the head of this Government and of the army co-operating with the American forces by the written request of General Anderson. This should have ensured him and those with him at the very least courteous and considerate treatment at the hands of the American Commanders, and in fact he received this from Admiral Dewey. But as soon as the direction of affairs passed into the hands of the general commanding the army the deeply-rooted contempt felt by Americans for the coloured races was allowed full play, Aguinaldo and his staff found themselves ignored, or treated with scarcely veiled contempt, and the estrangement was gradually increased. [113]

I do not know which party was the aggressor on February the 4th, 1899, each swears that it was the other. The cui bono test cuts both ways, for whilst it appears that the attack on Manila secured two doubtful votes in the Senate for the ratification of the Treaty whereby the Philippines were bought from Spain, on the other hand, Aguinaldo may have felt it necessary to prove to America that the Philippines would fight rather than bow their necks to the Yankee yoke. So that both parties may have had an interest in beginning hostilities. In any case, the next day Aguinaldo offered to withdraw to a greater distance if an armistice was arranged, but Otis declared that “fighting must go on.”

Personally, I think that if a sympathetic and conciliatory attitude had been adopted, had the local government established been recognized, had Aguinaldo and his staff been given commissions in the Native Army or Civil Service, and the flower of the Tagal Army taken into the service of the United States, a peaceful settlement could have been made on the lines of a Protectorate.

I therefore look upon the war as unnecessary, and consider the lives already sacrificed, and that will have to be sacrificed, as absolutely thrown away.

The tragical side of American unpreparedness is manifest in the state of anarchy in which the whole Archipelago has been plunged by the American unreadiness to occupy the military posts as soon as they were vacated by the Spanish garrisons. A hideous orgy of murder, plunder, and slave-raiding has prevailed in Visayas, and especially in Mindanao.

Three conditions were essential to a peaceful settlement:—

First.—A broad-minded and sympathetic representative of America, fully authorized to treat, and a lover of peace.

Second.—A strict discipline amongst the American forces.

Third.—The principal aim and object of the Tagal insurrection must be secured.

General Otis does not seem to me to fulfil the first condition, he lacked prestige and patience, and he showed that he had an insufficient conception of the magnitude of his task by occupying himself with petty details of all kinds and by displaying an ill-timed parsimony. Apparently he had no power to grant anything at all, and only dealt in [114]vague generalities which the Tagals could not be expected to accept.

As regards the second point, I regret that I am not personally acquainted with the gentlemen from Nebraska, Colorado, Dakota and other states serving in the United States Army or volunteers. I have no doubt that they are good fighting-men, but from all I can hear about them they are not conspicuous for strict military discipline, and too many of them have erroneous ideas as to the most suitable drink for a tropical climate.

Manila was in the time of the Spaniards a most temperate city; a drunken man was a very rare sight, and would usually be a foreign sailor. Since the American occupation, some hundreds of drinking saloons have been opened, and daily scenes of drunkenness and debauchery have filled the quiet natives with alarm and horror. When John L. Motley wrote his scathing denunciation of the army which the great Duke of Alva led from Spain into the Low Countries, “to enforce the high religious purposes of Philip II.,” not foresee that his words would be applicable to an American Army sent to subjugate men struggling to be free “for their welfare, not our gain,” nor that this army, besides bringing in its train a flood of cosmopolitan harlotry,2 would be allowed by its commander to inaugurate amongst a strictly temperate people a mad saturnalia of drunkenness that has scarcely a parallel.

Such, however, is undoubtedly the case, and I venture to think that these occurrences have confirmed many of the Tagals in their resolve rather to die fighting for their independence than to be ruled over by such as these.

More important still was it to take care that the Tagal insurrection should not have been in vain. That rebellion probably cost fifty thousand human lives, immense loss of property, and untold misery. It was fought against the friars and was at last triumphant. The Spanish friars had been expelled and their lands confiscated. Were the Americans to bring them back and guarantee them in peaceable possession, once more riveting on the chain the Tagals had torn off? [115]

This seems to have been General Otis’ intention. I think he might have stood upon the accomplished fact. But he did not.

The Treaty of Peace under Article VIII. declares that the cession cannot in any respect impair the rights of ecclesiastical bodies to acquire and possess property, whilst Article IX. allows Spanish subjects to remain in the Islands, to sell or dispose of their property and to carry on their professions. Presumably General Otis felt bound by the Treaty in which these general stipulations had been embodied by the Peace Commission, in direct contradiction to the advice given them by Mr. Foreman (see p. 463, 55th Congress, 3rd Sess., Doc. No. 62, part 1), who pointed out the necessity of confiscating these lands, but Mr. Gray replied: “We have no law which will allow us to arbitrarily do so.”

As soon as the effect of the treaty was known, Archbishop Nozaleda, who had fled to China from the vengeance he feared, returned to Manila. He seemed to have a good deal of interest with General Otis, and this did not please the natives, nor inspire them with confidence.

Furthermore, it was reported and generally believed that the friars’ vast estates had been purchased by an American Syndicate who would in due time take possession and exploit them.

One can understand the Tagals’ grief and desperation; all their blood and tears shed in vain! The friars triumphant after all!

I do not wish to trace the particulars of the wretched war that commenced February, 1899, and is still (October, 1900) proceeding.

In it the Americans do not seem to have displayed the resourcefulness and adaptability one would have expected from them. For my part, I expected a great deal, for so many American generals being selected from men in the active exercise of a profession, or perhaps controlling the administration of some vast business, they ought naturally to have developed their faculties, by constant use, to a far greater degree than men who have vegetated in the futile routine of a barrack or military station. They prevailed in every encounter, but their advance was very slow, and their troops suffered many preventible hardships. We know very little as to what happened, for the censors, acting under instructions from General Otis, prevented the transmission [116]of accurate information; nothing was cabled, except the accounts of victories gained by the American troops.

It would not be right, however, to pass over the fighting without rendering due tribute to the heroism of the American officers and soldiers.

Who can forget Colonel Funston’s gallant exploit in crossing the Rio Grande on a raft under fire with two companies of Kansas Infantry and enfilading the Tagals’ position? Or his leading part of same regiment in a charge upon an enemy’s earthwork near Santo Tomás, where he was wounded?

What could be finer than the late Colonel Stotsenburg’s leading of the Nebraska regiment in the attack on Quíngua, where he was killed? And since we are speaking of brave men, shall we not remember the late General Antonio Luna and his gallant rally of his army in the advance from Macabébe, when he fearlessly exposed himself on horseback to the American fire, riding along the front of his line? To justify the slow progress of the army, jungles, forests, swamps and hills were introduced on the perfectly flat arable land such as that around Malolos, Calumpit, and San Fernando, extending in fact all the way from Manila to Tarlac.3 This country supports a dense population, and almost every bit of it has been under the plough for centuries. The only hill is Arayat. During the dry season, say from November to May or June, the soil is baked quite hard, and vehicles or guns can traverse any part of it with slight assistance from the pioneers. The only obstacles are the small rivers and creeks, mostly fordable, and having clumps of bamboos growing on their banks providing a perfect material for temporary bridges or for making rafts.

The campaign was marked by an absence of co-operation between the land and sea forces. Admiral Dewey, apparently, was not pleased with the way things were managed, for he is said to have stayed on board his ship for months at a time. The warships remained at anchor in Manila Bay whilst arms4 and ammunition were landed at the outposts or on the coasts without hindrance, and it was not till November that troops were landed at Dagupan, [117]the northern terminus of the railway, though this obviously ought to have been done in February, so as to attack the enemy front and rear.

The necessity for small gunboats soon made itself felt, but such was the jealousy of the army towards the navy that it was decided that these must be army gunboats, and General Otis is reported to have purchased thirteen small gunboats at Zamboanga, in March 1899, without consulting or informing Admiral Dewey or even asking for an escort for them. It so happened that the Spaniards evacuated Zamboanga before any American forces arrived, and the insurgents promptly took possession of the gunboats already paid for and proceeded to plunder them of everything useful to them. A native account says that they took the gunboats up the Rio Grande into the interior, but this is denied by the Americans. Ultimately a cruiser was sent down to convoy the gunboats, and if I am correctly informed, they were commissioned in charge of junior naval officers.

Obviously, the services of the navy should have been utilised to the utmost extent, and advantage should have been taken of the prestige they had gained by the victory over the Spaniards, and of the great popularity and sympathetic personality of Admiral Dewey. A serious responsibility rests upon whoever allowed jealousy to prevent the co-operation of the land and sea forces, since by failing to secure this they needlessly sacrificed the lives of American soldiers and prolonged the war.

Lieut.-General Sir Andrew Clarke, R.E., a former governor of the Straits Settlements, and the greatest authority in England on the affairs of the Malay States and Islands, was good enough to write a letter which was forwarded to Mr. Day, and published in the Blue Book, p. 628.

He pointed out that, although a moderate military force might be desirable at one or two important centres, a naval force was of more value, especially gunboats able to move freely amongst the islands and ascend the many rivers and inlets of the sea.

Therefore to the fleet and its officers he advised that political and civil administration of the Philippines should, at least in the first instance, be entrusted. Sir Andrew believed, and I venture to say that I thoroughly agree with him, that amongst the officers of the United States navy, [118]active and retired, can be found many men of wide experience, broad views, and generous sympathy well fitted to administer the affairs of the protectorate. Sir Andrew also advised, as Foreman did, and as I do, that the members of the Religious Orders, i.e., the Augustinians, the Dominicans, the Franciscans, and the Recollets, should be advised to return to Spain, receiving compensation for their property.

Sir Andrew Clarke summed up his advice as follows: “Enlist native sympathy by fairness and justice, and rule through native agents, supervised by carefully selected American residents.”

As the fleet, by destroying the Spanish squadron, had rendered it possible to bring troops by sea, and by capturing the arsenal and blockading the Port of Manila, had invigorated the insurrection, and in fact had brought about the cession of the islands by Spain, it would appear to outsiders that it and its officers had a strong claim to the leading part in completing the settlement and pacification of the Archipelago for which the best authorities considered them to possess special qualifications. Besides, if peace was really wanted, it would have been better to entrust the negotiations to the man who had had his fight rather than to one looking for his chance. The craze for military renown is nowhere more rampant than in the United States. Occasions are few and far between, and we must not expect generals to throw them away and fly in the face of Providence.

This, however, did not commend itself to those who pull the strings; we ignore the reasons, but we see the result. Perhaps it was thought that to allow Dewey to add to his victor’s laurel wreath the palm of the pacificator would be too much honour for one man, and might raise him to an inconvenient height in the estimation of his fellow citizens.

A year and twenty days after his decisive victory Admiral Dewey sailed from Manila in his flagship. Wherever the British ensign flew he was received with every demonstration of honour and respect both by naval and military officers and by civilians. His reception in New York was marked by an almost delirious enthusiasm. But long before he arrived, Mr. Whitelaw Reid, disgusted with the conduct of the campaign, made a speech at the Miami University and denounced the President for neglect of duty which brought on the war in the Philippines. [119]

He said: “If the bitterest enemy of the United States had sought to bring upon it in that quarter the greatest trouble in the shortest time, he could have devised for that end no policy more successful than the one we have already pursued.” It must be added that Mr. Whitelaw Reid, perhaps to prevent being accused of having sympathy with the enemy, denounced Aguinaldo and the Tagals as rebels, savages and treacherous barbarians, unfit for citizenship or self-government, and declared that the Philippines belong to America by right of conquest.

I suppose Mr. Whitelaw Reid, or perhaps any citizen of the United States, has a right to denounce his own President, and certainly the management of the Philippine annexation has been bad from the beginning.

But I think Mr. McKinley was badly served by the Peace Commission. They seem to me to have made many and egregious mistakes.

1. They took General Merritt’s opinion that the Tagals would submit, and accepted Mr. Foreman’s assurance of Tagal plasticity and accommodating nature.

2. They disregarded the intimation of D. Felipe Agoncillo, the accredited agent of the Tagals, that these would accept no settlement to which they were not parties.

3. They treated several millions of civilised Christian people like a herd of cattle to be purchased with the ranch.

4. Under Article VIII., they guaranteed the religious orders the possession of estates already taken from them.

5. Under Article IX., they gave the expelled friars the right to return and exercise their profession.

To illustrate their careless procedure, I may add that they did not even accurately determine the boundaries of the Archipelago to be ceded, and now, in August 1900, $100,000 is to be paid to Spain for Sibutu and Cagayan Sulu Islands, left out by mistake. If any man has a right to say, “Save me from my friends,” that man is William McKinley.

As regards Aguinaldo and the Tagals, I think that Mr. Whitelaw Reid’s irritation at their protracted resistance has led him on too far. I prefer the opinion of Senator Hoar, who, speaking in the Senate of three proclamations of Aguinaldo, said: “Mr. President, these are three of the greatest state papers in all history. If they were found in our own history of our own revolutionary time we should [120]be proud to have them stand by the side of those great state papers which Chatham declared were equal to the masterpieces of antiquity.”

In the same speech he says, and I commend his words to the reader’s attention: “Mr. President, there is one mode by which the people of the Philippine Islands could establish the truth of the charges as to their degradation and incapacity for self-government which have been made by the advocates of Imperialism in this debate, and that mode is by submitting tamely and without resistance to the dominion of the United States.”

Mr. Whitelaw Reid, however, was perfectly right in one thing. The Philippines belong (or will belong) to America by right of conquest. On August 28th, 1899, Mr. McKinley addressed the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment at Pittsburgh soon after their arrival from Manila. He said: “The insurgents struck the first blow. They reciprocated our kindness with cruelty, our mercy5 with Mausers.... They assailed our sovereignty, and there will be no useless parley until the insurrection is suppressed and American authority acknowledged and established. The Philippines are ours as much as Louisiana, by purchase, or Texas, or Alaska.” Here we get down to the bed rock, and discard all flimsy pretences. The Americans have undertaken a war of conquest, they bought it in fact, but I fear they are not happy either about its material progress or its moral aspect. We shall have to wait till November to see what they think about it.

But whenever the cost in lost lives, ruined health, and shattered minds, to say nothing of dollars, comes to be known, there will be a great outcry in America.

Mr. McKinley and his advisers are much to be pitied, for they were misled by the information given them by those they relied on.


The False Prophets of the Philippines.

Here is an extract from General Merritt’s evidence taken from the Blue Book, fifty-sixth congress, third session, document No. 62, part I, p. 367:

Mr. Reid: Do you think any danger of conflict is now reasonably remote? [121]

General Merritt: I think there is no danger of conflict as long as these people think the United States is going to take possession there. If they imagine or hear from any source that the Spaniards are to be reinstated there, I think they will be very violent.

Mr. Davis: Suppose the United States, by virtue of a treaty with Spain, should take Luzon ... paying no attention to the insurgents—how would that be taken by Aguinaldo?

General Merritt: I think Aguinaldo and his immediate following would resist it; but whether he could resist to any extent I do not know, because his forces are divided. I believe that, as matters go, Aguinaldo will lose more or less of his power there.

The Chairman: If the United States should say, We will take this country and govern it our own way, do you think they would submit to it?

General Merritt: Yes, sir.

Mr. Davis: How many troops in your opinion will be necessary to administer the government of this island—to secure the administration of our government there?

General Merritt: From 20,000 to 25,000 would be requisite at first.

I admire the conviction of this distinguished officer that the benefits of American rule would be highly appreciated by the Tagals, of whom, by-the-bye, he knew next to nothing, having only been a few weeks in Manila amongst sycophantic Mestizo-Americanistas.

That interesting people were, however, of a different opinion. On p. 4582 of the ‘Congressional Record,’ I find that Señor Mabini, in a manifesto published at San Isidro, April 15th, 1899, states that “race hatred is much more cruel and pitiless among the Anglo-Saxons” (he is comparing them with the Spaniards). Again he says, “Annexation, in whatever form it may be adopted, will unite us for ever to a nation whose manners and customs are different from our own, a nation which hates the coloured race with a mortal hatred, and from which we could never separate ourselves except by war.” The outbreaks against the negroes that have recently happened [August, 1900] in New Orleans, Liberty City, Georgia, and in New York, seem to justify Señor Mabini’s remarks.

Don Macario Adriatico, in an answer to a message of General Miller, writing from Jaro, January 3rd, 1900, says: “It could easily be conceived that the Philippines would not suffer a new reign, least of all of a nation on whose conscience the curse of the Redskins rests as a heavy load.”

In other documents they refer to the probable action of the Trusts, and anticipate that, what with the Sugar Trust, the Tobacco Trust, and the Hemp Trust, they would soon [122]find themselves reduced to the condition of porters and workmen, or even of domestic servants.

They seem to have an intelligent anticipation of what will probably befall them when conquered, and hence their desperate resistance to a large American army.

But let us now turn up the evidence of another expert on the Philippines, Mr. John Foreman, who also ventured to prophesy what the Tagals would do (Blue Book, before mentioned, p. 443).

Mr. Foreman (answering Mr. Day): “The Tagals are of a very plastic nature, willing in their nature (sic), I should say, to accommodate themselves and take up any new established dominion which might be decided upon, and I think they would fall into any new system adopted.

“The inhabitants of the Central Islands or Visayas are more uncouth, decidedly less hospitable, and somewhat more averse to associations and relations with outsiders than the Tagals, but I think they would easily come under sway. They want a little more pressure and would have to be guided, more closely watched, and perhaps a little more of the iron hand used than in Luzon.”

Thus was the administration in Washington misled, and it is probable that the American military chiefs reported that they could easily overcome all opposition, so they were allowed to try.

Yet in June, 1900, we read, “The recall of General Otis is taken to mean that the administration considers the war to be at an end, and that there is no longer any necessity for military rule.”

General McArthur is appointed to the command, however, and the first thing he does is to cable to Washington for more troops, whilst Admiral Remey asks for an extra battalion of marines. These are to be sent, also at least three regiments of infantry. Sixty-five thousand men and forty ships of war are now admitted to be the proper garrison to hold down the Philippines.

However necessary reinforcements may be, so deep is the racial antipathy between the United States’ soldiers, white or black, and the natives, that every additional man sent out is a source of disaffection, and even exasperation. Not only will the volunteers become demoralised and diseased in mind and body by their sojourn in America’s new possession, but the very fact of their presence renders the pacification of the country more difficult. The more troops are kept there, the more discontented the natives will be. [123]

To bring this chapter up to date, the position seems to be as follows: There is a recrudescence of activity amongst the insurgents; fighting is going on over a great part of the Archipelago, the American troops are harassed and overworked, sickness is rife, including the bubonic plague; yet, notwithstanding all this, the Taft Commission has taken over the administration of the islands from September 1st.

The date fixed is not a convenient one for the Commission, as it is in the middle of the rainy season, but it has probably been selected to suit the presidential campaign in America.

Aguinaldo has issued a proclamation warning the Filipinos against the Taft Commission, which, he says, has no authority from Congress; does not represent the sentiments of the American people, and is simply the personal instrument of Mr. McKinley sent out to make promises which it has no power to keep, and which the United States Government will not be bound to observe. He denounces the Americanistas, and threatens condign punishment to all who accept offices under the Commission. It would appear that a settlement on present lines is still some way off.

Judge Taft seems to have inherited the cheerful optimism of General Otis. On September 1st he reported that the insurrection is virtually ended, and on 20th forwarded another favourable report. On 21st, General McArthur cabled accounts of engagements in several provinces of Luzon. The American troops at Pekin are being hurried to Manila, as the reinforcement of General McArthur is absolutely imperative. [124]

1 Report published in Outlook, September 1st and 21st, 1899.

2 The Abbé de Brantôme, whose appreciative remarks upon the courtesans who accompanied the Army of the Duke of Alva are quoted by Motley in ‘The Rise of the Dutch Republic,’ would have been delighted to take up his favourite subject and chronicle the following of the American Army.

3 My remarks apply to the accounts published in the Times.

4 May 11th, 1899, The New York Herald’s correspondent at Manila reports that the insurgents have succeeded in landing ten machine guns on the island of Panay.

5 The kindness and mercy are not obvious.


Chapter XIII.

Native Admiration for America.

Their fears of a corrupt government—The islands might be an earthly paradise—Wanted, the man—Rajah Brooke—Sir Andrew Clarke—Hugh Clifford—John Nicholson—Charles Gordon—Evelyn Baring—Mistakes of the Peace Commission—Government should be a protectorate—Fighting men should be made governors—What might have been—The Malay race—Senator Hoar’s speech—Four years’ slaughter of the Tagals.

Not a few of the natives in arms were, and still are, sincere admirers of the true greatness of the United States. The noble deeds and words of America’s great men attain the summit of human grandeur in their fervid imaginations.

The statesmen and the historians of the great Republic receive their tribute of praise from Filipino lips.

The names of Washington, Lincoln, Prescott, Motley, are known and honoured by them. Were the natives treated according to the immortal principles of right and justice laid down or praised by such as these, they would welcome the tutelage, and, in fact, all Asia might envy them.

But they will never consent to become the prey of the politician, the boss, the monopolist, and the carpet-bagger, and from these they must be assured of protection before they will submit.

What confidence can they have in a form of government under which the tariffs on their great staples will be made in the interests of their American competitors.

Under such a system, and with a pension list steadily growing by millions of dollars year by year, their comfortable competence would, in a few years, be reduced to the hideous poverty of over-taxed British India.

Having passed so many years amongst this people, I may be expected to give some opinion as to whether the Philippines can be governed by America. [125]

The islands were badly governed by Spain, yet Spaniards and natives lived together in great harmony, and I do not know where I could find a colony in which the Europeans mixed as much socially with the natives. Not in Java, where a native of position must dismount to salute the humblest Dutchman. Not in British India, where the Englishwoman has now made the gulf between British and native into a bottomless pit.

It will be difficult for the Americans to avoid this social ostracism of the natives, and in this respect they are not likely to do as well as the Spaniards, being less tolerant.

As regards the administration of the government, no doubt great improvements can be made; but I abstain from prophecy, remembering Merritt’s and Foreman’s want of success in that line. There is certainly a wonderful opportunity to show the world how to govern a tropical protectorate or dependency.

So rich a country with so intelligent and industrious a population only requires good guidance to make it an earthly paradise. But the guidance should be given by the gentle hand of an elder sister, and not by the boot of a frontier ruffian.

Much as our officials praise the administration of the Indian Empire, I think it quite possible with a few years of disinterested tutelage to weld the Philippines into a nation, more united, freer, happier, richer and better educated, than the finest state in that vast possession. What is wanted is The Man, no stubborn and tactless general “spoiling for a fight,” harsh, peremptory, overbearing, but a civilian of the highest rank, or a naval officer, one of America’s very best, full of sympathy, tact and patience, yet firm as Stonewall Jackson. He must have a gracious presence, and “magnetism” in the highest degree, for he must rule by personal influence, by inspiring confidence and affection.

Not otherwise did Rajah Brooke obtain his election to the sovereignty of Sarawak; Sir Andrew Clarke pacify the Malay Peninsula; nor is it otherwise that Hugh Clifford is leading the Malays of North Borneo to peaceful pursuits.

The man, when found, must be invested with absolute power, and be backed up by all the forces of the Republic.

The British Government gave America an example of what to avoid when it sacrificed Governor Eyre, of Jamaica, to a shrieking gang of pseudo-philanthropists, when, in a great emergency, whilst the honour of white women and [126]the lives of men were at the mercy of a mob of negroes, he omitted some legal technicality before hanging one of the cowardly instigators.

However, I do not think America will go back on her sons like that.

Great Britain has produced some men who could have taken up the burden of the Philippines. It happens that the three I shall cite were all soldiers, but their extraordinary magnetic qualities by no means proceeded from their profession.

The God-like man who died at Delhi, the beloved of John Lawrence, would have made an ideal ruler: the people would have worshipped him.

The hero who died at Khartoum could have ruled the Philippines, or any Asiatic or African country, and the people would have loved him.

To quote one who is still with us, Lord Cromer has coped with difficulties of a different kind, yet, perhaps, as great as those of the Philippines, and in a few years has changed the face of the land of Pharaoh, and lightened the lot of millions. This has been done by the assistance of a few engineers, administrators, judges and soldiers. He and all of them have displayed the most unfailing tact and patience, indomitable courage and fortitude, and each has put honour and duty before all. Men like John Nicholson, Charles Gordon and Evelyn Baring, are rare, but their peers doubtless exist amongst Americans of the good old colonial stock, and it is the President’s business to find them, and send them out to protect and govern America’s great dependency.

America has, I suppose, taken these islands from Spain to save them from the ruthless1 Teuton, and to show the world that she can do for the Philippines what we have done for Egypt. Unfortunately, she began wrong by treating with Spain, and buying the islands, as if the natives were cattle on a ranch.

Then the Peace Committee went wrong over the estates of the Religious Orders, as before explained.

In my opinion, the form of government should be a protectorate, varying in character with the civilisation of the different islands, the executive functions being in the hands of the natives whenever possible, but under inspection [127]to prevent abuses. On this basis peace could, I think, be made, and then America should remember that the most worthy of the natives are precisely those who have been in arms for their freedom. Their chiefs (with one or two exceptions), are the men who should be appointed to govern provinces, and the fighting-men enrolled in the native army.

No offices of government should be given to the so-called Americanistas, who are mostly people who need not be taken into account, and whose support is worth nothing. They will go on with their pettifogging and their pawnbroking, and that is enough reward for them. They are Americanistas because they cannot help themselves, and not from any attachment to American ways. Formerly the Spaniards protected them; now the American bayonets stand between them and the Tagal bolos.

Without this, well they know that what happened to the mulattos in Hayti would surely happen to them sooner or later—perhaps sooner.

It is, indeed, sad to see what is, and to think what might have been accomplished by a little patience, a little forbearance, a tinge of sympathy, for a gallant people struggling for freedom and light. But no patience was vouchsafed to them, no forbearance was shown them, nor can I discover in what has been done the faintest sign of sympathy for them.

Yet the Malay race can claim to have enlisted the sympathies of some not undistinguished men. Rajah Brooke, Spenser St. John, Hugh Clifford, Professor Blumentritt, Louis Becke, Joseph Conrad—the names that first occur to me—have all confessed to an affection for them. The old Spanish conquerors speak of their dignified courtesy and gentle manners.

There are, however, in America, generous souls who can judge the Tagals fairly and even indulgently. I do not allude to those who raise a clamour to discredit the administration for political purposes, but to the noble, eloquent, and truly patriotic speech, inspired in the best traditions of the United States, delivered by Mr. Hoar in the Senate on April 17th. I hope that touching appeal to the national conscience will bear fruit, and that, by the exercise of true statesmanship, an end may be put to this dreadful war, and a pacification effected satisfactory to Filipinos and Americans. [128]

For four long years, slaughter and destruction have ravaged one of the fairest lands on earth, converting what might be a paradise into a pandemonium.

What evils have these poor Tagals not suffered in that time? Arbitrary imprisonment, torture, confiscation of property, banishment to unhealthy places, military executions, bombardments, the storming and burning of towns, indiscriminate slaughter, and the bubonic plague, added to the calamities they are always exposed to—volcanic eruptions, floods, earthquakes, typhoons, locusts, epidemics.

Famine seems to be the only calamity they have been free from, but even that may not be far distant. [129]

1 I think, in view of the German atrocities in Africa, including many cases of flogging women, that this epithet is well earned.


Chapter XIV.

Resources of the Philippines.

At the Spanish conquest—Rice—the lowest use the land can be put to—How the Americans are misled—Substitutes for rice—Wheat formerly grown—Tobacco—Compañia General de Tabacos—Abacá—Practically a monopoly of the Philippines—Sugar—Coffee—Cacao—Indigo—Cocoa-nut oil—Rafts of nuts—Copra—True localities for cocoa palm groves—Summary—More sanguine forecasts—Common-sense view.



The great wealth of the Archipelago is undoubtedly to be found in the development of its agriculture. Although the Central and Ilocan Mountains in Luzon and parts of Mindanao are rich in gold, it is the fertile land, the heavy rainfall and the solar heat, that must be utilized to permanently enrich the country. The land is there and the labour is there, and all that is wanting is capital, and a settled government that will make roads and bridges and keep them in repair, clear the rivers of obstructions and improve the ports, and above all, establish and maintain some tolerable courts of justice. The sun, the rain, the soil, and the hardy Philippine farmer will do the rest—a population equal to that of Java could live in affluence in the Philippines.

The agriculture of the Philippines at the time of the first arrival of the Spaniards consisted mainly in the cultivation of rice. It is to the Spaniards that the natives owe the introduction of maize, coffee, cacao, sesame, tobacco, the indigo plant, the sweet potato, and many fruits. They also imported horses, horned cattle, and sheep. But the great development of the cultivation of sugar and hemp is almost entirely due to British capital, with some assistance from Americans.

The natives probably learned from the Chinese how to [130]terrace the hillsides and the sloping lands, and how to erect the pilápiles, or small dykes, for retaining the rain. At that time, and for centuries after, taxes were paid in paddy as they have been in Japan until quite recently.

Under the heading “Tagals,” a description is given of the planting of paddy, and an illustration shows the aspect of a newly-planted paddy-field or tubigan. Mountain rice-lands are called bacores or dalatanes. The cutting and harvesting of paddy is paid for in kind, sometimes in Camarines Sur, a third of the crop is given for getting it in, but in the province of Manila it is cultivated in equal shares to the farmer and the owner of the land.

By looking at the illustration it will be seen that, the fields being divided into such small patches of irregular shapes at different levels, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to use a reaping-machine. I have elsewhere given the reasons for my opinion that the cultivation of rice is the lowest use that the land and the husbandmen can be put to, and whenever the cultivation is given up, it is probably an indication that the cultivators are raising some more profitable crop, and earning money by exporting valuable produce, wherewith to import rice from countries in a lower stage of civilisation.

This is most certainly the case in the Philippines, and year by year, as the exports of hemp, sugar and tobacco have increased, the imports of rice from Saigon and Rangoon have risen correspondingly. And yet the United States’ Department of Agriculture, issued in the latter part of 1899 a circular with the title,’Plant Products of the Philippines,’1 which, amongst other inaccurate appreciations, says: “It seems strange that an almost exclusively agricultural country should not produce enough food for its own population, but such is at present the case with regard to the Philippines.” It proceeds to say that in some years the value of rice imported into Manila from Saigon was valued at $2,000,000. But I would point out to the author of that circular that the export of the three great staples of the Philippines in those years averaged, perhaps, $30,000,000, [131]and this, evidently, could not have been accomplished if they had cultivated their own rice.

The Spaniards sometimes raised this same groundless clamour, and, perhaps, the author of the circular took it from them; but I look upon it as a great mistake arising from insufficient knowledge of the subject. The rice imported into Manila is largely shipped to the tobacco and hemp provinces, Cagayan and Albay, where the people are exclusively employed in the cultivation and preparation of those valuable products, and are far richer, and on a higher grade of civilisation than the rice-growers of Cochin China.

In the Philippines themselves, the people of the rice-growing districts are the poorest and most backward of all.

Besides paddy, the natives cultivate the dava or míjo (Panicum miliaceum), the mongo, a species of lentil (Phaseolus mungo), called in some provinces balat or balatong, for their own consumption.

When rice is dear, they mix a certain amount of maize with it, and when it is really scarce they eat the seeds of the sorghum (Holcus saccharatus) instead of it. They also make an infusion of these seeds, which is not unlike barley-water. The camote (Impomœa batata) is the principal food of the more uncivilised tribes.

All the natives find a great resource in the banana, which the Tagals called saguin. The following varieties are excellent: Bungulan, Lacatan, Ternate, and Tindoc.

Wheat was formerly grown in northern Luzon. The late Archbishop of Manila, Fray Pedro Payo, informed me that, when he was a parish priest years ago, he always ate bread made from Philippine flour, which he thought far better and safer than the Californian flour that had superseded it.

Tobacco is an important crop in the Philippines, and from the year 1781 was cultivated in Cagayan as a government monopoly. In the villages of that province the people were called out by beat of drum and marched to the fields under the gobernadorcillo and principales, who were responsible for the careful ploughing, planting, weeding, and tending, the work being overlooked by Spanish officials. Premiums were paid to these and to the gobernadorcillos, and fines or floggings were administered in default. The native officials carried canes, which they freely applied to those who shirked their work.

In another part of the book I have referred to the series [132]of abuses committed under the monopoly: how the wretched cultivators had to bribe the officials in charge of the scales to allow them the true weight, and the one who classified the leaves, so that he should not reject them as rubbish and order them to be destroyed; in fact, they had to tip every official in whose power it was to do them any injustice. Finally, they received orders on the treasury for the value of their tobacco, which were not paid for months, or, perhaps, for years. They sometimes had to sell their orders for 50 percent of the face value, or even less.

However, even the Spanish official conscience can be aroused, and at the end of 1882 the monopoly was abolished.

Here it is only right to honourably mention a Spanish gentleman to whom the natives of the Cagayan Valley in a great measure owe their freedom. Don Jose Jimenez Agius was Intendente General de Hacienda, and he laboured for years to bring about this reform, impressed with the cruelty and injustice of this worst form of slavery. The Cagayanes were prohibited from growing rice, but were allowed as an indulgence to plant a row or two of maize around their carefully tilled tobacco-fields.

Possibly this circumstance has led the author of the circular I have before quoted to make the extraordinary statement: “Tobacco, as a cultivated crop, is generally grown in the same field as maize.” Does he think it grows wild anywhere?

In 1883, the “Compañia General de Tabacos de Filipinas” was established in the islands, the capital being raised in Paris and Barcelona.

This Company has been under very capable management; the technical department being overlooked by M. Armand Villemer, a French engineer of great ability and experience. The Company has done a great deal to improve the cultivation of the plant and the preparation of the leaf. They run light draught paddle-steamers and barges on the Cagayan River, and sea-going screw-steamers from Aparri to Manila.

Their estates are mentioned under the heading “Cagayanes.”

Besides the Cagayan Valley, the following Provinces produce tobacco in considerable quantities.

In Luzon, the Ilocos North and South, Abra, Union, [133]Nueva Ecija. Also Masbate, Ticao, and most of the Visayas Islands. The Igorrote also raise a considerable quantity.

The quantity of tobacco and cigars exported since 1888 is given in the Appendix; and, seeing the enormous extent of land still available in the Cagayan Valley, there can be no doubt that the production can be very largely increased as the demand grows.

The export of leaf tobacco from Manila, the only shipping port, has increased from 204,592 quintals in 1888, to 287,161 quintals in 1897, and during the same period the export of cigars has increased from 109,109 mil to 171,410 mil.

The cultivation of the Musa textilis is almost a monopoly of the Philippines, and, indeed, of certain parts of them.

Volcanic soil, a certain elevation above the sea, and exposure to the breezes of the Pacific, a bright sun and an ample rainfall, seem necessary to the production of a fine quality of this fibre.

Several attempts have been made to produce this fibre elsewhere; the Government of British India sent a gentleman to Manila to study the question. He wrote a report, but I have never heard that any abacá was produced.

The plant was said to grow wild all along the Sarawak rivers; but here again some mistake must have been made, for nothing seems to have come of it.

There is, in fact, nothing so far to compete with it, and there is an immense and growing market. The price has lately fluctuated enormously, and I do not intend to prophesy what profits might be made in planting it.

In 1897, no less than 915,338 bales were exported, about 114,400 tons, and if we take the average price at that time as $15 per bale, we get a sum of over $13,730,000 as the value of that year’s export, the largest in quantity, but not in value.

The export of hemp has been almost entirely developed by British and American enterprise, and dates from very recent times.

The spread of the sugar-cane cultivation in the Philippines from the year 1870 was rapid, and is in great measure due to the advances made by British and American houses to the planters. It was for many years a most profitable business, and this is proved by the large and handsome [134]houses of the planters in the towns of the sugar districts. The continual increase of the beet sugar production, however brought down prices to such an extent as to reduce the profits below the heavy interest paid on loans or advances. But it seems now that bottom has been reached, and that rising prices and more economical methods of financing and of manufacturing will give the planters a fresh start. Those who know what has been and is being done by central sugar factories in Cuba, will not doubt the possibility of doing better in the Philippines, where labour is cheaper and is on the spot.

Under the headings Pampangos, Pangasinanes, and Visayas, will be found many interesting particulars of the working of sugar plantations in these provinces.

In 1893, the export of sugar amounted to 260,000 tons; since then it has declined, but in 1897 it still amounted to close on 200,000 tons.

The export of coffee has almost entirely ceased, and the cause is ascribed to the ravages of an insect which destroys the bushes. Lipa, in Batangas province, was the great coffee centre, and became one of the richest towns in Luzon. Notwithstanding this prosperity, the plantations were never cultivated with proper care. Weeding was much neglected. In 1888, the export reached 107,236 piculs, but in 1897 it had fallen to 2111 piculs.

There is an opening for coffee-planting on many of the elevated plateaux of the islands, and capital with skill ought to find its reward.

The Moros of Lake Lanao export a certain quantity of coffee of indifferent appearance but excellent flavour.

Cacao grows well in many parts of the Archipelago, but I have never seen any large plantations of it. A few trees may be seen in the gardens of old houses, but they must be protected from insects and rats, and require looking after.

The quantity raised in the islands is not sufficient to supply the home demand, so that cacao beans are imported from Venezuela and chocolate from Spain.

It is a risky business to plant cacao in the northern Philippines; the trees are delicate and suffer from the typhoons. And the produce is so valuable that, unless watched at night or protected in some way, the cones may when nearly ripe be carried away by thieves.

In Palawan, where the typhoons do not ravage, I have seen cacao trees 30 feet high, with an abundant crop. [135]

The plant from which indigo is elaborated was cultivated in former years to a considerable extent in some provinces, notably the Ilocos, but the export trade was destroyed by the adulterations of the Chinese.

In 1895, 6672 quintals were exported from Manila, but only 462 quintals in 1896. Ten specimens of Ilocos indigo were shown at the Madrid Exhibition of 1887, and the price varied from $12 to $67 per quintal.

For home use the dye is sold in a liquid form, contained in large earthen jars called tinajas. It is known as Tintarron.

Sesame and other oil-giving seeds are cultivated to a small extent in several provinces, but neither the seed nor the oil figure in the list of exports.

The cocoa-nut palm grows in most of the lowlands of the Philippines, except in the North of Luzon. In suitable soil it grows to the very edge of the sea, as in the Cuyos Islands, In the provinces of Laguna and Tayabas there are large numbers of these trees and a lively business is carried on in making oil from nuts or in sending them to Manila for the market or for shipment.

When large quantities are to be sent, they are formed into rafts in a very ingenious manner, each nut being attached by a strip of its own fibre without any rope being required.

These rafts are sometimes a hundred feet long and ten or twelve feet wide, and are navigated across the lake and down the Pasig. Finally they are brought alongside a steamer, the nuts are cut adrift and thrown into the hold through the cargo ports.

The nuts that are to be used for making oil are stripped of their husks and cut in halves. They then pass to a workman who is provided with an apparatus called a Cutcuran. This is mounted upon a trestle and consists of a revolving shaft of hard polished wood, carrying on its overhanging end an iron disc about three inches in diameter having teeth like the rowel of a spur.

This is set edgeways in a slot in the shaft. On each side of the trestle near the ground is a treadle; from one of these a cotton cord passes over the shaft taking a round turn and is made fast to the other treadle. The operator sits astride the trestle with a foot on each treadle. By working them alternately he produces a rapid revolution of the shaft in alternate directions, and the cutting disc being [136]double-edged it cuts both ways. By holding a half nut against the revolving cutter he in a few seconds rasps out every particle of the nut which falls upon a tray in fine shreds.

The shredded material is then heated in a cast-iron pan over a slow fire, and whilst hot is filled into bags of strong material which are placed in the press.

This is constructed entirely of hard wood, and the pressure is obtained by driving wedges with a heavy mallet.

The system is primitive, but all the apparatus is practical and very cheap.

D. Carlos Almeida of Biñan stated to me in 1890 that 400 large cocoa-nuts gave by this process one tinaja or jar of oil, equivalent to 10½ English gallons, which was then worth on the spot six Mexican dollars. It is sold in Manila. At this time cocoa-nuts were sold in Santa Cruz, the capital of the Laguna, for about $15 per thousand. The oil cake was used either to feed pigs or as a manure about the roots of coffee-plants. The owner of cocoa-palm groves in Luzon or Visayas lives in anxiety during several months of each year, for should the vortex of a typhoon pass over or near his plantation, a large proportion of his trees may be destroyed.

The true locality for such plantations is in the southern and western parts of Mindanao and Palawan, to the south of a line drawn from the northern point of Mindanao to Busuánga Island in the Calamianes, preferring the most sheltered spots.

In this region the danger from typhoons is inconsiderable, and the trees flourish exceedingly. I have been shown trees in bearing at Puerta Princesa which I was assured were only three years old. I saw older trees bearing immense bunches of nuts, too many to count, and it seemed wonderful to see a slender trunk bearing aloft sixty feet in the air so heavy a load. From fifty to one hundred trees can be planted on an acre according to the space allowed to each, and when in full bearing after six or seven years each tree might give eighty nuts in a year. The crop goes on all the year round.

Copra is prepared from the nuts either by drying the whole nut under cover in the shade, allowing the water to become absorbed and then breaking up the kernel for bagging, or else by breaking it up first of all and drying it in the sun. [137]

In the first case a large airy shed is required, and the process takes three months. In the latter case three days of sunshine will suffice, but the kernels must be protected from the dew at night and from any chance shower of rain. Artificial heat does not produce good copra, and besides is expensive to apply.

Making copra is one of the most paying enterprises in the Philippines, but it requires capital to be laid out several years beforehand, unless a plantation can be bought to start with.

Previous to 1890, the quantity of copra exported was so small that no record was kept of it. In that year 74,447 piculs were exported, and the trade has gone up by leaps and bounds, so that in 1897 no less than 811,440 piculs were sent out, over fifty thousand tons.

The present position of agriculture seems to be that there are in the Philippines somewhere about six millions of civilised Christian people tilling eight million acres of land, and exporting some thirty million dollars’ worth of produce each year. They also raise a large quantity of food-stuffs for their own consumption, but import perhaps a couple of million dollars’ worth of rice because it is cheaper to buy it than to grow it, as we in England import wheat for the same reason. The area of land under cultivation is computed at one-ninth of the total area of the islands.

The author of the circular Plant Products of the Philippines, to which I have before referred, makes the following remarks: “In view of the natural fertility of the soil and the vast extent of these rich lands not yet under cultivation, it is safely assumed that the total agricultural production of the islands could be increased tenfold.”

This gentleman seems to be of a sanguine disposition, and he reminds me rather of Oscar F. Williams’ cheerful optimism. But in one way he is more cautious than that gentleman. He does not fix a time for his prophecy to be accomplished.

I would point out, however, that in the seventy-five million acres comprised in the islands there are volcanic cones, peaks of basalt, stony plains, unexplored regions, swamps and other undesirable localities for establishing farms or plantations, and that some of the good lands are held by warlike tribes who would resent any intrusion into their domains.

There are, it is true, great tracts of land in Mindanao [138]and Palawan, and no doubt in time they will come under cultivation.

Taking everything into consideration, I hold to my view that with peace, honest government and a good Vagrancy law, the export of produce might be doubled in twenty years if capital is forthcoming in sufficient amount. The land is worth nothing without the husbandmen, and it will take the Philippines a long time to recover from the devastating effects of the insurrection of 1896–7 and the American war of subjugation. [139]

1 In making these remarks, I am not in any way desirous of depreciating the Department of Agriculture, for I hold the belief that its reports are written with exceptional ability. But this circular bears internal evidence of having been written by some person, perhaps a consul, unfamiliar with Philippine agriculture, and published without correction.


Chapter XV.


Value exaggerated—Difficulties of labour and transport—Special sawing machinery required—Market for timber in the islands—Teak not found—Jungle produce—Warning to investors in companies—Gutta percha.

During the three and a quarter centuries the Spaniards have held the Philippines, the forests of Luzon have supplied enormous quantities of the finest timber for building houses, churches, convents, bridges, warships, lighters and canoes. No care has ever been taken to replant, and the consequence is that at this day long logs of many kinds most wanted are not obtainable, all the large trees of valuable timber have long ago been cut, and only in the most distant and least accessible places are any worth having to be found.

The greatest nonsense is talked about the value of the Philippine forests, but in fact it is only in the fever-stricken Island of Mindoro, and in certain parts of Palawan and Mindanao, that any large and valuable trees can be found.

Labour is a great difficulty; wood-cutters are scarce, and they are a wild, unruly lot; only men inured to such a rough life can resist the malaria of the woods, and even they are occasionally down with fever.

Chinamen would not venture into the forests, and only the natives of each district are available, as they do not care to go far from their houses. In order to engage them it is necessary to make them advances of money which it will seldom be possible to recover. A good deal of tact is required in dealing with the cutters, they are very independent and will not put up with abuse. A considerable capital is required to give advances to, and feed these men, also for buying buffaloes, which die unless good care is taken of them. [140]

If a cutter can be found who has buffaloes of his own, it is better to hire them with him, as then they are sure to be taken care of.

The dragging the large logs to a river or port can only be done by teams of buffaloes. The conditions prevailing prevent the employment of chutes, wire ropes and winding engines, or tram-lines.

The valuable trees do not grow together in numbers as in the forests of California and Oregon, but are found at considerable distances from each other. It is therefore only possible to commence the use of mechanical conveyance at the spot where the logs can be assembled by animal labour. Even so, the number of logs from any district will be so small that it will hardly pay to lay down a tramway.

The logs are squared in the woods and the butt ends are rounded like the runners of a sleigh, two holes are chopped at the top corners with a small adze called a palacol, through which rattans are passed for the buffaloes to be yoked to. They are then dragged down to the river or sea. The wood is too heavy to float, and bundles of bamboos are attached to it to give it buoyancy.

The idea of putting up saw-mills in the forests is absurd—for the reason given above.

The wood is very hard and tough, and specially made machinery is required to work it.

The framing must be heavier, the feed lighter, and the teeth of the saws much smaller and with less set. I have had some excellent machinery and saws specially made in England for this purpose, by Thomas Robinson & Son of Rochdale, but I sent home logs of the woods required to be worked, for the saws, planers, and moulding cutters to be made to suit. The ordinary sawing machinery as shown in trade catalogues would be of no use at all.

The whole business is extremely risky, it requires a manager, immune to jungle fever, a man of great vigour yet patient and tactful. Such a man, understanding the native ways, would probably succeed after years of hard and dangerous work; but I warn any one thinking of taking up this business that in Luzon valuable trees are few and far between, and distant from port or river, whilst in other islands where there are timber trees they stand there because no one could ever be induced to go and cut them. [141]

As for exporting these timbers to the United States or other places, there is no need to do that, for demand for timber in Manila and other towns is greater than the supply, and iron construction is increasing in consequence.

Oregon or Norway pine is of no use for building purposes in the Philippines, for it would be devoured within a year or two by the anay (white ants). I am told, however, that in spite of warnings the United States military authorities have constructed stables and storehouses of this timber.

I think it quite useless to mention the names of the different Philippine timbers, as those who take an interest in them can purchase the ‘Manual de Maderero’ (Wood-cutters’ Manual) and obtain all the information they require from it.

Molave is the most important, being proof against the white ants, and almost imperishable. Ypil and yacal are splendid woods for large roofs. They can be obtained long enough for tie-beams, even for wide spans, and excellent roof-frames can be made by bolting them together.

On the Zambales mountains and in Benguet and Lepanto there are forests of coniferæ. When the Manila-Dagupan Railway was being built, I had some sample sleepers brought down from thence. They were quite suitable, but could only be used if thoroughly creosoted, as otherwise they would merely provide food for the white ants. As there are no gasworks in the Islands, creosote could not be produced, nor would it pay to import it from Hong Kong or elsewhere on account of the freight and duties.

There is no market in the islands for pine and no one cuts the trees. They are not of great size. The Igorrotes burn them to clear the land for planting.

True ebony is not found in the forests, but a very handsome and heavy wood, called Camagon, is the nearest approach to it, being dark-brown nearly black, streaked with bright yellow. It is found of larger size than ebony and is sold by the pound.

Teak has often been reported to exist and samples of the alleged teak have been shown to me. On comparing them with teak from Rangoon a considerable difference was noted and the characteristic odour was absent. My own impression is that there is no teak in the Philippines. I have paid two dollars a cubic foot for teak in Manila and [142]if there was any to be had, this price would, I think, have fetched it out.

As for such jungle produce as gum-damar, canes, and rattans, if the reader will refer to my remarks on Palawan he will see that the most valuable products are mostly worked out, and that in any case this is not white man’s business.

There is, however, one branch that, in view of increasing scarcity and rising price, should be carefully looked after by the Philippine Administration; I refer to the collection of gutta-percha in Mindanao. This caused quite a boom for a short time, but as usual the Chinamen got hold of the stuff and mixed it with various kinds of rubbish, so that it was soon discredited in the European market.

An official of high-standing might be appointed to the double office of Protector of the Natives, and Conservator of the Forests in Mindanao, and rules for collecting the gutta without destroying the trees should be prepared and enforced by personal visits from the conservator and his deputies, to whom all the gutta should be handed, being paid for in cash. This would probably yield a large revenue to the Government and greatly benefit the natives, for they might receive half the value of the gutta instead of the minute fraction the Chinese now give them.

The reader who has perused the previous remarks will no longer be liable to be caught by tales of the fabulous riches of the Philippine forests. And, above all, he should keep clear of any companies that may be formed to exploit them. Energetic and tactful individuals may succeed, but the success will be due to personal qualities, and will be contemporaneous with that gifted party and disappear with him. This is what happened to the “Laguimanoc Saw Mills and Timber Company” as soon as the founder left.

A large proportion of the jungle produce of Mindanao, Palawan, and the smaller Southern Islands is smuggled away by the Chinese traders to Sandakan or Singapore.

All that appears in the Table of Exports is two or three hundred tons of gum copal shipped each year from Manila. [143]


Chapter XVI.

The Minerals.

Gold: Dampier—Pigafetta—De Comyn—Placers in Luzon—Gapan—River Agno—The Igorrotes—Auriferous quartz from Antaniae—Capunga—Pangutantan—Goldpits at Suyuc—Atimonan—Paracale—Mambulao—Mount Labo—Surigao—River Siga—Gigaquil, Caninon-Binutong, and Cansostral Mountains—Misamis—Pighoulugan—Iponan—Pigtao—Dendritic gold from Misamis—Placer gold traded away surreptitiously—Cannot be taxed—Spanish mining laws—Pettifogging lawyers—Prospects for gold seekers. Copper: Native copper at Surigao and Torrijos (Mindoro)—Copper deposits at Mancayan worked by the Igorrotes—Spanish company—Insufficient data—Caution required. Iron: Rich ores found in the Cordillera of Luzon—Worked by natives—Some Europeans have attempted but failed—Red hematite in Cebú—Brown hematite in Paracale—Both red and brown in Capiz—Oxydized iron in Misamis—Magnetic iron in San Miguel de Mayumo—Possibilities. Coal (so called): Beds of lignite upheaved—Vertical seams at Sugud—Reason of failure—Analysis of Masbate lignite. Various Minerals: Galena—Red lead—Graphite—Quicksilver—Sulphur Asbestos—Yellow ochre—Kaolin, Marble—Plastic clays—Mineral waters.

It is a great mistake to suppose that nothing is known of the geology and mineralogy of the Philippines, or that no attempts have been made to exploit them.

The maps of the Archipelago are marked in dozens or hundreds of places, coal, copper, lead, iron, gold, and a number of works treating of the subject have been published. Amongst the authors are the mining engineers, Don Enrique Abella and Don José Centeno. But some of their most important reports are still in manuscript, for the revenues of the Philippines were almost entirely absorbed in paying the salaries of the officials, and there was a great disinclination to spend money in any other way.

At the Philippine Exhibition, held at Madrid in 1887, [144]more than seven hundred specimens of auriferous earths or sand, gold quartz, and ores of various metals were shown, and in this branch alone there were 109 exhibitors from all parts of the Archipelago.

Besides ores there were the tools and utensils used by the miners, and models of the furnaces and forges in which the metals were reduced and worked, with the metals in different stages of concentration or manufacture, and a complete show of the finished products.

A great many Mining Companies have been formed in Spain or in Manila at different times which have all failed from a variety of causes, want of skill, bad management, costly administration, or because the richness of the vein or seam had been exaggerated.

The difficulty of getting labour is considerable, as mining is a work the generality of natives do not care to take up, although in some provinces they are used to it, for example, in Camarines Norte and in Surigao.

Employers seem to forget that the ordinary food of a native, rice and fish, is not sufficiently nourishing to enable him to do hard and continuous work, such as is required in mining. A higher rate of pay than the current wage is essential, to allow the miner to supply himself with an ample ration of beef or pork, coffee and sugar, and provision should be made for him to be comfortably housed.

In this complaint of want of labour it is not always the native who is to blame, and if a mine cannot afford to pay a reasonable price for labour, it had better stand idle.

Probably the one great reason why mines have not prospered in the Philippines is that there has never been slavery there, as in Cuba, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, ancient Egypt, and other great mining countries, where whole populations have been used up to minister to the avarice of their fellow-men.

Names of some Metals in Tagal.

Gold Guinto.
Silver Pilac.
Copper Tangsó.
Lead Tinga.
Tin Tinga puti.
Iron Bacal.
Steel Patalím.
Forged Steel Binalon.
Coal Uling.




From my remarks upon the other minerals it will be seen that I have no illusions on the immediate prospects of working them.

With gold, however, it is different. For centuries large quantities have been collected or extracted, mostly, no doubt, from placers, still some rich veins are known to exist.

The early writers agree that gold is plentiful. Dampier says: “Most, if not all, the Philippine Islands are rich in gold.”

Speaking of the Batanes Islanders, he says:—

“They have no sort of coin, but they have small crumbs of the metal before described” (he seemed at first to doubt whether it was gold), which they bind up very safe in plantain leaves or the like. This metal they exchange for what they want, giving a small quantity of it—about two or three grains—for a jar of drink that would hold five or six gallons. They have no scales, but give it by guess.”

In the ‘Relacion de las Islas Filipinas,’ 1595(?), the author remarks that the Tagals “like to put on many ornaments of gold, which they have in great abundance.”

Farther on, he says of Luzon:—

“The people of this island are very clever in knowing” (valuing) “gold, and they weigh it with the greatest subtleness and delicacy which has ever been seen; the first thing they teach their children is to know gold and the weights used for it, for amongst them there is no other money.”

Farther on, he says:—

“Ilocos ... has much gold, for the principal mines of these islands are in the mountain ranges of this province, of which they get the advantage, for they trade with the miners more than any people. The Spaniards have many times endeavoured to people the mines so as to work them, but it has not been possible up to the present, although the Governor, Gonzalo Ronquillo, took the greatest pains, and it cost him many men, the country being so rough and destitute of provisions.”

In Pigafetta’s ‘Voyage Round the World’ (Pinkerton), Vol. ii., p. 333, we read that at Caraga (Mindanao) a man offered an ingot of massive gold for six strings of glass beads. [146]

On p. 331, he says:—

“The king who accompanied us informed us that gold was found in his island in lumps as large as walnuts, and even as an egg, mingled with earth; that they used a sieve for sifting it, and that all his vessels, and even many of the ornaments of his house were of this metal.”

On p. 348, he says that he saw many utensils of gold in the house of the Raja or King of Butuan.

On p. 349, we find the following remarks:—

“What most abounds is gold. Valleys were pointed out to me in which by signs they made me comprehend there were more lumps of gold than we had hair on our heads, but that, for the want of iron, the mines exact greater labour to work them than they feel inclined to bestow.”

Coming down to later days, Thomas de Comyn, 1810, writes:—

“Gold abounds in Luzon and in many of these islands; but as the mountains which contain it are in the power of pagan Indians, the veins are not worked, nor even the mines known. These savages collect it from placers or streams, and bring it as dust to the Christians who inhabit the plains, in exchange for coarse cloth or fire-arms, and at times they have brought it in grains of one or two ounces’ weight.

“It is the general opinion that this class of mines abound in the province of Caraga, situated on the east of the great island of Mindanao, and that there, as well as at various other points, gold is found of 22 carat fine.”

He states that the Royal Fifth, or rather Tenth (for it was found the mines could not pay a fifth, and it was reduced by half), in the year 1809 amounted to $1144. This would represent an extraction of gold equal to only $11,440; but this was probably but a small part of the whole, as from the circumstances of the case the gold dust from the washings would be surreptitiously disposed of, and only the few mines that were worked, paid the tax. I had occasion, about twelve years ago, to make inquiry how much gold was raised in Camarines Norte, and a person well-informed on the subject estimated it at a value of $30,000 gold dollars.

Gold is certainly very widely distributed in the islands. I have seen women washing the sands of the River San José del Puray in the province of Manila, and noted what small specks they collected. I was informed that their average earnings were about 25 cents per day. Whether [147]these sands could be dredged and washed mechanically on a large scale with profit I cannot say.

In 1890, I ascended the Puray River and went up the Arroyo Macaburabod to where it bifurcates. There, close to the boundary of the province of Manila and district of Moron, I found a face of disintegrated quartz glittering with large crystals of iron pyrites.

This was near a geological frontier where the igneous and sedimentary rocks joined, and the neighbourhood was highly mineralized, there being iron, coal, and gold within a short distance. I took a large number of samples, and the analyst Anacleto del Rosario declared that one of them gave an assay of 17 dwts. of gold to the ton. But of course such assays prove nothing, for the accidental presence of a grain of gold in the sample would make all the difference in the results.

Near Gapan in Nueva Écija more profitable washings are situated, and at times large numbers of men and women are to be seen at work, especially after a sudden flood has come down. The sands of the River Agno also yield gold, and the washing for it is quite an industry amongst the Pangasinan women about Rosales, but the return is said to be small. But after a north-westerly gale has heaped up the black sand at the mouth of this river in the Bay of Lingayen, the people turn out in numbers to wash it, and sometimes have better luck. But although these washings are poor, a considerable quantity of gold is obtained from the Igorrotes, and there is no doubt that these people have for centuries worked quartz veins or pockets, and that they only extract sufficient for their modest requirements in the way of purchasing cattle, cloth, and tools. They do not hoard any gold, for they say that it is safer in the mine than in their houses. When one of them requires a few ounces he goes to his mine, gets it out, and immediately proceeds to purchase what he wants. Possibly they do not consider the supply inexhaustible, and they have thought for to-morrow, or for those who will come after them. It is not their object to exhaust the bounties of nature in the shortest possible time.

When they have found a rich pocket they build a house over the pit, and when not at work they cover the hole with roughly-hewn planks or logs ; they take precautions in disposing of the detritus, so that it does not call attention from a distance. [148]

In the Exhibition of 1887 the Comandante Politico-Militar of the Province of Benguet showed samples of auriferous quartz from Antaniac and from Capunga, also quartz with visible threads of gold from the latter place, also leaf gold from the veins, two specimens of auriferous quartz from Pangutantan with gold extracted from it, and gold-dust from the River Agno.

Other exhibits included specimens of gold-bearing rock from Lepanto and Infantas, and compact auriferous quartz from the celebrated gold-pits of Suyuc near Mancayan. All these quartz reefs are worked by the Igorrotes.

Gold is also found near Atimonan in Tayabas, but the neighbourhood of Paracale and Mambulao, and the slopes of Mount Labo are most famous in Manila.

During the last century large quantities of gold were taken from the surface-workings, which are now exhausted, or only afford a miserable living to the natives who treat the auriferous earths in a very primitive way.

The gold having been taken, the next thing was to use the reputation of the mines to attract capital, and this was done to some considerable extent, one company being founded on the ruins of another. One of the later ones was the “Ancla de Oro,” or Golden Anchor, but its capital was expended without results. The late Don Antonio Enriquez, a Spanish gentleman well-known to British and Americans in Manila, worked some mining properties there for some years, and had faith in them.

He consulted me about them, and I forwarded some samples of the ores to my agents in London, who had them analyzed by Messrs. Johnson & Matthey, but the results were not encouraging, and did not confirm the analysis made in Manila.

About 1890, Messrs. Peele, Hubbell & Co. got out an American mining expert, whose name I forget, but I believe he was a mining engineer of high standing. He spent some time at Mambulao and Paracale, and made a careful examination of the country. It was understood that his report did not encourage any further expenditure in prospecting or development. But of late years further attempts have been made to boom the place, and the Mambulao Gold Mining Syndicate, London, 1893, has been formed. I am unaware on what new information the promoters rely to justify their bringing this place again before the public. [149]

Surigao, in the old kingdom of Caraga, is rich in gold which is very widely disseminated. Father Llovera, a missionary who, in March, 1892, made an excursion up the River Siga to visit some unbaptized Mamanúas in the mountains, declares that the sands contain much gold, so much so that particles were plainly visible. This river takes its rise in the eastern Cordillera, between Cantilan and Jabonga, and runs in a north-easterly direction into the southern part of Lake Mainit. The missionary also declares that veins of gold were visible in some of the pieces of rock lying in the bed of the river, which they broke to examine. But he does not seem to have brought back any specimens, as one would expect.

His declaration is confirmed by Dr. Montano, a French traveller and skilled explorer, who however does not say that he saw the gold dust amongst the sand.

From Surigao to Gigaquil the people are engaged in washing the sands for gold.

Foreman states that for many months remittances of four or five pounds weight of gold were sent from Mindanao to a firm in Manila, and that it was alluvial gold from Surigao extracted by the natives.

Don José Centeno, Inspector of Mines, says in a report: “The most important workings effected in Surigao are in the Caninon-Binutong and Cansostral mountains, a day’s journey from the town.

“These mountains consist of slaty talc much metamorphosed, and of serpentine. In the first are found veins of calcite and quartz from half-an-inch to three inches thick, in which especially in the calcite the gold is visible mixed with iron and copper pyrites, galena and blende. It is a remarkable circumstance that the most mineralized veins run always in an east and west direction, whilst the poor and sterile veins always follow another direction. The workings are entirely on the surface, as the abundance of water which flows to them prevents sinking shafts, and nothing is known of the richness at depth. Rich and sterile parts alternate, the gold being mostly in pockets. From one of the veins in Caninoro in a length of eighteen inches one hundred ounces of gold were taken.”

Some time after this find, Messrs. Aldecoa & Co., a Manila firm, erected stamps at Surigao, and a certain amount of gold was sent up by every steamer to Manila, but in spite of the apparently favourable circumstances, [150]the enterprise was ultimately abandoned and the machinery removed.

I do not know the reason, but people in Manila are so used to the collapse of mining companies that it is regarded as their natural and inevitable end, and no explanations are required.

Nieto (p. 75) mentions the northern parts of the province of Surigao and Misamis as the richest in gold. In Misamis there is both alluvial gold and rich quartz reefs, the richest known spots being Pighoulugan on the River Cagayan, Iponan and Pigtao. The ore at the latter place is auriferous iron pyrites, called by the natives Inga.

Nuggets weighing from two and a half to four ounces have been found in these places, so that Pigafetta’s stories are not without foundation.

On March 20th, 1888, a clerk of Don Louis Génu, a merchant in Manila, called upon me on business and exhibited a large pickle bottle full of gold which he had just received from Cagayan de Misamis. There were several pounds weight of it, and I carefully examined it with a lens. I found it in pieces, many of them half an inch or more in length, slightly flattened, and having minute particles of white quartz adhering to them, and a few loose particles of quartz. The pieces were not water-worn, and had evidently formed part of a seam of dendritic or lace gold, such as I had seen exhibited by a vendor of mining properties in Denver, Col., just a year before.

This exhibit opened my eyes to the possibilities of gold mining in Mindanao, but I did not leave my business to go prospecting.

The natives of this part of Mindanao look upon washing for gold as their chief resource. A certain quantity of what they collect is used to make ornaments, and passes from hand to hand instead of coin in payment of gambling debts, and stakes lost at cockfights. The Mestizos and Chinamen get hold of the rest and send it away surreptitiously, so that no statistics can be collected. It is impossible to tax gold collected in this way, but the Government might derive a profit by establishing posts in each district where gold would be purchased at a fixed price and so get, say, ten or twenty per cent. out of it instead of allowing the Chinese and Mestizos to make perhaps forty or fifty per cent. according to the ignorance of the vendor.

The Philippine Islands with the Parts Known to be Auriferous Shaded

The Philippine Islands with the Parts Known to be Auriferous Shaded

To face p. 150.


Foreman is probably quite right in saying that the influence of the friars has always been exerted against any mining company, whether Spanish or foreign. They did not want a rush of miners and Jews to the Philippines. But now, under the American Government, their power must decline, and new undertakings will, in a measure, be free from this hindrance.

The Spanish mining laws and regulations are excellent and a perfect model for legislation on the subject. They are based on the principle that the ownership of the surface gives no title to the minerals underneath, which belong to the State. The owner can, however, obtain a title by developing a mine.

The ingenuity and unscrupulousness of that vile breed, the native Pica-Pleito or pettifogging lawyer, has greatly contributed to stop Europeans from proceeding with mining enterprises, as success would bring down these blackmailers in swarms.

It is to be hoped that the new government will lay a heavy hand on these birds of prey. Rightly considered, they are only a species of vermin, and should have verminous treatment.

Now that the fortune of war has handed over the sovereignty of the Philippines to an enterprising and energetic race, I cannot doubt that the mystery of centuries will be dispelled.

Amongst the Californian, Colorado, or Nevada volunteers, there should be men having the courage, the knowledge of prospecting, and the physical strength necessary for success in this quest, if they can obtain permission from their superiors to attempt it. The prospects are so good that they should not have any difficulty in getting capitalists to finance them.

They will require to go in a strong party to prevent being cut off by the savages, and to escort their supplies of provisions.

As deer and wild pig abound they will be able to supply themselves in a great measure with meat by sending out a couple of good shots to hunt.

For such as these gold mining ought to be most remunerative, and enable those who survive the many perils to retire with a fortune after a few years of hard work. But so far as I know there is not at present sufficient information about any mines in the Philippines, whether of [152]gold or any other metal, to warrant the establishment of companies for purchasing and working them.

Mining claims can be staked out and registered under the present laws by natives or foreigners, but in limited areas, and placers or river beds can be worked by all without leave or license, and cannot be monopolised.

I wish to avoid prophesy, but I shall be much surprised if the Philippines, in American hands, do not turn out in a few years an important gold-producing country.



Native copper has been found in several places in the islands, amongst them are Surigao and Torrijos in Mindoro.

In the article on the Igorrotes, I have spoken of the copper mines of Mancayan, and related how, when worked by the savages they were successful to the extent of supplying themselves with cooking-pots, trays and ornaments, besides leaving an annual surplus of about nineteen tons of copper, which was sold.

A Spanish company obtained the concession about 1864, and drove out the natives.

The title was the Sociedad Minera de Mancayan, and they experienced considerable difficulties in getting a merchantable product, their science being at a disadvantage compared to the practical knowledge of the Igorrotes. They, however, persevered, and got up to a make of about 180 tons in one year—nearly ten times the production obtained by the Igorrotes. But the usual fate of Philippine mining companies overtook them, and the works were closed in 1875, it was said from scarcity of labour.

Several kinds of ores are found at Mancayan, almost on the surface, red, black and grey copper, also sulphates and carbonates of copper.

About Mambulao cupro-ferruginous quartz and copper pyrites are found, but are not worked.

I am quite unable to venture any opinion on the prospects of copper-mining and smelting in the Philippines, but no doubt experts will shortly obtain the necessary data to decide what can be done, but capital should be laid out with great caution, and the many difficulties of climate, carriage and labour taken into consideration. [153]



There is plenty of iron ore in the Philippines. In Luzon it occurs plentifully in the western spurs of the Cordillera all the way from Bosoboso to San Miguel de Mayumo, and it is now worked near the latter place in a primitive way. Plough-shares, cooking-pots and bolos are the principal productions; the fuel used in all cases is charcoal. I sent to the Philippine Exhibition of 1887 at Madrid a dozen bolos made from native iron. The ore is very rich, giving 70 to 80 per cent. of iron; when polished it is of a beautiful silvery white colour, very tough, and of the finest quality. Attempts have been made by Europeans to work the iron ores of Luzon, but they have invariably ended in the bankruptcy of the adventurers, and in one case even in suicide.

When deer-shooting at the Hacienda de San Ysidro above Bosoboso many years ago, I learned from the natives there that in the next valley, not far from the hamlet of Santa Ines, there existed the remains of some old iron-works, abandoned years ago. They said there were unfinished forgings still lying about, amongst them two anchors. I did not, however, go to examine them, being intent on shooting.

Red hematite is found in Cebú, brown hematite in Paracale and other parts of Camarines Norte, and both red and brown in Capiz. In Misamis oxydized iron is found. Some of the iron about San Miguel de Mayumo is magnetic.

I do not believe that at present, and for many years to come, it is possible to work these ores and make iron and steel to compete with American or British imported iron.

But the time may come when, under different conditions, these remarkable ores may be turned to account; in fact, it is asserted a scarcity of high class iron ore will soon occur, in which case the Philippine ores of such extraordinary richness will come into use.



It is common to see coal mentioned amongst the mineral resources of the Philippines, but so far as I have been able to learn, no true coal has been found there, nor in [154]any of the adjacent islands. There are beds of lignite of varying quality, and when enthusiastic finders are told of the poor quality of their samples, they reply at once, “It will be better at depth.”

The Philippine formations seem to greatly resemble those of Borneo, and there it was found that the lignite got poorer at depth, so that mines were abandoned from this cause alone.

The Philippine beds of lignite have been violently upheaved by the cataclysms of former ages, and are often turned up vertically, as at the mines of Sugud in Albay. I was consulted about these mines after a considerable sum had been thrown away. The Spanish engineer employed commenced by building himself a commodious house; he then laid a tramway from the port to where the mine was to be, and bought a winding engine. The available capital was expended, and nothing more was done.

The position of the seams at Sugud very much resembles the occurrence of the seams at the Pengaron mine in Borneo, which stopped work 18th October, 1884, after a precarious existence of thirty-six years, on account of the poor quality of the coal and the relatively high cost of extraction. This is on the authority of Dr. Theodor Posewitz in ‘Borneo: its Geology and Mineral Resources,’ 1892, and what follows so exactly applies to all the so-called coal in the Philippines, that I shall quote the paragraph:—

P. 480.—“A number of analyses were carried out, and practical tests were applied on board various ships. The result was always ore or less favourable, yet nobody would have the coal.”

The coal mine in the British Colony of Labuan was given up after several years’ working.

People blame the Spanish Government, the priests, the natives, the roads, but the reason of failure in the Philippines is very simple. “Nobody would have the coal,” that is to say on board ship. The lignite could be used on land, but there is little demand for it, except for navigation. Some of it is liable to spontaneous combustion in the bunkers, some is so charged with sulphur as to be bad for the furnaces, or else it will not keep steam. I doubt if there is any good coal between Japan and Australia, and as long as coal from there can be delivered at present prices in Manila, I don’t advise anybody to put money [155]into Philippine coal unless they know more about it than I do.

It has often been said that the Philippines have never been explored. This is, however, only true of certain regions, and as regards beds of the so-called coal you will find them marked on the maps all over the principal islands.

If you proceed to the village nearest the spot, you will find, very probably, that the seam has been known for a century, and that pits or adits have been made and a lot of money spent to no purpose. Nobody ever made any money out of Philippine lignite that I know of, but I don’t prophesy whether anybody ever will.

I append an analysis of some so-called coal that was brought me from Masbate in 1889.


Analysis of Masbate Lignite.

Laboratory of A. del Rosario y Sales.

No. 1367. 16th April, 1889.

Lignite from Masbate.

  • Colour, black.
  • Physical condition, fragile.
  • Fracture, splintery.
  • Colour, when reduced to powder, blackish brown.
  • Burns with difficulty, giving a short flame; not very smoky, and leaves a brick-red ash.
  • Coke not very spongy, pulverulent and lightly agglutinated.
  • Density at 33° C., 1·3082.


Hygroscopic water 3.73
Volatile constituents 45.49
Coke Fixed carbon 48.20
Ash Silica 12
Aluminic 2.46
Ferric, calcic
Sulphuric acids, etc.
Coke = 50.79. Equivalent calories 5203.44
Ash = 2.58. Absolute calorific effect, centesimal 64.41
Sulphur per 100 of lignite 0.1633
Iron calculated in metallic state 1.2173
Lead reduced by 1 gramme of combustible (mean) by Berthier’s assay grammes 21.90



Various Minerals.

Lead.—Galena is found in Tayabas and in Camarines Norte; in the latter province there is found chromate of lead with ferruginous quartz. This ore is often found mixed with iron or copper pyrites, and sometimes with blende.

I have seen samples of galena from Cebú which was said to be auriferous, but I have never heard that any of these ores have been worked anywhere in the islands.

If it should be found profitable to smelt the gold-bearing ores, as is so splendidly done at Denver, Col., the galena will be necessary to the success of the process.

Red Lead is found in Camarines Norte and other places.

Graphite.—In 1891 some pieces of this valuable mineral were shown to me by a native, who said he had found the ore in Mindoro, but he would not say from what locality.

Quicksilver.—I have seen small bottles of this handed round by native disciples of Ananias. But I have never seen a bit of cinnabar or other ore of mercury, and I shall not believe there is any of this metal in the Philippines until I see the ore in situ, or have good testimony to that effect.

Sulphur abounds; there are several places where it can be obtained in large quantities near the volcanoes.

Asbestos.—This curious mineral would not strike a native as being of value.

All I can say about it is that at the Madrid Exhibition of 1887 a specimen of this substance was shown by the Civil Governor of Ilocos Norte as having been found in that province.

Yellow Ochre is found in Batangas, Camarines, Albay, Leyte and Antique, amongst other places.

Kaolín is found in Manila, Batangas and Camarines Sur, and probably in many other places.

Marble of a yellowish colour has been quarried at Montalban. I have used some of it, but found it full of faults, and not very satisfactory.

Plastic Clays for pottery and for making bricks and tiles abound.

Mineral Waters.—As might be expected in a volcanic [157]region, hot springs and mineral waters of very varied constituents abound.

I do not think that the analyses of these would interest the general reader.

I may say that I have derived great benefit from the hot-springs of Los Baños on the lake, and greatly regretted that I could not remain at the extraordinary vapour baths of Tibi near Tabaco. [158]


Chapter XVII.

Manufactures and Industries.

Cigars and cigarettes—Textiles—Cotton—Ahacá—Júsi—Rengue—Nipis—Saguran—Sinamáy—Guingon—Silk handkerchiefs—Piña—Cordage—Bayones—Esteras—Baskets—Lager beer—Alcohol—Wood oils and resins—Essence of Ylang-ilang—Salt—Bricks—Tiles—Cooking-pots—Pilones—Ollas—Embroidery—Goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ work—Salacots—Cocoa-nut oil—Saddles and harness—Carromatas—Carriages—Schooners—Launches—Lorchas—Cascos—Pontines—Bangcas—Engines and boilers—Furniture—Fireworks—Lanterns—Brass Castings—Fish breeding—Drying sugar—Baling hemp—Repacking wet sugar—Packing tobacco and cigars—Oppressive tax on industries—Great future for manufactures—Abundant labour—Exceptional intelligence.

The manufactures of the Philippines, such as they are, have been mentioned when describing the different tribes or peoples and only a summary is necessary here.

The making of cigars and cigarettes employs probably 30,000 people in the Province of Manila, the vast majority being women. But the best cigars are made by men who have been trained under skilled operatives brought from Havana.

A vast improvement has taken place since the Government monopoly has been abolished, and now the Manila cigars are as well-made and are put up in as tastefully decorated boxes as the Havanas.

Cigarettes are now largely made by machines; the Compañia de Tabacos de Filipinas having rows of them in their factories.

Textiles are made in hand-looms all over the Archipelago by the women in their spare time.

Group of women making Cigars.

Group of women making Cigars.

To face p. 158.

But in certain Provinces large numbers of women are regularly employed at the loom-working for those who make a business of it. In Ilocos and Union very excellent coverlets, sheets, serviettes, handkerchiefs and towels are [159]woven from cotton, as well as the fabrics called abacá, júsi or rengue, nipis, saguran, sinamay and guingon. This last is very suitable for military or naval uniforms; it is a blue cotton cloth similar to what sailors call dungaree.

In some of the towns of Pampanga and Bulacan, notably in Baliúag where the people are specially clever and industrious, excellent silk handkerchiefs are woven. In Camarines and Albay the fabrics of abacá are more commonly woven, and in Cebú the women are accustomed to work at the loom.

But it is from Ilo-ilo and neighbourhood that a very large trade is done with the other islands in many kinds of textiles. There also the Visayas work industriously at it as a trade and produce most beautiful fabrics of piña, silk, cotton, and abacá, as well as the cheaper sorts for the use of the working classes. In some of the mixed materials a beautiful effect is produced by running stripes of silk, either white or of the most brilliant colours, lengthways through the piece. I have sent some of these júsi dress fabrics to ladies in England and they have been greatly appreciated when made up by a bonne faiseuse.

They are very suitable for wearing in the Philippines or elsewhere in the tropics, being light and gauzy. This material, as well as some of the other fine gauzy fabrics, takes a long time to make in a hand-loom, the advance is imperceptible. I should like to put some of the calumniators of the Filipinos to work a hand-loom and make a dress-length of júsi. I think every one would recant before he had made a yard.

At the Philippine Exhibition of 1887 there were more than three hundred exhibitors of textiles, and one of them, the Local Board of Namaypacan in the Province of Union, showed one hundred and forty-five different kinds of cloths.

There are several rope-works at Manila and the material used is abacá, the ropes produced are equal to any to be had anywhere.

In Camarines Sur both harness and hammocks are made from this material.

In the Provinces ropes are made of cabo-negro, a black fibre from the wild palm, said to be indestructible; of burí, of fibre from the anabó, of the bark of the lapuit, and of rattan. Bayones or sacks for sugar, estéras or sleeping mats, hats and cigar cases, and baskets of all sorts, are made at different places and from the commonest up to the [160]very finest. That called the Tampipi is now regularly kept in stock in London, and is very handy for travelling.

There is a lager beer brewery in Manila that must have piled up money since the American garrison arrived.

Alcohol is distilled both from sugar and from the juice of the nipa-palm (Nipa fructicans).

The oils and resins of Ilocos have been mentioned when describing the Ilocanos; they are not exported, finding a ready market in the country.

Essence of Ylang-ylang is distilled in Manila and other towns; it used to fetch formerly 1000 francs per kilogramme.

Salt is made at many places between Parañaque and Cavite.

Bricks, tiles, cooking pots [bangas], stoves [calanes], sugar moulds [pilones], and draining pots for the pilones [ollas], are made in many provinces.

The industry of the women is also shown by the very beautiful embroideries of all sorts, either in white or coloured silks or in gold or silver. Some of this latter work, however, is done by men.

In some cases they introduce seed-pearls or brilliant fish-scales in their work. The slippers worn by the women on grand occasions are often works of art, being richly embroidered in silver and gold on cherry coloured velvet.

Some notable pieces of goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ work have been done in Manila, and in the provinces some of the natives carve bolo handles and other articles out of buffalo horn and mount them in silver with much taste.

The salacots, or native hats, are beautifully woven by hand from narrow strips of a cane called nito [lygodium], and the headmen have them ornamented with many pieces of repoussé silver (see Illustration).

Cocoa-nut oil is expressed in the province of the Laguna, in Manila and other places. Soap of the ordinary kind is manufactured from it.

Saddles and harness are made in all the leading towns, and the ordinary country vehicle, the carromata, is made in the chief towns of provinces and some others; but some of the components, such as the springs, and axle-arms and boxes are imported. But in Manila really elegant carriages are constructed, the leather for the hoods, the cloth for the linings, the lamps, as well as a good deal of the ironwork, being, however imported.

Salacots and Women’s Hats.

Salacots and Women’s Hats.

To face p. 160.

Author’s Office, Muelle Del Rey, SS. Salvadora and Lighters called “Cascos.”

Author’s Office, Muelle Del Rey, SS. Salvadora and Lighters called “Cascos.”

To face p. 161.


In former years large frigates have been built, armed, and fitted out at Cavite and other ports, but at present the ship-building industry is in decadence, and the shipwrights capable of directing so important a job have died out. The increasing scarcity and high price of timber is now a difficulty, and sailing vessels are in little demand. Small steamers and launches are now built, but larger steamers are ordered from Hong Kong or Singapore, or, in case of vessels well able to make the passage, the order goes to England.

The native craft called lorchas, pailebotes, pontines, barotos, paraos, cascos, guilálos, barangayanes, bangcas, vintas and salisipanes are still built in large numbers. The last are very light and fast craft used by the Moros on their piratical expeditions.

Engines and boilers for steam launches are made in Manila, church bells are cast of a considerable size; iron castings are also made.

Amongst the miscellaneous articles manufactured are all sorts of household furniture, fireworks and lanterns. Dentists, painters, sculptors and photographers all practise their trades.

There is no doubt that the Filipinos have learnt a certain amount from the Spaniards as regards their manufactures; but, on careful consideration, I think they have learnt more from the Chinese. Their first sugar-mills were Chinese and had granite rollers, and from them they learnt the trick that many a moulder might not know, of casting their sugar-pans in a red-hot mould and cooling slowly and so getting the metal extremely thin yet free from defects. The casting of brass cannon and of church bells has been learnt from them, and doubtless they taught the Igorrotes how to reduce the copper ores and to refine that metal. Again, the breeding of fish, an important business near Manila, and the manufacture of salt round about Bacoor comes from them. I am not sure whether the hand-loom in general use is of the Chinese pattern, but I think so.

Distilling the nipa juice is certainly a Chinese industry, as also the preparation of sugar for export. This is done in establishments called farderias, and is necessary for all sugar made in pilones or moulds. The procedure is described under the head of Pampangos, and an illustration is given of the process of drying the sugar on mats in the sun. [162]

Many native men and women and numbers of Chinese coolies are employed in Manila, Ilo-ilo, and Cebú in preparing produce for shipment.

The hemp used to come up from the provinces loose or merely twisted into rolls to be pressed into bales at the shipping ports, but of late years several presses have been erected at the hemp ports in Southern Luzon and on the smaller islands.

There are a number of hemp-presses in Manila, each requiring about sixty coolies to work it, and one or two clerks to attend to the sorting and weighing.

They were paid so much per bale pressed.

Steam, or hydraulic presses, would long ago have been substituted but for the fact that the clerks or personeros were each allowed one or two deadheads on the pay list, and this was so profitable to them that they strongly opposed any changes, and none of the merchants cared to take the risk of the innovations.

Two presses were set in line, astride a pair of flat rails, a small one called the Bito-bito for the first pressure on the pile of hemp, and the large one to squeeze down the bale to its proper size.

They were simply screw presses having hardwood frames set deep into massive stone foundations and surrounded by a granite pavement.

A pair of these presses, i.e., a Bito-bito and a press erected in Manila under my direction in 1888, cost $4400, the woodwork foundation and pavement costing $2850, and the screws, nuts, capstan-heads, etc., costing $1550. The small press had a screw 4 inches diameter and 6 feet long, and was worked by two or four men. The large press had a screw 8¼ inches diameter, and 12 feet long.

Both screws worked in deep gun-metal nuts and had capstan-heads. When the large press was near the end of its travel the capstan bars were manned by forty coolies putting out their utmost strength and shouting to encourage each other as they tramped round on the upper floor keeping step.

The turn out was about 250 bales from daylight to dark. Each bale weighed 2 piculs, say 280 lbs., or eight to the English ton. The bales should measure 10 cubic feet, that is a density of 28 lbs. per cubic foot. The hemp could be pressed into a smaller volume, but it is asserted that the fibre would be seriously damaged. Sometimes from careless [163]pressing the bales measure 12 cubic feet. They swell after leaving the press and after being moved.

At the date I have mentioned, the charge for screwage was 50 cents per picul, but it has been raised since then.

Dry sugar was exported in its original bags, and loading and shipping cost 12½ cents per picul. Wet sugar usually required repacking for export, and the charge for discharging the coaster and rebagging was 17½ cents per picul, as well as 12½ cents for loading and shipping.

It lost 2½ per cent. in weight in repacking and 10 per cent. during the voyage in sailing vessel to Europe or America. So that altogether one-eighth of the total was lost to the shipper, and there was a good perquisite to the skipper or mate in pumping the molasses out of the bilges.

The repacking was usually done by natives, and the old mat bags scraped by women who receive half the sugar they save. The mats are sold to the distillers and are thrown into their fermenting vats, to assist in the manufacture of pure Glenlivat or Bourbon whisky, Jamaica rum or Hollands gin.

In 1891 I saw on board a steamer just arrived from Antwerp hundreds of cases containing empty gin bottles packed in juniper husk, the labels and capsules bearing the marks of genuine Hollands.

They were consigned to one of the Manila distillers, and must have enabled that respectable firm to make a large profit by selling their cheap spirit as imported liquor.

Undoubtedly the manufactures and industries of the Philippines are in a primitive condition, but the tax called the Contribucion Industrial has discouraged improvements, for as soon as any improved machinery or apparatus was adopted, the tax-gatherer came down upon the works for an increased tax. Thus any sort of works employing a steam-engine would be charged at a higher rate. This tax, if it cannot be abolished, should be reformed.

There is a great future before the manufactures of the Philippines, for the people are industrious, exceptionally intelligent, painstaking and of an artistic temperament, so that an ample supply of labour is always available for any light work if reasonably remunerated. They will not need much teaching, and only require tactful treatment to make most satisfactory operatives. [164]


Chapter XVIII.

Commercial and Industrial Prospects.

Philippines not a poor man’s country—Oscar F. Williams’ letter—No occupation for white mechanics—American merchants unsuccessful in the East—Difficulties of living amongst Malays—Inevitable quarrels—Unsuitable climate—The Mali-mali or Sakit-latah—The Traspaso de hambre—Chiflados—Wreck of the nervous system—Effects of abuse of alcohol—Capital the necessity—Banks—Advances to cultivators—To timber cutters—To gold miners—Central sugar factories—Paper-mills—Rice-mills—Cotton-mills—Saw-mills—Coasting steamers—Railway from Manila to Batangas—From Siniloan to the Pacific—Survey for ship canal—Bishop Gainzas’ project—Tramways for Luzon and Panay—Small steamers for Mindanao—Chief prospect is agriculture.

The commercial prospects of the Islands are great, even if we do not instantly take for gospel the fairy tales we are told about Manila becoming the centre of the trade of the Pacific. There can be no doubt that if peace and an honest administration can be secured, capital will be attracted and considerable increase in the export of hemp, tobacco, and sugar will gradually take place as fresh land can be cleared and planted. As I have elsewhere said, the Philippines in energetic and skilful hands will soon yield up the store of gold which the poor Spaniards have been so mercilessly abused for leaving behind them. But the Philippines are not and never will be a country for the poor white man.

A white man cannot labour there without great danger to his health. He cannot compete with the native or Chinese mechanic, in fact he is not wanted there at all. For my part, I would never employ a white man there as a labourer or mechanic, if I could help it, more especially an Englishman or an American, for I know from experience what the result would be. As foreman or overseer a white man may be better, according to his skill and character. [165]

Now let me, as soon as possible, expose the absurdity of a mischievous letter, which I fear may already have done much harm, but I hope my warning may do something to counteract its effects. I quote from the Blue Book so often mentioned: pp. 330–1.

Mr. Williams to Mr. Day.

U. S. S. Baltimore, Manila Bay,
July 2nd, 1898.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If long occupation or possession on the part of our government be considered, I believe early and strenuous efforts should be made to bring here from the United States men and women of many occupations—mechanics, teachers, ministers, ship-builders, merchants, electricians, plumbers, druggists, doctors, dentists, carriage and harness makers, stenographers, type-writers, photographers, tailors, blacksmiths, and agents for exporting, and to introduce American products natural and artificial of many classes. To all such I pledge every aid, and now is the time to start. Good government will be easier the greater the influx of Americans.

My despatches have referred to our present percentage of export trade. If now our exports come here as intestate, duty free, we have practical control of Philippine trade, which now amounts to many millions, and because of ingrafting of American energy and methods upon the fabulous natural and productive wealth of these islands, can and probably will be multiplied by twenty during the coming twenty years. All this increment should come to our nation and not go to any other.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I hope for an influx this year of 10,000 ambitious Americans, and all can live well, become enriched....

(Signed) O. F. Williams,

I venture to say that the man who wrote this astonishing letter, taking upon himself the responsibility of advising “early and strenuous efforts” to send from the United States thousands of men and women of many occupations to Manila, and of assuring them that “all could live well and become enriched,” knew nothing at all about the state of the Philippine Islands, and is a most unsafe guide.

What on earth would all these tradespeople find to do in the Islands? Where could they be housed? How could they be supported? If they came in numbers, the doctors and druggists might indeed find full employment prescribing and making up medicine for the many sufferers [166]from tropical ailments, especially the typhoid fevers, that would attack the unacclimatised immigrants and the ministers could earn their daily bread by reading the Burial Service, whilst the type-writers would be busy typing letters to friends at home announcing the deaths that occurred; and warning them against coming to starve in Manila. But I defy any one to explain how the ship-builders, electricians, plumbers, tailors and blacksmiths are to make a living. As regards merchants or agents for exporting, I may say that Americans have not been very successful in Manila in this capacity. The great and influential firm of Russell & Sturgis came to grief through over-trading, and another noteworthy firm, Messrs. Peele, Hubbell & Co. failed from rash speculations in sugar, and not from any persecutions by the Spanish authorities, as has been falsely stated in a magazine article. I speak with knowledge on the matter, as I was well acquainted with this firm, having been their Consulting Engineer for the construction of the Slipway at Cañacao for which they were agents. I think it only right to say that the gentlemen who were heads of these American firms were worthy upholders of the high reputation of their country. They failed, but no imputations rested on the characters of the partners, and I have always heard them spoken of with great respect, especially amongst the natives.

Those of them who were personally known to me were men who invariably showed every courtesy and consideration to all who came in contact with them, whether Europeans or natives. Notwithstanding their misfortunes they were a credit to their country, and they did a good deal towards the development of the trade of the Philippines.

I believe that the estates of Russell & Sturgis when realised, paid all their liabilities in full, and besides left considerable pickings in the hands of the liquidators and their friends. Two or three firms were built up out of their ruins. Some Chinese half-castes and natives had received heavy advances from this firm, especially about Molo and Yloilo. One well-known individual had received $60,000, and when summoned before the court he claimed the benefit of the ‘Laws of the Indies,’ by which his liability was limited to $5. The judge, however, ordered him to repay the principal at the rate of a dollar a month! I had this information from the judge himself.

River Pasig, showing Russell and Sturgis’s former office.

River Pasig, showing Russell and Sturgis’s former office.

To face p. 166.

Curiously enough, American merchants have been [167]equally unsuccessful in other parts of the Far East. Many will remember the failure of Messrs. Oliphant & Co., the great China merchants, agents for the American Board of Missions,1 notwithstanding their desperate effort to retrieve their position by reviving the coolie trade with Perú, and in later days Messrs. Russell & Co. of Hong Kong also came to grief.

I can give no explanation of the reasons for these four great failures, but I conjecture that all these firms were in too much of a hurry, and tried to “hustle the East.” Yet in face of this calamitous experience, Oscar F. Williams advises more to come, “pledges every aid,” and predicts that “trade can, and probably will, be multiplied by twenty during the coming twenty years.”

For my part, I should think it great progress if the exports and imports of the Philippines could be doubled in twenty years. The idea of sending plumbers to Manila where lead pipes are not used, is a comicality only matched by the suggestion that tailors are wanted amongst a population dressed in cotton shirts and trousers, and where the white people wear veranda-made white duck suits.

Both notions are more suitable for a comic opera than for an official document.

There is only one more paragraph in this letter that I need comment on.

Mr. Williams says: “Good government will be easier, the greater the influx of Americans.”

To those who know the East there is no necessity to argue on this point. I therefore state dogmatically that the presence of white settlers or working people in the Islands would add enormously to the difficulties of government. This is my experience, and during the Spanish Administration it was generally admitted to be the case.

In British India the Government does not in the least degree favour the immigration of British workmen. The only people who are recognised as useful to that country are capitalists and directors of Agricultural or Industrial enterprises.

A large number of American mechanics turned loose amongst the population would infallibly, by their contempt for native customs, and their disregard of native feeling, become an everlasting source of strife and vexation. Impartial [168]justice between the parties would be unattainable; the whites would not submit to be judged by a native magistrate, and the result would be a war of races.

It may be taken as probable that there is no crime, however heinous, that could be committed by an American upon a native, that would involve the execution of the death penalty on the criminal.2 On the other hand, I can quite believe that natives laying their hands upon Americans, whatever the provocation, would be promptly hanged, if they were not shot down upon the spot. The natives, it should be remembered, are revengeful, and will bide their time; either to use the bolo upon one who has offended them, to burn down his house, set fire to his crop, or put a crow-bar in amongst his machinery. I fear that American brusqueness and impatience would often lead to these savage reprisals.

I think, therefore, that the American Administration of the Philippines should be empowered to prevent or regulate the immigration of impecunious Americans or Europeans whose presence in the Islands must be extremely prejudicial to the much-desired pacification. No, the poor white is not wanted in the Islands, he would be a curse, and a residence there would be a curse to him. He would decay morally, mentally, and physically. The gorgeous East not only deteriorates the liver, but where a white man lives long amongst natives, he suffers a gradual but complete break-up of the nervous system. This peculiarity manifests itself amongst the natives of the Far East in the curious nervous disorder which is called mali-mali in the Philippines and sakit-latah amongst the Malays of the Peninsula and Java. It seems to be a weakening of the will, and on being startled, the sufferer entirely loses self-control and imitates the movements of any person who attracts his attention. It is more prevalent amongst women than men. I remember being at a performance of Chiarini’s Circus in Manila, when General Weyler and his wife were present. The clown walked into the ring on his hands, and a skinny old woman amongst the spectators who suffered from the mali-mali at once began to imitate him with unpleasing results, and had to be forcibly restrained by the scandalised bystanders.

Tower of Manila Cathedral after the Earthquakes 1880.

Tower of Manila Cathedral after the Earthquakes 1880.

Suburb of Malate after a typhoon, October, 1882, when 13 ships were driven ashore.

Suburb of Malate after a typhoon, October, 1882, when 13 ships were driven ashore.


Running amok marks a climax of nerve disturbance, when the sufferer, instead of committing suicide, prefers to die killing others.

He usually obtains his wish, and is killed without compunction, like a mad dog.

Both natives and white residents are at times in rather a low condition of health, and if after exercise or labour they fail to get their meal at the proper time, when it comes they cannot eat. In its lighter form this is called desgána or loss of appetite, but I have seen natives collapse under such circumstances with severe headache and chills. This more serious form is known as traspaso de hambre, and is sometimes the precursor of fever and nervous prostration.

The Roman Catholic Church has had the wisdom to recognise and make allowance for the liability of residents and natives of the Philippines to this serious disorder, and has relaxed the usual rules of fasting, as being dangerous to health.

Amongst the Europeans who have been long in the Islands, many are said to be “chiflado,” a term I can only render into English by the slang word cracked. This occurs more particularly amongst those who have been isolated amongst the natives.

It is not easy to account for, but the fact is undeniable. I have heard it ascribed to “telluric influence,” but that is a wide and vague expression. Perhaps the explanation may be found in the extreme violence of the phenomena of nature.

The frequent earthquakes, the almost continuous vibration of the soil, the awe-inspiring volcanic eruptions, with their sooty black palls of ash darkening the sky for days together, over hundreds of miles, the frightful detonations,3 the ear-splitting thunder, the devastating rage of the typhoons, the saturated atmosphere of the rainy season, and the hot dry winds of Lent, with the inevitable conflagrations, combine with depressing surroundings and anxieties to wreck the nerves of all but the strongest and most determined natures. If to all this the white resident or sojourner in the Philippines adds the detestable vice of intemperance, or even indulges in a liberal consumption [170]of spirits, then instead of merely shattering his nerves, he is likely to become a raving maniac, for it takes much less whisky to bring on delirium tremens there, than it does in a temperate climate.

Long sojourn in some other lands appears to act in a different manner. In tropical Africa it seems to be the moral balance that is lost. The conscience is blunted if not destroyed, the veneer of civilisation is stripped off, the white man reverts to savagery. The senseless cruelties of Peters, Lothaire, Voulet, Chanoine, and of some of the outlying officials of the Congo Free State are not mere coincidences. They must be ascribed to one common cause, and that is debasement by environment. The moral nature of a white man seems to become contaminated by long isolation amongst savages as surely as the physical health by living amongst lepers.

If a poor white man wishes to sink to the level of a native, he has only to marry a native woman, and his object will be fully attained in a few years. But he will find it very much to his pecuniary interest, for she will buy cheaper and sell dearer than he can, and will manage his house and his business too, most economically. Some of her relations will come and live with him, so that he will not feel lonely, and a half-caste family will grow up round about him, talking the dialect of their mother, which he, perhaps, does not understand. But if the poor white man takes out a white wife, he will probably have the pain and distress of seeing her fade away under the severity of the climate, which his means do not permit him to alleviate. White women suffer from the heat far more than men. Children cannot be properly brought up there after the age of twelve. They must either be sent home to be educated, or allowed to deteriorate and grow up inferior to their parents in health, strength, and moral fibre. When I think of these things, I feel amazed at Oscar F. Williams’ presumption in writing that letter. I hope that not many have taken his advice, and that any who have will call on him to fulfil his imprudent pledges.

However, now I have done with the poor white man. Capital is the great necessity of the Philippines. The labour is there if Generals Otis and McArthur have left any natives alive.

More banks are wanted. At present there are three important banks in Manila, and two of them have branches [171]in Yloilo. The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation has the largest resources; next comes the Chartered Bank of India, Australasia, and China, and lastly the Banco Español Filipino. The first two give the most perfect facilities for business. I was only interested in importing, but certainly nothing more could be desired by an importer than their system of opening credits against shipping documents; for practically he only had to pay for the goods when they arrived in Manila. All their business was done in the most expeditious manner, and I could suggest no improvement on their methods.

The Banco Español Filipino was in a measure under government control, its procedure was consequently very slow, and its ways those of bygone days.

These banks, however, did not advance money to cultivators to clear lands, plant crops, or erect machinery, as the returns are too slow, not to say doubtful. Yet this is what is wanted; banks in Manila and the chief towns that will advance money for such purposes, under the advice of experts personally acquainted with the cultivators and their lands. Such a business certainly requires great intelligence and discernment.

Still there is a future for such banks, for agriculturists have to pay enormous rates of interest and commissions for money to carry on their plantations. Such banks could also finance timber-cutters, gold miners, and other bona fide workers.

Amongst the enterprises I have recommended when writing about the Pampangos, and others engaged in planting sugar-cane, is the establishment of central sugar factories in suitable localities. Such undertakings, judiciously administered, would have every prospect of success.

There is also room for paper-mills, rice-mills, cotton-mills, and saw-mills, but all these, especially the last, need careful consideration for the selection of the locality where they are to be placed. The manufacture of various kinds of leather could be greatly extended and improved. There is employment for more coasting steamers and schooners. The latter and hulls of small steamers can be built in the country from the native timber.

Although the development of means of communication is all-important, it is evident from the configuration of the Archipelago that no great length of railway is required, nor would it pay to construct them in so mountainous a country. [172]Water-carriage is all-important. In Luzon a line of railway might be made from Manila to Batangas with a branch into the Laguna province. It would traverse a fertile and thickly-populated country.

A short line of railway or electric tramway from near Siniloan on the Lake to the Pacific would be most useful in giving access to and developing the eastern coast, or contra costa, as it is called. This coast is very backward in every way, indeed from Baler to Punta Escarpada on its extreme north, it is quite unknown, and remains in the possession of the Dumagas, an aboriginal tribe of heathen savages of low type, just as at the time of the Spanish conquest; and it would be worth while to study the question of cutting a ship-canal through this narrow strip of land if the mouth could be protected from the Pacific surf. There is also Bishop Gainza’s project that might be revived, that of cutting a canal for country craft from Pasacao in Camarines Sur to the River Vicol. In Negros and Panay some short lines from the ports through the sugar lands might pay if constructed very economically.

Tramways between populous towns not far apart in Luzon and Panay would probably pay very well, as the people are fond of visiting their friends.

It will probably be many years before Mindanao will be in a position to warrant the construction of railways. The island has relapsed into barbarism as a consequence of the withdrawal of the Spanish garrisons and detachments, and of nearly all the Jesuit missionaries.

It could, however, give employment to a flotilla of small steamers and sailing vessels on its northern and southern coasts.

Such is my opinion in brief upon the possibilities of the development of industries and commerce.

That the commerce of the islands, now mainly British, will ultimately pass into American hands, can scarcely be doubted. They are not yet firmly seated in power, but their attitude to British and foreign firms is already sufficiently pronounced to allow an observant onlooker to make a forecast of what it will be later on.

Dominating Cuba, holding the Philippines, the Sandwich Islands and Porto Rico, the Americans will control the cane sugar trade, the tobacco trade, and the hemp trade, in addition to the vast branches of production they now hold in their hands. [173]

1 Their Hong was colloquially known as Sion Corner.

2 See the sentence of court-martial on Julius Arnold, musician of M Company, 25th Infantry, for murdering a woman under the most atrocious circumstances it is possible to imagine.

3 The Krakatoa explosion was heard all over the Southern Philippines like the firing of heavy guns, although the distance in a straight line is over 1500 miles. This will give some idea of the loudness of volcanic explosions.


Chapter XIX.

Life in Manila.

(A Chapter for the Ladies.)

Climate—Seasons—Terrible Month of May—Hot winds—Longing for rain—Burst of the monsoon—The Alimóom—Never sleep on the ground floor—Dress—Manila houses—Furniture—Mosquitoes—Baths—Gogo—Servants—Wages in 1892—The Maestro cook—The guild of cooks—The Mayordomo—Household budget, 1892—Diet—Drinks—Ponies—Carriage a necessity for a lady—The garden—Flowers—Shops—Pedlars—Amusements—Necessity of access to the hills—Good Friday in Manila.



The average shade temperature of Manila all the year round is 83° Fahrenheit. The highest I have ever seen there was 96°, at 2 P.M. in May, and the lowest 68°, at 6 A.M. in December.

The temperature of the sea-water on the shore at Malate is usually 82°, and that of well-water about the same. The water-pipes from the reservoir at San Juan del Monte are not buried, but are carried on an embankment. They are partly shaded from the sun by clumps of bamboos, but on a hot afternoon the water sometimes attains a temperature of 90°.

Those figures are high, yet the heat is mitigated by the sea-breeze, and the nights are usually cool enough to allow a refreshing sleep.

The climate of Manila is not harmful to the constitutions of healthy Europeans or Americans between twenty and fifty years of age, provided they at once adopt a mode of life suitable to the country, and in clothing, diet, habits and recreations, adapt themselves to the new conditions. On the other hand, I apprehend that, for persons of either sex over fifty who have had no previous experience of life in the tropics, there will be great difficulty in acclimatising [174]themselves, and the mortality amongst such will be abnormal. Ladies’ complexions will not suffer more than if they lived in a steam-heated house in Harlem, New York.

In all this part of the world the weather depends upon the monsoons. These blow with great regularity over the ocean, six months from the north-east and six months from the south-west. Their action on any particular place is, however, modified by the situation of mountains with regard to that place. The changes of the monsoon occur in April—May and October—November. It is the south-west monsoon that brings rain to Manila, and it has a fine stretch of the China Sea to career over, all the way, in fact, from the shores of Sumatra, till it drives the billows tumbling and foaming into the bay.

The typhoons form far out in the Pacific near the region of the Western Carolines, and, whirling round the opposite way to the hands of a watch, they proceed on a curve that may strike Luzon, or, perhaps, go on for a thousand miles or more, and carry death and destruction to the fishermen of Fo Kien or Japan.

When a typhoon passes clear, the usual result is several days of continuous heavy rain, but the air is cleared and purified. But should the vortex of the cyclone pass over your residence, you will not be likely to forget it for the rest of your life.

The year in Manila may be roughly divided into three seasons:—

  • Rainy Season—June, July, August, September. In these four months about 100 inches of rain may fall, and 20 more in the rest of the year.
  • Cool Season (so-called)—October, November, December, January.
  • Hot Season—February, March, April, May.

May is the terrible month of the year, the month of fevers and funerals. Let all who can, leave Manila before this month arrives.

Hot, dry winds, dust-laden, pervade the houses, and have such an effect even on well-seasoned hardwoods, that tables, wardrobes and door-panels, split from end to end, or from top to bottom, with a noise like a pistol-shot, leaving cracks a quarter of an inch wide that gape till the rainy season restores the moisture. [175]

At this time the heat is at its maximum, and all nature gasps or fades. Not a drop of rain has fallen for months, the roads are inches deep in dust, the rivers nearly stagnant, and covered with a green scum, the whole country quite brown, the vegetation burnt up by the sun. Only the cockroaches rejoice; at this season they fly at night, and you may have a few fine specimens of the Blatta Orientalis alight on your face, or on the back of your neck, should you doze a moment on your long chair. Personally, I am proof against a good deal, but must confess that the hairy feet of a cockroach on my face or neck make me shudder.

As the month draws to a close, every afternoon the storm-clouds gather over the Antipolo Hills. All Manila, lying in the glare and dust, prays for rain. Overhead, a sky like burnished copper darts down heat-rays that penetrate the roofs, and literally strike the heads of the occupants. The dry air is surcharged with electricity to such an extent that every living thing feels the powerful influence; the sweetest natures become irritable, and quite ready to admit that “this is, indeed, a beastly world.”

The nervous system suffers, the newspapers relate cases of stabbing, or even running amok amongst the natives, and perhaps some suicides occur. If, as not unfrequently happens, you should at this time receive an invitation to the funeral of a friend or compatriot just deceased from typhoid fever, and to be buried within twenty-four hours, you will begin to wonder whether Manila is good enough for you. Day after day the rain-clouds disperse amidst the rumbling of a distant thunder-storm, and day after day do longing eyes watch for their coming, and hope for the cloud-burst.

At last, when the limit of endurance seems reached, a cool breath of air heralds the downpour. The leaves rustle, the feathery bamboos incline before the blast, the sky darkens, the cataracts of heaven are loosed, and the water tumbles down in torrents.

Now keep yourself in the house, and on the upper floor, and let the water from your roofs run to waste. The natives, usually so careless of a wetting, avoid bathing or wetting themselves with the first waters, which they consider dangerous, and not without reason. The exhalations from the newly-wetted earth are to be avoided; these earth-vapours are called by the Tagals Alimóom. Now the dust is washed off the roofs and leaves, and in three [176]days the fallows are covered with small shoots of grass or weeds, the maidenhair ferns and mosses spring from every stone wall. The reign of dust is over; the reign of mud begins. Now the frogs inaugurate their nightly concerts. After a time you get used to the deafening noise; you do not even hear it. But they suddenly stop, and you are astonished at the stillness.

As the rainy season proceeds, the air is almost entirely saturated with moisture: the saturation in August sometimes exceeds 97 per cent.

Now green mould will grow upon your boots and other leather articles, if left a couple of days without cleaning. Everything feels damp, and it is a good plan to air your wardrobe round a brazier of red-hot charcoal.

You will have noticed that the natives universally build their houses upon piles. So do the Malays all over the Far East. This is the expression of the accumulated experience of centuries, and you will be wise to conform to it by never sleeping on the ground floor. To a dweller in the Philippines this tip is worth the price of the book.



The dress of both sexes should be as light as possible; my advice is, wear as little as possible, and wear it thin and loose. The access of air to the body is necessary to carry off the perspiration, some of which is in the form of vapour.

Ladies will find the greatest comfort in the simple but elegant dresses called batas, which are princess robes made of embroidered cambric or lawn. The materials for these dresses can be purchased in Manila, and excellent sempstresses and embroiderers can be hired at moderate wages, and the dresses made in the house. For the evenings, thin silk or muslin dresses, cut low, are most suitable.

Author’s house at Ermita.

Author’s house at Ermita.

To face p. 177.

Men who are young and robust should wear white duck jackets, and trousers without waistcoats. Elderly men, or those subject to rheumatism, will do well to wear thin flannel suits. The material for these can be got in Hong Kong. For travelling and shooting, unbleached linen, guingon, or rayadillo, is the best material, made into Norfolk jackets and pantaloons. I always found white or brown leather shoes the best wear, and canvas shooting-boots capped and strapped with leather. A Panama hat, [177]or a solar topee, is the best head-wear. If one has to be much in the sun, a white umbrella, lined with green, should be carried. Dress is not an expensive item in Manila. Up to 1892, the washing for a whole family, with bed and table-linen, could be done for $12 per month.



Most of the older houses in Manila are of ample size, and well suited to the climate, but some of the newer ones, built to the designs of a Spanish architect, and having glass windows, are very hot and uncomfortable. It is essential to live in a good-sized house, so as to escape the heat by moving to a different part as the sun goes round. Thus you will have your early breakfast in one corner of the balcony; your tiffin, perhaps, on the ground floor; your tea in the open corridor looking on the garden, and your dinner, at 7.30 P.M., in the dining-room under the punkah.

House-rent is paid monthly, and, up to 1892, a good detached house of moderate size could be got in one of the best suburbs for $100 per month, and for less in Santa Ana. Such a house would stand in its own garden, and would have stables for several horses, and shelter for one or two carriages.

I understand that house-rent is now nearly doubled in consequence of the American competition. From their lavish expenditure, we must infer that the new-comers possess large private means in addition to their salaries.



The furnishing of a tropical house is much simplified, because no carpets or curtains are needed. The floors are of polished hardwood, and they take a good deal of work to keep them in good order. A few rugs can be put down here and there, if a little colour is required. Where the floor is bad, Chinese matting can be laid down at small expense. Some of the Mestizos import costly furniture, but few of the European residents attempted to follow their example. Vienna bent-wood furniture, with cane seats, was commonly used, and was very suitable, also bamboo or rattan furniture, brought from China or made in the country. Such things as wardrobes or bookcases should have ring-bolts on each side for lashing to the walls. [178]A child or grown person might be killed by a heavy piece of furniture falling on it during an earthquake.

Furniture of all sorts is made in Manila of Red Narra, or other wood, by Chinese cabinet-makers, who will work to purchasers’ requirements. Very excellent teak-wood furniture is made in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The problem of furnishing a large house for a moderate sum, and making it comfortable, and at the same time artistic and refined, is not a difficult one, and has often been very satisfactorily solved in Manila.

Large stoneware flower-pots and pedestals can be purchased in Manila, and no more suitable ornament can be found than handsome palms, ferns, or flowering plants, for halls, corridors, or reception rooms.

The beds should be large, and have thin, hard mattresses and horse-hair pillows stuffed rather hard. The coolest thing to lie upon is a fine grass mat, or petate. Covering is seldom required. On the bed will be seen a large bolster lying at right angles to the pillows, so as to be parallel to the sleeper. The use of this is not apparent to the newly-arrived Briton or American. This is the Abrazador, used throughout the boundless East.

The candidate for repose, whether on the hard bed, or harder floor or deck, lies on his side, and rests his upper arm and leg on the Abrazador, thus relieving his hip and shoulder from much of his weight. He takes care to keep it a little way off his body to allow the air to circulate.

A mosquito-net must be fitted to every bed, but may not always be required. In the sleeping-room there should be no curtains, and the least possible amount of furniture, and, during the hot season, the bed should stand in the middle of the room. It is advisable to have no light in the bedroom, but good lights are a necessity in the dressing-rooms.

By being careful about this you will keep your bedroom free from mosquitoes. Petroleum is commonly used in the Philippines for lighting, and unless the lamps are of the best quality, and carefully trimmed, there is considerable danger of accident. I used to keep some plants in pots in each room so as to throw the earth over any oil that might get alight. Whenever there was a shock of earthquake, I extinguished the petroleum lamps, and lighted candles instead. And whenever we went out to a dinner or dance, every petroleum lamp was extinguished, and cocoanut-oil [179]lights or candles substituted in case of an earthquake whilst we were out.

Frequent baths are indispensable to good health in Manila. Enormous earthenware tubs, made in China, can be procured. These are placed in the bath-room, and filled in the evening, so that the water gets refreshingly cool during the night. It is not at all advisable to get into the water, as the effect is not so good as dashing the water over the head with a small bucket called a tabo. By using the water thus, and rubbing the skin briskly with a towel, a reaction soon sets in, and the bather feels quite invigorated.

A bath of this kind when rising, and another before dressing for dinner, will do much to mitigate the rigour of the climate.

From several stories told me by friends recently returned from Manila, it would seem that the Americans there, or some of them, at least, are not sufficiently alive to the necessity of daily baths, but I refrain from giving particulars.

This seems strange when one remembers the profusion with which baths are provided in all the modern hotels in the great cities of America.

Now I must tell you about gogo. This is the dried bark of a creeper that grows wild in the woods, and it is the finest thing possible to keep your hair in order.

There are several kinds of this plant, the three most commonly used are gogo bayugo (Entada scandens Benth.); gogong casay (Peltophorum ferrugineum Benth.); gogong paltaning (Albizzia saponaria Blum.).

As washing the hair with gogo is one of the luxuries of the Philippines, I shall describe how it is done.

A servant pounds a piece of the stem and bark, and steeps it in a basin, twisting and wringing it occasionally until the soluble part has been extracted. He then adds to the liquor two or three limes, squeezing the juice out, and soaking the peel. He also throws in a handful of crushed citron-leaves, and strains the liquor through muslin.

The servant then ladles this over your head with a calabash, or cocoa-nut shell, whilst you rub your hair with your hands.

As the liquor is strongly alkaline, you must be careful to keep your eyes closed until the head has been rinsed [180]with water. Your hair-wash is made fresh whenever you want it, and may cost from two to three pence.

The fragrance of the citron-leaves is delicious, and when you have rinsed and dried your hair, you will find it as soft, as bright, and as sweet-smelling as the costliest perfumes of Bond Street could make it.



In the good old times we were well off for servants in Manila. They flocked up from the provinces seeking places, and those employers who took pains to enquire closely into the antecedents of applicants, could almost ensure being well served.

Englishmen paid good wages, and paid punctually, hence they could command the best servants.

Personally, I may say that I kept my servants for years—some nearly the whole time I was in the islands. I had very little trouble with any of them. There are people who say that they have no feeling, but I remember that when I embarked with my family on leaving Manila, my servants, on taking leave at the wharf, were convulsed with tears at our departure.

A family living comfortably in a good-sized house would require the following servants:—

Wages in 1892.
Mayordomo, or steward, who would act as butler 8 per month.
Two houseboys, one would valet the master, the other would trim lamps and pull the punkah, @ $6 12 per month.
Sempstress or maid to mistress 6 per month.
Gardener or coolie, would carry water for baths, sweep and water 6 per month.
Coachman, would look after one pair of horses and carriage 12 per month.
Food for six servants, @ $3 each 18 per month.
Maestro cook 18 per month.

American competition for servants has more than doubled these rates of pay. Cooks get $50 now.

The house-boys and maid live in the house, and sleep on the floor, with a grass mat and pillows. The mayordomo sometimes lives quite near, being, perhaps, a married [181]man. The coachman has his room by the stables, and the gardener lives in the lodge, or in a small hut in the garden.

The maestro-cook does not usually sleep on the premises. He arrives about 11 A.M., bearing two baskets depending from a pinga, or palma-brava staff, resting on his shoulder. These baskets will contain the day’s marketing—eggs, fish, meat, chicken, salad, tomatoes, bananas, firewood, and many other things.

He promptly sets to work, and by twelve, or half-past, presents a tiffin of three or four courses.

His afternoon is devoted to preparing the more elaborate dinner due at 7.30 P.M., when he will be ready to serve soup, fish, entrées, a roast, a curry, and sweets, all conscientiously prepared, and sent in hot. Most excellent curries are made in Manila, both by Chinamen and natives. To my mind, the best are made from prawns, from crab, or from frogs’ legs. If you cannot eat anything else at dinner, you can always make out with the curry.

The dinner over, the cook asks for orders, and takes his departure, to return with perfect punctuality the following day.

The Chinese cooks all belong to a guild, which is a trades’ union and a co-operative society, and are bound to follow the rules.

They would never dream of going into a market and bidding one against the other.

Their system is to assemble early every morning at the guild house, and for each man to state his requirements. A scribe then tabulates the orders—so many turkeys, so many chickens, etc., and two experienced cooks are commissioned as buyers to go into the market and purchase the whole lot, the provisions being afterwards fairly divided amongst the members, each having his turn to get the choice pieces, such as saddle of mutton, kidneys, etc. But if a dinner-party is contemplated, the cook who has to prepare it gets the preference.

They thus obtain everything much cheaper than the native cooks, even after taking a good squeeze for themselves. I believe that they have a fixed percentage which they charge, and would consider it dishonest to take any more, whilst the guild would not approve of their taking any less.

If you send away your cook, the guild will settle for [182]you who is to replace him. All your culinary fancies will be well known to the council of the guild, and they will pick out a man up to your standard.

It was customary to give the cook a fixed sum per day to provide tiffin and dinner, and this was paid once a week.

I found that two dollars a day was sufficient to amply provide for my family, and I could have one guest to tiffin or dinner without notice, and be confident that the meal would be sufficient. In fact, this was part of my agreement with the cook. By giving short notice, the dinner could be extended for two or three people at an additional charge.

The cook rendered no account of the money he received; but, if I was not satisfied with the meals he provided, I admonished him, and if he did not do better I discharged him. I may say, however, that there was very seldom cause for complaint, for the Chinese are thorough business men.

When a dinner-party was given, the cook provided according to order, and sent in his bill for the extras. There was no housekeeping, and no need to order anything, and you knew exactly how much you were spending weekly, and how much a dinner-party cost.

The cleaning and polishing your plate and glass, the laying the table, the tasteful adorning of it with variegated leaves, with ferns or flowers, and the artistic folding of the serviettes, may with confidence be left to the mayordomo’s care; every detail will be attended to down to the ylang-ylang flowers in the finger-bowls.

With such servants as these, the mistress of the house, free from domestic cares, may take her shower-bath, and, clad in Kabaya and Sarong, await the moment when she must resume the garments of civilisation, and receive her guests looking as fresh, in spite of the thermometer, as if she had stepped out of a coupé in Piccadilly or Fifth Avenue. Ladies used to the ministry of Irish Biddy or Aunt Chloe ought to fancy themselves transported to heaven when they find themselves at the head of a household in Manila.

I append a note of household expenses for a family living moderately in Manila in 1892. I suppose the cost has been doubled under American rule. [183]

Household Budget in 1892.

For a family of three adults and three children.

Mexican Dollars.
House-rent per month 100
Servants’ wages and food per month 80
Washing per month 12
Forage and grain for two ponies per month 16
Allowance to cook for market per month 60
Extra for two dinner-parties of six or eight guests each per month 20
Bill at Almacen (grocery store) for groceries, ordinary wines, spirits, and petroleum per month 65
Bill at Botica (drug store) for soda water, ice and various articles per month 20
Case of champagne for dinner-parties per month 25
Repairs to carriage, shoeing horses, materials for cleaning stable, etc. per month 10
Garden expenses—plants, tools, hose per month 5
Subscriptions to clubs, telephone, newspapers, and charities per month 20
Tobacco and cigars per month 7
Taxes on servants and horses per month 10
Clothing for self and family per month 50
Pocket money, entertainments, and sundries per month 100
Per month 600
Say $7,200 per annum.


For the benefit of Boston readers (if I should be lucky enough to have any in that learned city), I may say that pork and beans is not a suitable diet for a tropical country. I should also forbid the “New England dinner,” and roast goose, or sucking pig, stewed terrapin, and pumpkin pie. A light diet of eggs or the excellent fish to be had in Manila, chickens fattened on maize, beef or mutton, once a day, and rice, vegetables and salad, with plenty of ripe fruit, according to the season, is desirable. The fare can be diversified by oysters, prawns, crabs, wild duck, snipe, and quail, all of which are cheap and very good in the season. There are no pheasants in Luzon, but the jungle cock (labuyao) is as good or better.

In the tropics a good table is a necessity, for the appetite needs tempting. Such a diet as I have mentioned will keep you in health, especially if you are careful not to eat too much, but to eat of the best. If you economise on your table you will have to spend the money at the [184]drug-store. Taboo pork, because—well, when you have been a week or two in the country you will not need to ask why—Moses and Mahomet knew what they were about.

My remarks about drinks are intended for the men, as ladies do not need any advice on this subject. In a tropical climate it is necessary to be very careful in the use of spirits.

Having lived for more than twenty-five years in the tropics, and having kept my health remarkably well, I feel warranted in giving my experience. I have made surveys, or directed works, in many climates, exposed to all weathers, and I know that the very worst thing a man can take, if he has to work or march in the sun, is spirits. There is nothing that will predispose him to sunstroke as much as spirits. For marching, walking, or shooting, in the sun, I know nothing like cold tea without milk or sugar. It should be poured off the leaves after infusing for two minutes.

When you reach shelter you can take a lemon squash or a cagelada—this is the juice of cageles (a kind of orange) with sugar and water—which is a most cooling drink. Never take spirits to buck you up to your work. Whatever spirits you drink, let it be after sunset. I am a believer in drinking wine at meals; it makes me shudder to see people drinking tea, lemonade, or milk, with their dinners, and laying up for themselves torments from dyspepsia, for which they have to swallow pills by the boxful.



There is a race of ponies in the islands that is descended from Spanish and Arab horses, and owing to an absolutely haphazard breeding, the size has diminished, although the symmetry has been preserved. Those from Ilocos are the smallest, but they are the hardiest and most spirited.

A pair of ponies and a Victoria is an absolute necessity for a lady in Manila, and I have little doubt that an American judge would declare the “failure to provide” to be cruelty and grant a divorce if applied for.

Both harness and carriages are made in the city, but imported harness can be had, better finished, at double the price.

Fernery at Ermita.

Fernery at Ermita.

To face p. 185.

In my time a fine pair of ponies could be bought for [185]$200 to $300; a new Victoria for $500, and harness for $60. The cost of keeping a pair of ponies was $16 per month, and a coachman $12 per month, food, and livery. What the cost is now I have no information.

The public carriages were not fit for a lady to use, though sometimes a suitable one could be hired by the week or month from a livery stable.

The ponies are wonderfully strong and sure-footed. I weigh over 200 lbs., yet some of these ponies have carried me about all day over rough ground without stumbling. They carry a lady beautifully, and riding is the best form of exercise a lady can take.


The Garden.

The garden will be a great source of occupation to the mistress of the house. If it is sheltered from the wind and supplied with water, she can grow almost anything. And plants will come up quickly, too, under the influence of the heat and moisture.

There are nursery gardens at Pasay, where all sorts of plants and seedlings can be obtained; in fact, these are hawked about morning and evening.

The so-called gardener rarely has much skill, but he will clean up the garden and water it, and do what he is told.

The most beautiful and delicate ferns can be grown, and magnificent orchids got to flower, if they are well sheltered in a mat-shed. Bananas and pines grow without trouble, and radishes, salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons, can be raised.



You can get most things you want in Manila. The drug-stores are mostly in German hands, but there is one English one where the usual English articles can be got.

There is an ample supply of wines, spirits, and preserved provisions at the grocers, and the drapers keep on hand any quantity of silks, muslins, and piece-goods, with all the necessary fixings. French and German shoes are in plenty.

The goods in the jewellers’ shops and in the fancy bazaars are all of a very florid style, to suit the gaudy taste of the wealthy Filipinos. [186]

Such piece-goods and haberdashery as are in common use are brought round to the ladies at their own houses by Chinese hawkers, who, having small expenses, sell remarkably cheap.

They are always very civil and attentive, and will gladly get you any article that they have not in stock at the moment.

Ladies save going about in the heat and dust by purchasing from these men.



The amusements for ladies were limited to riding, lawn-tennis, boating, picnics, and frequent dances. I remember many delightful dances in Manila. One was given to the officers of the U.S.S. Brooklyn, and another to the U.S.S. Richmond. At the latter, the ladies were in traje del pais, i.e., dressed as natives and mestizas. And very handsome some of them looked. Now and again some theatrical company would come over, mostly from Saigon. There were a good many dinner parties given amongst the British community, and weekly receptions at most of the principal houses, during the time I lived in Manila, where you could get a little game of cards, dance, flirt, or take it easy, just as you liked.

The ladies very wisely took a rest from two to four, to be fresh for the evening. The proper hour for calling was at 9 P.M. or 10 A.M. on Sundays after High Mass.

I knew several ladies, English and American, who look back upon a term of years spent in Manila as the happiest in their lives.

Children born in Manila can remain there without damage to their health till ten or twelve years old, and after having spent a few years at home are indistinguishable from children born and brought up in England.

The principal thing lacking in Manila is means of access to the hills where people could go occasionally for a change and during the hot season. I have little doubt that the Americans will provide this before long.

Manila was not without its frivolous element; but there was one period of the year when all frivolities were suspended, and religious observances monopolised the people’s time. That was in Lent, and the ceremonies culminated on Good Friday. [187]

The Very Noble and always Loyal City of Manila celebrates the greatest day of the Christian year very devoutly. On foot, and robed in black, its inhabitants high and low throng the churches and attend the procession.

All shops are closed, vehicular traffic is suspended, the ensigns hang at half-mast, the yards of ships are crossed in saltire; not a sound is heard.

The capital and the whole of the civilised Philippines mark the crucifixion of our Saviour by two days of devotion, of solemn calm. Under Spanish rule a stately procession, attended by the highest and the humblest, filed slowly through the silent streets, the Civil Government, the Law, the Army, the Navy, the Municipality and the Religious Orders, being represented by deputations in full dress, who followed bare-headed the emblems of the faith in the presence of an immense crowd of natives, who bent the knee and bowed the head in homage to the crucified Saviour.

I never failed to witness this imposing spectacle when in Manila, and it was mortifying to me to remember that Good Friday in London is nothing but a vulgar holiday, and that probably not one person out of a hundred in its vast population realises in the least degree the event that solemn fast is intended to commemorate.

The death-like stillness of Good Friday remained unbroken till High Mass was over on Saturday morning, when the cathedral bells rang out a joyous peal, soon taken up by the bells of the numerous churches in the city and all over the provinces.

The ensigns were run up to the staff or peak, the yards were squared, and royal salutes thundered out over land and sea, whilst clouds of white smoke enveloped the moss-grown ramparts of the saluting battery, and the useless, lumbering masts and spars of the flagship. Then steam-whistles and sirens commenced their hideous din, the great doors of the houses were thrown open, and hundreds of bare-backed ponies, with half-naked grooms, issued at full gallop to the sea or river.

Then Manila resumed its every-day life till the next Holy Thursday came round. [188]


Chapter XX.


(A Chapter for Men.)

The Jockey Club—Training—The races—An archbishop presiding—The Totalisator or Pari Mutuel—The Manila Club—Boating club—Rifle clubs—Shooting—Snipe—Wild duck—Plover—Quail—Pigeons—Tabon—Labuyao, or jungle cock—Pheasants—Deer—Wild pig—No sport in fishing.

Manila was not so badly off for sport as might be thought. The pony-races, conducted under the auspices of the Jockey Club, excited the greatest interest amongst all classes.

The ponies underwent their training at the race-course in Santa Mesa, and their owners and other members of the club were provided with early breakfast there. The native grooms took as much interest in the success of the pony they attended as the owner, and they backed their favourite for all they were worth.

Only members were allowed to ride, and the weights were remarkably heavy for such small ponies. When the races came off, business was almost suspended for three days, and all Manila appeared at the race-course. There were sometimes two thousand vehicles and immense crowds on foot.

The ladies in their most resplendent toilettes were received by the stewards, presented with elegantly-bound programmes, and conducted to their places on the grand stand.

Presently a military band would strike up the “Marcha Réal,” as the Governor-General’s equipage entered the enclosure, and that exalted personage, dressed in black frock coat and silk hat, white trousers and waistcoat, with the crimson silk sash of a general, just peeping from under his waistcoat, was conducted to his box, followed by his suite and the favoured persons invited to join his party. [189]

The highest authority in the country presided and handed the prizes to the winning jockeys, who were brought up to him by the vice-president of the club. But on an occasion when the Governor-General and Segundo Cabo were absent, I witnessed the races which were presided over by no less a personage than His Grace the Archbishop of Manila, Fray Pedro Payo, in his archiepiscopal garments, and smoking a big Havana cigar. The old gentleman enjoyed the sport and most graciously presented the handsome prizes to the winners.

Betting was conducted by the totalisator, or pari-mutuel, the bet being five dollars, repeated as often as you liked. As I presume my readers understand this system, I shall not describe it. The natives bet amongst themselves to a considerable amount.

Pavilions were erected by different clubs or bodies, and a profuse hospitality characterised each day. Winners of large silver cups usually filled them with champagne and passed them round. Bets were made with the ladies as an excuse for giving them presents. Dinner-parties were given in the evenings at private houses, and there were dinners at the clubs. There were two race-meetings in the year. No doubt this sport, temporarily interrupted by insurrection and war, will again flourish when tranquillity prevails.

There was a boating-club in connection with the British Club at Nagtajan, now removed to Ermita, and some very good skiffs and boats were available. There was a regatta and illuminated procession of boats each year.

Polo clubs and rifle clubs had a rather precarious existence, except that the Swiss Rifle Club was well kept up, and there were some excellent shots in it. There was a lawn tennis club, which had ladies and gentlemen as members, and some very good games were played there and valuable prizes given.

Shooting was a favourite sport with many Englishmen and a few mestizos.

Excellent snipe-shooting is to be had in all the paddy-fields around Manila and the lake. But at San Pedro on the Pasig, there is a wide expanse of rough ground with clumps of bushes, and it was here that the most exciting sport was to be had, and it took some shooting to get the birds as they flew across the openings between the bushes. Snipe-shooting began in September, when the paddy was [190]high enough to give cover, and lasted to the end of November. The birds, when they first arrived, were thin, but they soon put on flesh, and by November were fat and in splendid condition for the table. There is no better bird to be eaten anywhere than a Manila snipe. Bags of eighty were sometimes made in a morning by two guns.

Excellent wild-duck and teal-shooting was to be got on and around the lake and on the Pinag de Candaba, and wherever there was a sheet of water. When crossing the lake I have seen wild fowl resting on the surface in such enormous numbers that they looked like sandbanks. They are not easy to approach, but I have killed some by firing a rifle into the flock. The crested-lapwing and the golden-plover are in plenty, and on the seashores widgeon and curlew abound. Inland, on the stubbles, there are plenty of quail. Pigeons of all sorts, sizes, and colours, abound at all times, especially when the dap-dap tree opens its large crimson blossoms. Some kinds of brush-turkeys, such as the tabon, a bird (Megapodius cuningi) the size of a partridge, that lays an egg as large as a goose egg and buries it in a mound of gravel by the shore, are found.

The labuyao, or jungle cock, is rare and not easy to shoot in a sportsmanlike way, although a poacher could easily shoot them on a moonlight night.

In the Southern Islands some remarkable pheasants of most brilliant plumage are to be found, and whilst in Palawan I obtained two good specimens of the pavito real (Polyplectron Napoleonis), a very handsome game bird with two sharp spurs on each leg. They are rather larger than a partridge, but their fan-shaped tails have two rows of eyes like a peacock’s tail, there being four eyes in each feather.

Deer and wild-pig abound, and can be shot within four hours’ journey of Manila by road. Round about Montalban is a good place for them. They are plentiful at Jala-jala, on the lake at Porac in Pampanga, and round about the Puerto Jamelo and Pico de Loro, at the mouth of Manila Bay. In fact, they are found wherever there is cover and pasture for them. The season is from December to April.

The usual way is to go with a party of five or six guns and employ some thirty native beaters, each bringing one or two dogs.

The guns are stationed in suitable spots and the beaters and their dogs, fetching a compass, extend their line and [191]drive the game up to the guns. This is rather an expensive amusement, as you have to pay and feed the beaters and their dogs; but it is very good sport, and in proceeding and returning to camp from two beats in the morning and two in the afternoon, you got quite as much exercise as you want or as is good for you. The venison and wild-pig is very good eating, but it is difficult to get it to Manila fresh, whatever precautions you take.

Taken all round, Luzon is well supplied with game, and may be considered satisfactory from a sportsman’s point of view.

There is no sport to be had in fishing; in Luzon, so far as I know, there are no game fish. When living on the banks of the Rio Grande, near Macabébe, I noticed some natives taking fish at night by placing a torch on the bow of a canoe, which was paddled by one man slowly along near the bank, another man standing in the bow with a fish-spear of three prongs, similar to the “grains” used in England. As the fish came up to the light he struck at them with his spear and managed to pick up a good many.

This appeared good sport, and I arranged for a native to come for me in a canoe with torch, and I borrowed a spear. We started off, but there was some difficulty in standing up in a small, narrow canoe, and darting the spear. My first stroke was a miss, the fish escaped; my second, however, was all right, and I shook my catch off the spear into the canoe, but the native shouted out, “Másamang áhas pó!” (a poisonous snake, sir) not forgetting to be polite even in that somewhat urgent situation. The snake was wriggling towards me, but I promptly picked him up again on the spear and threw him overboard, much to my own relief and that of the Pampanga.

It was one of those black and yellow water-snakes, reputed as poisonous. That was enough fishing for me, and I remembered that I had a particular appointment at home, and left fishing to professionals.

Curiously enough, fish cannot be taken by the trawl, for a mestizo got out a trawling steamer with gear, and men to handle it, and after repeated trials in different places, had to give it up as a bad job. [192]


Chapter XXI.

Brief Geographical Description of Luzon.

Irregular shape—Harbours—Bays—Mountain ranges—Blank spaces on maps—North-east coast unexplored—River and valley of Cagayan—Central valley from Bay of Lingayen to Bay of Manila—Rivers Agno, Chico, Grande—The Pinag of Candaba—Project for draining—River Pasig—Laguna de Bay—Lake of Taal—Scene of a cataclysm—Collapse of a volcanic cone 8000 feet high—Black and frowning island of Mindoro—Worcester’s pluck and endurance—Placers of Camarines—River Bicol—The wondrous purple cone of Mayon—Luxuriant vegetation.

The island of Luzon is of so irregular a shape that it cannot be intelligibly described without the aid of a map.

That part of it to the north and west of the isthmus of Tayabas lies with its longitudinal axis due north and south, and has a fairly even coast line, there being only two great indentations, the Bays of Lingayen and Manila, both on the west coast. There are also on that side and to the south the smaller bays of Subic, Balayan, Batangas, and Tayabas.

On the east coast of this northern part are the unimportant bays of Palanan, Dilasac, Casiguran and Baler, besides the great bay of Lamon, sheltered by the islands Calbalete and Alabat.

But in the remainder of Luzon, from the isthmus of Tayabas eastward and southward, the coast line is most irregular, and the width much reduced. A chain of mountains commencing at and forming the two above-mentioned islands and running in a south-easterly direction forms the peninsula of Tayabas.

Another range, starting near the Bay of Sogod, runs a little south of east as far as Mount Labo (1552 metres), turns south-east, and runs along the southern shore of the fertile valley of the River Vicol, and with many a break [193]and twist and turn reaches Mount Bulusan, whose slopes run down to the waters of the Strait of San Bernardino. The convolutions of this range form on the south the secure harbour of Sorsogon, and on the north the bays of Albay, Tabaco, Lagonoy and Sogod, besides a multitude of smaller ports and bays, for the coast line is wonderfully broken up by spurs of the main ranges running out into the sea. Luzon generally is very mountainous, and more especially so that part lying to the north of 16° 5′, where the great ranges of mountains run in crooked lines but with general north and south direction. The range running parallel to the Pacific coast is called, in its most southern part, the Caraballos de Baler, and the rest of it, up to Punta Escarpada, is known as the Cordillera del Este, or the Sierra Madre. The central range, starting from Mount Caraballo in the latitude before mentioned, is called the Cordillera Central for about a degree of latitude, and from there is known as the Cordillera del Norte, terminating at Punta Lacatacay, in longitude 121° east of Greenwich.

The mountains on the western coast are not so lofty, nor do they form a connected range. They are known as the Sierras de Ilocos. Some of these ranges are thirty or forty miles long. There are cuts in places where rivers find an outlet to the sea, such as the Rio Grande de Laoag, the Rio Abra, and some lesser streams. All these ranges have spurs or buttresses. Those of the Central Cordillera extend as far, and join with, the coast range on the west, covering the whole country and leaving no large plain anywhere, for the valley of the Abra though long is very narrow. There is a little flat land about Vigan.

But the eastern spurs of the central range, in the part of Luzon under consideration, do not interlace with the spurs of Sierra Madre, but leave a magnificent valley more than two degrees of latitude in length and varying breadth. This is the only great valley of northern Luzon, and through it runs the Rio Grande de Cagayan and its tributaries, the Magat and the Rio Chico, with numerous minor streams.

Coasting steamers with about twelve feet draught cross the bar of the Rio Grande and lie at Aparri. The river is navigable in the dry season as far as Alcalá for light draught steamers. Alligators abound in these rivers. In this valley, which extends through the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela up into Nueva Vizcaya, there is to be found a great extension of rich alluvial soil on which can be raised, [194]besides other tropical crops, most excellent tobacco, the cultivation of which was for many years obligatory upon the inhabitants, who were forbidden to grow rice.

Little has been done in the way of making a trigonometrical survey of the Highlands of Luzon, but some military reconnaissance sketches have been made from time to time by staff or engineer officers employed in building forts, and from these several maps have been compiled. One of the most complete of these is by that intrepid explorer and painstaking geographer, D’Almonte. Another map has been published by Colonel Olleros. It must be admitted that these maps do not agree with each other, but that is not unusual in maps of the Philippines, and results from a custom of the Spanish engineers of doing too much in the office and not enough in the field. Colonel Olleros has, however, on his map shown the lesser known mountain ranges very vaguely, and has left more than a thousand square miles of territory quite blank. This tract lies between the central range and the Cagayan River, and is inhabited by the Apayaos, Calingas, Aripas, and Nabayuganes. Olleros also leaves some large blanks on the east coast, and he is quite right to do so, for this coast has hardly been visited since Salcedo sailed past it at the time of the Conquest, and nothing is known about that part of the island which remains to this day in possession of the savage Dumagas, a Negrito tribe. That coast is almost entirely destitute of shelter, and is exposed to the full force of the Pacific surf. It is made more dangerous by tidal waves which are formed either by distant cyclones or by submarine upheavals and occur without warning.

The largest and richest valley in Luzon is that which extends without a break from the shores of the Bay of Lingayen to the Bay of Manila, having an area of some 3000 square miles, and comprising the best part of the Provinces of Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Écija, Pampanga, Bulacan and Manila.

The town of Tarlac is situated about half-way between the two bays, and approximately marks the watershed. About half-way between Tarlac and the northern shores of Manila Bay there rises from the plain an isolated mountain of volcanic origin, Mount Arayat. The crater has been split through and the mountain thus shows two peaks. It is covered with forest to the very summit. Arayat was thrown up within historic times, and the Indians have a [195]tradition that it was completed in one night, which is a most unlikely story.

Mount Arayat is 2880 feet in height, and in fine weather is plainly visible from Manila and Cavite, and even from the mouth of the bay.

The principal rivers of this valley are the Agno, the Dagupan, the Rio Grande and the Rio Chico of Pampanga.

The Agno rises in the mountains of Lepanto, runs south through the province of Benguet, and S.W., W. and N.W. in Pangasinan into a labyrinth of creeks communicating by many mouths with the Bay of Lingayen. The river between Dagupan and San Isidro is navigable for vessels drawing seven or eight feet, and such craft could reach Salasa. From there to Rosales only lighters of very small draught could pass, and after a long spell of dry weather rice-boats drawing only one foot sometimes run aground. Its principal tributaries are the Tarlac and the Camiling, with dozens of smaller streams bringing the whole drainage of the eastern slopes of the Zambales mountains from Mount Iba to San Isidro.

The Dagupan river rises in the mountains about the limits of Union and Benguet and runs parallel to the Agno to 16° N. lat., and between it and the sea. Then it turns to the westward, and runs past the towns of Urdaneta, Sta, Barbara, and Calasiao, entering the Bay of Lingayen at Dagupan. It has a multitude of small tributaries which are very differently shown on D’Almonte’s and Olleros’ maps, and undoubtedly this part has never been surveyed.

The Pampanga river has its source on the southern slopes of the Caraballo, in about 16° 10′ N. lat. It runs south in two branches, the Rio Grande and the Rio Chico; the first, being the easternmost, receives the drainage from the western slopes of the Cordillera del Este, whilst the Chico receives tributaries from both sides in the flat country and also the overflow from the Lake of Canarem.

These two branches unite just north of Mount Arayat, and continue in a southerly direction. The river is navigable for small craft drawing three feet as far as Candaba in the dry season, and in the rainy season as far as San Isidro in Nueva Écija. When in flood during the rainy season, this river brings down a large body of water and annually overflows its banks in certain places, where gaps occur. The escaping water spreads itself over a low plain forming an inundation some sixteen miles long and several miles wide, [196]called the Pinag de Candaba. This remains during the rainy season, and when the level of the Rio Grande has fallen sufficiently, the water of the Pinag commences to fall also, and during the middle and latter part of the dry season, and the beginning of the rainy season, only patches of water remain here and there, which are utilized for breeding fish, and a crop is raised on the land left dry. A project for draining the Pinag and reclaiming the land was many years ago got up by a Spanish colonel of engineers, and, at the request of an English company, I went up to investigate and report on it. I found that, irrespective of the difficulties and expense of the proposed works, the vested rights of the natives of the many towns and villages in and around the Pinag rendered it impossible to carry out the scheme.

Vast flocks of wild duck and other water-fowl frequent the Pinag, and good sport is to be had there. Below the Pinag the river spreads itself over the low country, forming a labyrinths of creeks mostly navigable for craft drawing three to four feet, but the mouths are all very shallow and the bars can only be crossed about high tide. The water is brackish or salt. An immense extent of country is intersected by these creeks, certainly 200 square miles, and there are said to be 120 mouths connecting with the bay. With the exception of two or three of the principal channels, this swamp has never been surveyed, and what is shown on the map is merely guessed at. The muddy soil is covered with mangrove in the low parts submerged at each tide, and with the Nipa palm where the banks rise above high water. Under the heading Pampangos will be found particulars of the manufacture of nipa-thatch carried on here, and of collecting and distilling the juice. With the exception of a few half-savage natives the only living things are wildfowl, fish in abundance, alligators, snakes, and blue crabs. This is indeed a great dismal swamp, more especially at low tide.

It is difficult to find one’s way in these creeks, and although I frequently traversed them, I found it necessary to take a swamp Indian as a guide.

The city of Manila is situated astride the River Pasig on a strip of land between the Bay of Manila and a great sheet of freshwater called the Lake of Bay. In consequence of this situation, Manila can communicate by the bay, the lake, the creeks and rivers with the provinces of Bataan, [197]Pampanga, Nueva Écija, Bulacan, Morong, Laguna, and Cavite. Until the opening of the Manila-Dagupan railroad the whole transport of the Archipelago was by water, and the possession of navigable rivers meant progress and wealth, whilst the absence of rivers meant stagnation and poverty. Around the city the land is quite flat, but at about four miles distance there is a sharp rise to a plateau of volcanic tuff, the surface of which is from sixty to eighty feet above sea level, of which more anon. The River Pasig is the overflow from the lake and the outlet for the River San Mateo, which runs into it at right angles. The lake serves as a receiver for the great floods that come down the San Mateo valley; for the level of that river at Santolan, the intake of the waterworks, sometimes rises more than twenty feet. When this occurs, the flood on reaching the Pasig is divided; part runs into the lake, and part into the bay. The current of the Pasig in that part between the junction of the San Mateo and the outlet from the lake is reversed. Then when the flood subsides, the water which has entered the lake runs out very slowly into the bay, for the head produced by the greatest flood becomes insignificant from being spread over the vast extent of the lake.

Rice, sugar, cocoa-nuts, bamboos, timber, and fruits are the principal products of the province of La Laguna. The inhabitants supply the Manila markets with poultry. The Pasig and the lake are navigated by light draught steamers which ply daily to Biñan, Calamba, and Santa Cruz. There are also numerous native small craft, which bring down the produce. To the south of Manila the province of Cavite slopes gently up from the shores of the bay and from the lake to the high cliffs at the northern end of the volcanic lake of Taal. The valley is intersected by numerous streams all of which run into the bay. Part of this province, near Manila, is a stony and sandy desert, but other parts of it are extremely fertile, and large crops of rice, with some coffee, and cacao, and fruits, are raised. The Augustinians and Dominicans have large estates here, and have expended considerable sums on dams to retain water for irrigation.

The Lake of Bombon, or Taal, has in its centre an island containing the remains of the volcano. From the nature of the surrounding country it is conjectured that on the spot now occupied by the lake a volcanic mountain, [198]some 8000 feet high, formerly stood. The great bed of volcanic tuff already mentioned, extending from thence up to Meycauayan more than sixty miles distant, is thought to have been ejected from that lofty volcano, leaving a vast hollow cone, which ultimately collapsed, causing a convulsion in the surrounding country that must have rivalled the famous cataclysm of Krakatoa. This is the opinion of D. José Centeno, a mining engineer employed by the Spanish Government, and was fully confirmed by my learned friend, the late Rev. J. E. Tenison-Wood, who carefully examined the locality, and studied all the records.

The province of Batangas is very rich and fertile; it has some mountains, but also a considerable extension of sloping or flat land. In beauty it will compare with the best parts of Surrey, such as the view from Leith Hill, looking south. Sugar and coffee are the principal products, and the towns of Taal, Baúang, Batangas, and Lipa are amongst the wealthiest of Luzon. The fields are well cultivated, and oxen are much used, both for ploughing and for drawing carts. The beef in this province is excellent.

Opposite to this beautiful and wealthy province lies the huge island of Mindoro. Ever black and gloomy does it look, its lofty mountains almost perpetually shrouded in rain-clouds. When I lived in Balayan I had a good view of this island from my windows, and can scarcely remember its looking otherwise than dark and forbidding. Nothing comes from it but timber and jungle produce. There are known to be some beds of lignite. Only the coast is known, and the jungle fever prevents exploration. The island of Marinduque is healthier and more advanced. It produces hemp of fine quality.

The province of Tayabas is very mountainous, and is still mostly covered with forest; there are no wide valleys of alluvial soil. Some rice is grown, also large quantities of cocoa-nuts, and some coffee and cacao. Timber and jungle produce form the principal exports. I have seen many specimens of minerals from this province and think it would be well worth prospecting. But the climate is unhealthy, and dangerous fevers prevail. This circumstance has been useful to the Spanish Government, for when a governor or official had made himself disliked he could be appointed to Tayabas with a fair prospect of getting rid of him either by death or by invaliding in two or three years at most. [199]

Camarines Norte is also mountainous, and there is not much cultivation, only a little rice and hemp. The population is very sparse, and the inhabitants are mostly employed (when they do anything) in washing for gold at Mambulao, Paracale, and other places on the Pacific coast. If they strike a pocket, or get a nugget, they go on the spree till they have spent it all and can get no more credit, and then unwillingly return to work. Camarines Sur possesses a wide expanse of fertile soil in the valley of the River Bicol, in which are the Lakes of Buhi and Bato, and the Pinag of Baao. The Bicol rises in the province of Albay and runs through the whole length of Camarines Sur, generally in a north-westerly direction, running into the great Bay of San Miguel. It is navigable for small vessels up to the town of Nueva Cáceres. Alligators abound here. A gap in the coast range gives access to this valley from the port of Pasacao. The ground is level for leagues around, yet from this plain two extinct volcanoes rear their vast bulk, the Ysarog, 6500 feet high, and the Yriga, nearly 4000 feet high. Camarines Sur contains more than five times as many inhabitants as Camarines Norte, although not very different in area. Their principal occupation is the cultivation of the extensive rice lands. They also produce some hemp and a little sugar. Large quantities of rice are exported to Manila, to Albay, and to Bisayas. Cattle are raised in the island of Buriás, which belongs to this province; it also produces some palm sugar. This province is much richer than either Tayabas or Camarines Norte.

The province of Albay is the southernmost and easternmost part of Luzon, and is one of the richest and most beautiful regions of that splendid island. The northern part, which commences at Punta Gorda on the Bay of Lagonoy, is similar to the neighbouring Camarines Sur, as is also the western part, about the shores of Lake Bato. A little to the southward, however, the gigantic Mayon rears its peak 8000 feet into the sky. The symmetry of this wondrous cone is but feebly rendered by the photograph. Some of the most violent eruptions of this remarkable volcano are mentioned under another heading in the Appendix.

On this volcanic soil, with the life-giving heat of the sun tempered by frequent rains, the vegetable kingdom flourishes in the utmost luxuriance. Tree-ferns, lianas, orchids, palms grow vigorously. On the mountain slopes [200]the Musa textilis, or abacá plant, finds its most congenial habitat. Little rice is grown, the inhabitants being mostly engaged in the more remunerative occupation of planting and preparing this fibre.

A description of the manner of its preparation, with photographs of the growing plants and of the apparatus for cleaning the fibre, will be found under the description of the Vicols.

The island of Catanduanes belongs to Albay province, and its characteristics and productions are the same. The configuration of the province of Albay is most favourable to the production of this fibre. The plant seems to require a light volcanic soil, a certain height above the sea, and exposure to the Pacific breezes in order to flourish.

To summarise the description of Luzon we may say that its agricultural wealth, present and future, lies in the valley of the Rio Grande of Cagayan, in the great valley lying between the Gulf of Lingayen and the shores of the Bay of Manila, in the rich lands of Cavite, Batangas, and Laguna, in the valley of the River Bicol, and on the slopes of the volcanoes of Albay.

The production of the great northern valley is principally tobacco; of the middle valley, sugar and rice; of the southern valley, rice, and of the volcanic slopes, Manila hemp. The Sierras of Ilocos are highly mineralised, as are also the mountains of Tayabas, whilst as already stated washing for gold is the principal industry of Camarines Norte. Parts of this great island, as in Bulacan and Pampanga, support a dense population of 500 to the square mile; whilst, in other parts, hundreds or even thousands of square miles are absolutely unknown, and are only populated by a few scattered and wandering savages, many of whom have never seen a white man. [201]

The Inhabitants of the Philippines.

Description of their appearance, dress, arms, religion, manners and customs, and the localities they inhabit, their agriculture, industries and pursuits, with suggestions as to how they can be utilized, commercially and politically. With many unpublished photographs of natives, their arms, ornaments, sepulchres, and idols.


Chapter XXII.

Aetas or Negritos, Including Balúgas, Dumágas, Mamanúas, and Manguiánes.

These people are generally considered to be the aborigines of the Philippines, and perhaps at one time inhabited the entire group. The invasion of the Malays dispossessed them of the littoral, and of the principal river valleys, and the Spanish Conquest drove them gradually back into the mountains. It seems strange that these irreclaimable savages should be able from their eyries on Mount Mariveles to distinguish a great city with its Royal and Pontifical University and yet remain unconverted, uncivilised, and independent of all authority, just as they were before Legaspi arrived.

They are a race of negroid dwarfs of a sooty black colour, with woolly hair, which they wear short, strong jaws, thick lips, and broad flat noses. The men I have seen in the jungle near Porac and at Mariveles were about 4 feet 8 inches in height, and the women about a couple of inches shorter. The men only wore a cord round the waist with a cloth passed between their legs. The women wore a piece of cloth around the hips, and as ornaments some strings of beads round their necks. However, like many other [202]savages in the Philippines and elsewhere, those of them, both men and women, who are accustomed to traffic with the Christian natives, are possessed of clothes which they put on whenever they enter a village. Their appearance was not prepossessing; the skin of a savage is rarely in good order or free from some scaly eruption, and the stomach is commonly unduly distended from devouring large quantities of vegetable food of an innutritious character. Still they were not so unpleasing as might be supposed, for although their figures are not good according to our standards, nor are their muscles well developed, either on arms or legs, yet there was a litheness about them that gave promise of extreme agility and great speed in running. As a matter of fact, they do run fast, and climb trees in a surprising way. The Tagals and other Malays who go barefooted use their toes to pick up an object on the ground rather than stoop as a European would do, but the toes of the Negritos are more like fingers. They come near the Quadrumanes in this respect. The men carried bows, about five feet six inches long and a quiver full of iron-pointed arrows—also a wood-knife, or bolo, very roughly made. The former they make themselves; but the latter they obtain from the Tagals. I can confirm from my own experience a statement of various travellers, that they are fond of lying close to fires or in the warm ashes, for when I arrived at a bivouac of these people near Porac, their skins were covered with ashes, and I saw that they had recently arisen from their favourite lair, the prints of their forms being plainly visible. They had with them some wretched starveling dogs which assist them in the chase.

It would seem that the Negritos must be descended from a race which formerly extended over a vast area, for remains of them exist in Southern India, in the mountains of Ceylon, and in the Andaman Islands.

In the Malay Peninsula they are called Semang. From the description of them given by Hugh Clifford, in his interesting book, ‘In Court and Kampong,’ they appear to be identical with the Philippine Negritos. Crauford, in his ‘History of the Indian Archipelago,’ gives the measurement of a Negrito from the hills of Kêdah as four feet nine inches. Mr. F. V. Christian, in a paper recently read before the Royal Geographical Society, stated that he had found tombs of Negritos on Pónapé one of the Caroline group. [203]

The Negritos build no houses, and are nomadic, in the sense of moving about within a certain district. They live in groups of twenty or thirty under a chief or elder, and take his advice about camping and breaking up camp, which they do according to the seasons, the ripening of jungle fruit, movements of game, etc. They seem to have great reverence for their dead and for their burial-grounds, and apparently dislike going far away from these places where they suppose the souls of their ancestors are wandering. They bury their dead, placing with them food and weapons for their use, and erect a rough shelter over the graves.

It would be curious to learn the opinion of these poor savages on the proceedings of some learned Teuton, prowling around their graveyards in search of skulls and skeletons for the Berlin or Dresden Ethnographical Museum.

They have no tribal organisation and even make war on other groups, seeking victims for the death-vengeance. They are therefore unable to assemble in large numbers; nor is it easy to see how they could subsist if they did so. They put up rough sloping shelters against the sun and wind, consisting of a framework of saplings or canes, covered with coarse plaited mats of leaves which they carry with them when they move their camp.

In Pampanga and Bataan, they are occasionally guilty of cattle stealing, and even of murdering Christians, if a favourable opportunity presents itself. In such a case an expedition of the Cuadrilleros of the neighbouring towns is sent against them.

If they can be found, their bows and arrows are no match for the muskets of the Cuadrilleros, and some of them are sure to be killed. After a time peace is restored.

The trade for jungle produce is too profitable to the Christians for them to renounce it, whatever the authorities may order.

The Negritos do not cultivate the ground but subsist on jungle fruits and edible roots, their great luxury is the wild honey which they greedily devour, and they barter the wax with the Christians for rice and sweet potatoes. They also hunt the deer and wild pigs, and as Blumentritt says, they eat everything that crawls, runs, swims, or flies, if they can get it. They chew buyo like the Tagals and other Malays, and are inordinately fond of smoking.

They are said to hold the lighted end of their cigars in [204]their mouths, a thing I have seen done by the negroes on the Isthmus of Panama.

They appear to have no religion, but are very superstitious. They celebrate dances at the time of full moon, the women forming a ring and the men another ring outside them, something like a figure in the Kitchen Lancers. They move round to the sound of some rude musical instruments in opposite directions.

Whether this performance is intended as a mark of respect to the moon, or is merely held at the full for the convenience of the light, I cannot say.

Several travellers have stated that they sacrifice pigs when it thunders. As thunder-storms are very frequent and often of extraordinary violence in the Philippines, this custom would imply the possession of a large number of pigs on the part of the Negritos. Those of Mariveles and of the Zambales mountains do not appear to possess any domestic animals, except dogs, and they find it difficult to kill the wild pigs, active as they are. Consequently, I think this must apply to those Negrito tribes, such as the Balúgas and Dumágas, of whose condition I shall speak later. They are also said to offer up prayers to the rainbow. This offering can be made with greater ease than the sacrifice of a pig, but the frequency of rainbows at certain seasons will keep them pretty closely to their devotions.

Ratzel, ‘History of Mankind,’ vol. i., p. 471, says: Among the Negritos of Luzon, a fabulous beast with a horse’s head which lives in trees is venerated under the name of Balendik. And on p. 478: When killing an animal, the Negritos fling a piece heavenwards crying out at the same time, “This is for thee.”

They show great respect for old age, and the British War Office might learn something from them for they are reported to tend with love and care every old man of warlike repute.

Their language largely consists of curious clicks and grunts, and those of them who trade with the Christians usually learn enough of the local dialect to do the necessary bargaining.

There are some varieties of the Negritos who are more or less mixed up with the Malays, but their origin is not clear.

The Malay women are very unprejudiced, perhaps there [205]are no women on earth more ready to form temporary or permanent alliances with foreigners: they do not disdain even the Chinamen. They perhaps do not like them, but they know that John Chinaman makes a good husband, provides liberally for his family, and does not expect his wife to do any hard work.

By some writers the Malay women, notably the Visayas, are accused of unbounded sensuality (Anto. de Morga. Sucesos de Filipinas), but anyhow the Tagal women draw the line at Negritos, and will have nothing to do with them.

Fray Gaspar de San Agustin however thought that the Visaya women would not be so particular.

This being so, the hybrid races in Luzon must have sprung from the union of Remontados—that is to say, of Malays who took refuge in the hills either from a natural love for savage life, or as fugitives from justice—with the Negrito women.

Amongst these varieties are the Balúgas, who live in the eastern cordillera of Nueva Écija, in north and south Ilocos, and in the mountains of Tayabas. Some of these people have advanced a step in civilisation, they build huts and do a little rude cultivation.

The Dumágas, another hybrid race, occupy the eastern slopes of the Sierra Madre from the northern frontier of El Principe district to the Bay of Palanan, where the last Tagal village is situated, the Tagals thinly peopling the shores. But from Palanan to Punta Escarpada the whole coast is in the undisputed possession of the Dumágas.

The Dumágas keep up a friendly communication with the few Christian villages near them, and do a small trade with them. They even work on their lands and help in fishing for a small remuneration, generally paid in cotton cloth.

They have no known religion, they marry without ceremony, and are said to disregard the ties of kinship.

Those who live far from the Christian villages are said to be entirely brutal and devoid of all virtue, for they will sell their own children for a little rice. They are almost irreclaimable from their savage and independent character.

Some of these Dumágas live amongst the Irayas and the Catalangánes, two heathen and semi-independent tribes showing signs of Mongolian blood, who occupy a considerable [206]stretch of country in the province of Cagayan between the Rio Grande and the Sierra Madre, say about twenty geographical miles north and south of the 17th parallel. These Dumágas intermarry with the tribes they live amongst, and have adopted their dress, religion, and customs.

The Mamanúas, also a hybrid race, inhabit the mountains of the north-east promontory of Mindanao. They are few in number. There were, in 1887, four Jesuit mission stations amongst them, three of which are on Lake Mainit, or Sapongan, as it is called on some maps.

The Manguiánes, who are probably a hybrid Negrito-Visaya race, occupy almost the whole interior of Mindoro, up to within two leagues of the coast. There are a few in the mountains of Romblon and Tablas. There are three varieties of these people, those residing near the western coast are much whiter, with lighter hair and full beards.

Those living in the centre of the island are of a darker colour, have sloping foreheads and less intelligence, while those of the southern part, by their oblique eyes, aquiline noses and olive colour, show signs of Chinese blood.

They are docile and do not fly from civilised man. A primitive agriculture and the collection of jungle produce enables them to obtain from the Christians, in exchange, rice, knives, bells, gongs, tobacco, and buyo. They are not much advanced in religion, but are very superstitious. They believe that the spirits of their ancestors and relations never leave the places where they lived, but remain to protect their descendants and families. There is noted amongst these people a strong sense of morality and honesty, which unfortunately is not recognised by their Christian neighbours, who are accustomed to oppress them with the most exaggerated usury.

Since these words were written, Dean C. Worcester has published his book on the Philippines, and amply confirms these remarks. He saw a good deal of the Manguiánes, and bears testimony to their honesty and morality, and adds: “On the whole, after making somewhat extensive observations amongst the Philippine natives, I am inclined to formulate the law that their morals improve as the square of the distance from churches and other civilising influences.”

A Negrito from Negros Island.

A Negrito from Negros Island.

To face p. 207.

He gives some particulars of their laws, and of their ordeals, which are common to many of the Malays. There [207]are some Manguiánes in the Island of Palawan. They inhabit the mountains in the interior of the southern part of the island, and little is known about them, for the pirate races, or Mahometan Malays, who occupy the coasts, keep a strict watch to prevent their communicating with outsiders.

The few who have been seen by the Spaniards, are said to be industrious, and physically similar to the Tagbanuas. Their customs are said to be influenced by their constant intercourse with the Mahometans. They were thought to number about 4000 in 1887, by Don Felipe Canga Arguelles, the Governor of the Island. The Moors appear to oppress the Manguiánes of Palawan much as the Christian natives do the Manguiánes of Mindoro.

The illustration represents a Negrito from the Island of Negros, a very favourable specimen of his race. He wears the head-dress of a chief, and is armed with a bow and arrow of portentous length. His figure, though not muscular, gives promise of great agility.

The Negritos of Palawan are few in number, and resemble those of Mariveles. They use a piece of cloth, made of the inner bark of a tree as their only garment. They call this the Saligan. They inhabit the upper parts of the mountains between Babuyan and Barbacan, say from 10° to 10° 20′ N. latitude. They do a little agriculture in a primitive fashion. The men clear the land, the men and women together do the planting, and the women alone the reaping.

Their arms are bows and arrows, and the only education of the young is in archery, which is taught them by their mothers from their earliest infancy.

They are said to be generous, hospitable, and inoffensive, but extremely revengeful if they are ill-treated. They have no religion, but perform certain ceremonies from time to time. Canga-Arguelles computed them to number about 500 in 1887.

The only use the Negritos can be to the United States will be as a subject of study for the elucidation of problems in ethnography, and to furnish skeletons for the museums. [208]

Part I.

Luzon and Adjacent Islands.


Chapter XXIII.

Tagals (1).1

The most important race in the Archipelago is the Tagal, or Tagalog, inhabiting Central Luzon, including the following provinces:—

Batangas, Bulacan, Bataan, Camarines Norte, Cavite, Laguna, Manila, part of Nueva Écija and Tayabas, the districts of Infanta, Morong, and part of Principe, also the Island of Corregidor and the coast of Mindoro. They probably number about one million five hundred thousand souls.

Antonio de Morga, in his work ‘Sucesos de Philipinas,’ says (p. 126): “The women wear the báro and saya, and chains of gold upon their necks, also bracelets of the same. All classes are very clean in their persons and clothing, and of good carriage and graceful (de buen ayre y gracia”).

They are very careful of their hair, washing it with gogo and anointing it with ajonjoli oil2 perfumed with musk.

In the ‘Relacion de las Islas Philipinas,’ 1595 (?), the anonymous author said of the Tagals: “The people of this province are the best of all the Islands, more polite, and more truly our friends. They go more clothed than the others, the men as well as the women. They are light-coloured people of very good figures and faces, and like to put on many ornaments of gold, which they have in great abundance.”

A Manila Man.

A Manila Man.

A Manila Girl.

A Manila Girl.

In other respects, however, they seem, from the same author, to be less worthy of praise, for he goes on to tell us: When some principal man died, in vengeance of his [209]death they cut off many heads, with which they made many feasts and dances.... They had their houses full of wood and stone idols, which they called Tao-tao and Lichac, for temples they had none. And they said that when one of their parents or children died the soul entered into one of these idols, and for this they reverenced them and begged of them life, health, and riches. They called these idols anitos, and when they were ill they drew lots to find which of these had given them the illness, and then made great sacrifices and feasts to it.

They worshipped idols which were called Al Priapo Lacapati, Meilupa, but now, by the goodness of God, they are enlightened with the grace of the Divine Gospel and adore the living God in spirit.

The old writer then remarks on the cleverness and sharpness of the boys, and the ease with which they learned to read and write, sing, play, and dance.

This characteristic appears general to the Malay race, for, speaking of the Javanese, Crauford says: They have ears of remarkable delicacy for musical sounds, are readily taught to play upon any instrument the most difficult and complex airs.

According to Morga, at the time of the Conquest, the Tagals wrote their language in the Arabic character. He says: They write well in these Islands; most people both men and women, can write. This tends to show that the equality of the sexes, which I shall refer to later, has been customary from ancient times.

Tomas de Comyn (1810) says:

The population of the capital, in consequence of its continual communication with the Chinese and other Asiatics, with the sailors of different nations, with the soldiers, and with the Mexican convicts who are generally mulattoes, and who arrive in some number every year, has come to be a mixture of all the bloods and features, or otherwise a degeneration of the primitive race.

At Cainta, on a branch of the Pasig, the natives are darker, taller, and of a different type. This is accounted for by the fact that, in 1762–63, during the English invasion, a regiment of Madras Sepoys occupied the town for many months, long enough, in fact, to modify the native type to such an extent as to be plainly visible 125 years later.

Crauford says that some Christian inhabitants of Ternate followed their priests (Jesuits) to Luzon when the Spaniards [210]were driven out of Molucas by the Dutch in 1660. They were located in Marigondon. There is now a town called Ternate between Marigondon and the sea, near Punta Restinga. But, with the exception of the capital and these two places, I think the Tagals have not greatly altered in physical characteristics since the Conquest—notwithstanding Ratzel’s statement that “Spanish-Tagal half-breeds in the Philippines may be numbered by the hundred thousand,” which I consider erroneous.

The fact is, that wherever a small number of male Europeans live amongst a native race, the effect on the type is smaller than may be supposed, and what there is becomes obliterated or disseminated in course of time. Colour may be a little altered, but all the other characteristics remain. The mestizas are not so prolific as the native women, and notwithstanding Jagor’s assertion to the contrary, they often marry natives, and especially if their father has died while they were young. I knew in the town of Balayan three handsome sisters, daughters of a Spaniard who had died many years before. Although they lived in a house which had been at one time the finest in the town, and still retained some remnants of its former grandeur, they had reverted entirely to the native customs and dress. They spoke only Tagal, and all three of them married natives.

The tendency of the Philippine native to revert to old customs is well marked, and I agree with Jagor when he says: “Every Indian has an innate inclination to abandon the hamlets and retire into the solitude of the woods, or live isolated in the midst of his own fields,” in fact to Remontar.

The Tagals are considered by Wallace as the fourth great tribe of the Malay race. He only mentions the Tagals, but in fact the population of the Archipelago, except the Negritos and some hybrids, belongs to the Malay race, although slightly mixed with Chinese and Spanish blood in a few localities. They are here and there modified by mixture with other races, and everywhere by their environment, for they have been Roman Catholics and subject to Spanish influence, if not rule, for upwards of three centuries.

They differ little in physical appearance from the Malays proper inhabiting the Peninsula, and although their manners and customs are somewhat changed, their nature remains [211]the same. They retain all the inherent characteristics of the Malay.

The Tagal possesses a great deal of self-respect, and his demeanour is quiet and decorous. He is polite to others, and expects to be treated politely himself. He is averse to rowdiness or horse-play of any kind, and avoids giving offence.


Characteristics—Family Life.

For an inhabitant of the tropics he is fairly industrious, sometimes even very hard working.

Those who have seen him poling cascos against the stream of the Pasig will admit this.

He is a keen sportsman, and will readily put his money on his favourite horse or game-cock; he is also addicted to other forms of gambling. The position taken by women in a community is often considered as a test of the degree of civilisation it has attained. Measured by this standard, the Tagals come out well, for amongst them the wife exerts great influence in the family, and the husband rarely completes any important business without her concurrence.

Crauford considers the equality of the sexes to be general throughout the Indian Archipelago, more particularly in the Island of Celebes, where the inhabitants are the most warlike of all.

The Tagals treat their children with great kindness and forbearance, those who are well-off show much anxiety to secure a good education for their sons, and even for their daughters.

Parental authority extends to the latest period in life. I have seen a man of fifty years come as respectfully as a child to kiss the hands of his aged parents when the vesper bell sounded, and this notwithstanding the presence of several European visitors in the house.

Children, in return, show great respect to both parents, and come morning and evening to kiss their hands. I may remark that their manner of kissing is different to ours. They place the nose and lips against the cheek or hand of the person to be saluted, and draw in the breath strongly. [212]



The Malays in general are not, perhaps, a handsome race, their flat noses disfigure them in the eyes of the recently-arrived European or American, and it takes time to get accustomed to them.

Still, their rich brown skin often covers a symmetrical, lithe and agile figure, the small hands and feet denoting their Turanian origin.

The youth of both sexes up to the age of puberty are not seldom of striking beauty, and their appearance is not belied by their behaviour. They are trained in good manners from their earliest youth, both by precept and example.

Palgrave says of them: “Nowhere are family bonds closer drawn, family affections more enduring, than amongst the Malay races.... His family is a pleasing sight, much subordination and little restraint, unison in gradation, liberty not license. Orderly children, respected parents, women subject, but not suppressed, men ruling, but not despotic, reverence with kindness, obedience in affection, these form a lovable picture, nor by any means a rare one in the villages of the Eastern Isles.”

It may here be interesting to note the very contradictory opinions that have been expressed upon this subject.

John Foreman.

‘The Philippine Islands,’ p. 194.

“Home discipline and training of manners are quite ignored, even in the well-to-do families. Children are left without control, and allowed to do just as they please, hence they become ill-behaved and boorish.”

W. G. Palgrave.

‘Malay Life in the Philippines,’ p. 146.

“Children early trained by precept and example to good manners, show less disposition to noise and mischief than is ordinary elsewhere at their age.”

As will be seen in my text, my own experience rather confirms Palgrave’s opinion, and I should say that even the children of the peasantry would compare favourably both in manners and intelligence with the children at the Board Schools in London, and to say nothing of Glasgow or Liverpool.

Amongst the Tagals, it is customary when speaking of [213]or to a man to use the prefix Si—thus Si José, Mr. Joseph—whilst a woman is spoken of or to as Aling Maria, Miss Mary. The word Po is used for Sir. Thus: Óo-po—Yes, sir; Hindí-po—No, sir; Uala-po—There is none, sir; Mayroóm-po—There is some, sir.



The sense of personal dignity and self-respect, the dominant feeling in the Malay nature, is shown in the Tagals by a general cleanliness in their persons and clothing. They usually live near water, and nearly all of them can swim.

The heat of the climate makes bathing a pleasure, and as the temperature of the sea or river is commonly 83°F., a prolonged immersion causes no inconvenience.

On the morning of a feast-day the number of bathers is increased, and at the time of high tide, a very large proportion of the population seems to be in the water, both sexes and all ages mixing indiscriminately, the adults decently covered and all behaving themselves as decorously as the bathers at Brighton, Newport, or Atlantic City.

They have not yet arrived at that precise stage of civilisation that develops the Rough, the Larrikin, or the Hooligan. Palgrave says: A Malay may be a profligate, a gambler, a thief, a robber, or a murderer, he is never a cad.

Palgrave had not great opportunities of knowing the Tagals, but I confirm the above opinion, although I do not agree with the views on the future of the Philippines, and what is best for them, expressed in his fantastic and hyphen-infested verbiage, all seemingly written for effect.



The Tagal is extremely superstitious, and like his kinsman, the Dayak, he is a believer in omens, although he has not reduced them so completely to a system, and three centuries of Christianity have diverted his superstitions into other channels.

In his mind, each cave, each ravine, each mountain, each pool, each stream, has its guardian spirit, to offend or to startle which may be dangerous. These are the jinni of Southern Arabia and Socotra. [214]

The Balete tree (Ficus Urostigima—Sp.) corresponds to our Witch Elm, and certainly at night has a most uncanny appearance. Each of these great trees has its guardian spirit or Tic-balan.

Daring, indeed, would be the Indian who would pass such a tree, enter a cave, ascend a mountain, or plunge into a pool without bowing and uttering the Pasing tabi sa nono [By your leave, my Lord] that may appease the spirit’s wrath, just as the Bedouin of Dhofar cry, “Aleik Soubera—aleik soubera,” to propitiate the jinni.

His mental attitude in this respect reminds me of a story told me many years ago by a lady residing in Hampshire. A lady neighbour of hers inquired from her whether she taught her children to bow when the Devil’s name was mentioned. My informant replied in the negative, whereupon the lady remarked, “I do, I think it is safer.” This is the way with the Tagal, he bows because he thinks it is safer. If that prudent lady is still alive and may chance to read this, she may be pleased to learn that her opinion is shared by the whole Malay race.

Child-birth has its anxieties everywhere, and the more artificial the life the woman has led, the more she suffers at that critical time. The Tagal woman whose naturally supple frame has never been subjected to tight-lacing, nor compressed within a tailor-made costume, has a far easier time of it than her European sister, but superstition and quackery combine to terrify and ill-use her.

The Patianac, an evil spirit, profits by the occasion, and his great delight is to obstruct the birth, or to kill and devour the infant. The patianac might be busy elsewhere, but from the ridge-pole of the house a bird of ill-omen, the dreadful Tic-tic, raises a warning cry, for its office and delight is to call the attention of the evil spirit to the opportunity of doing mischief. Instantly every door and window is closed and every chink stopped to prevent its entrance, whilst the anxious father and his kinsmen, naked as they were born, walk around and underneath the house, slashing the air with sticks or bolos to frighten away the spirit. Sometimes a man will get up on the ridge-pole to drive away the Tic-tic.

Meanwhile, in the stifling room, it is too often the case that violent means are used to expedite the birth, so violent indeed, that they sometimes result in the permanent injury or in the death of the woman. [215]

Some years ago the Government instituted an examination for midwives, and only those were allowed the practice who had been properly instructed, so that these absurdities and cruelties are on the wane, except amongst the poorest or in outlying districts.

The Asúan is merely a cannibal ghost, but the Tagal ghost throws stones, a thing I have not heard of a ghost doing in Europe.

All sorts of stories are told about the Asúan, similar to ghost stories in other lands.

About 1891 a house in Malate was stoned night after night, and although every effort was made to find out the authors, they were never discovered, and the natives steadfastly believed it to be the doing of the Asúan.

There is another superstitious idea firmly rooted in the minds of the Tagals and other natives, of which the following is an instance: A villainous-looking native had been captured with some property stolen from my house, and was sent to the lock-up at the police station, from whence he promptly escaped, but was recaptured later. My coachman, a most meritorious servant who had been with me for years, assured me in an impressive manner, and with an air of conviction, that the culprit was one of those wizards who are able to pass through a keyhole by drawing themselves out into the thinness of a piece of string, and my other servants accepted this view implicitly.

The famous Tulisanes or bandits, thoroughly believe in the power of the Antin-Antin or amulet to render them invulnerable to bullets. It is, indeed, remarkable that notwithstanding the numbers of these criminals who have been shot by the Guardia Civil with their Antin-Antin upon them, this absurd belief should flourish, but there is no doubt it does. These charms consist of any sort of necromancers’ rubbish, or are sometimes writings in invocations, usually worn round the neck under the clothing.

The profession of the Roman Catholic religion has perhaps helped this superstition to linger on, for the wearing of scapularies is common, especially amongst the women. These articles are manufactured for the priests and some are sent out to Antipolo, to be blessed at the shrine of Nuestra Señora de Buen Viage y de la Paz, and sold to the pilgrims who crowd in thousands to this shrine in May of each year.

A Tagal woman sometimes wears as many as three of [216]these scapularies hung from silk threads round her neck and covered by her upper garment. They usually dispose two in front, where they conceive the danger is greatest, and one on the back, as a further precaution against an attack from the rear.

Wearing these holy amulets, and having crossed herself and uttered a prayer before coming downstairs in the morning, the Tagal wife or maid feels that she has done all she can, and that if any backsliding should occur, during the day, it will not be her fault.

She believes greatly in lucky or holy numbers—I heard the following story related by a native lady to a native priest when going to Batangas by steamer.

The lady was telling the priest of her husband’s illness (it appeared to have been congestion of the lungs), and she prepared and applied a poultice of three heads of garlic in honour of the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity; this not producing the desired effect, she then made a poultice of five heads of garlic, in honour of the Five Wounds of our Blessed Saviour, and successively others of seven heads, in honour of the Seven Pains of the Blessed Virgin; twelve heads in honour of the Twelve Apostles, and last of all a poultice of thirty-three heads of garlic in honour of the Thirty-three years our Blessed Saviour remained on earth. The priest had nodded approval as she went on, but as she stopped he said: “And then?” To which the lady replied, “Then he died.”

This poor man came off easily, for in some cases people who suffer from fits and other diseases are thought to be possessed by devils, and are severely beaten to drive out the evil spirit. The patient does not always escape with his life.

The women often dream of lucky numbers in the Manila Lottery and make every endeavour to purchase the number they have dreamt of.

Amongst the Christian superstitions may be mentioned the feast of San Pascual Bailón at Obando. Those who attend this function are commonly the rowdier class of inhabitants of the Capital, and they go mostly on foot, making music and dancing on the way. They also dance in the courtyard in front of the church, not forgetting to refresh themselves with strong drink in the meanwhile.

Tagal Girl wearing Scapulary.

Tagal Girl wearing Scapulary.

[To face p. 216.

This is not at all an edifying spectacle, for the dancers are covered with dust and with the perspiration from their [217]active exertions. I do not know the legend that gives occasion to this curious form of devotion. Occasionally, and especially during Holy Week, another form of penitence is practised by the natives. I remember, about 1892, seeing one of these penitents, a man having a mask on his face, the upper part of his body bare, and a long chain fastened to one ankle and dragging on the ground behind him. In one hand he bore a flagellum with which he from time to time lashed himself on the shoulders, which bore evident marks of the discipline they had received. A youth who followed him occasionally jerked the chain, throwing the penitent violently at full length upon the dusty road. This form of penitence is not approved, however, by the priests, for when I called on the parish priest, the same evening, I mentioned the circumstance to him, and he directed the penitent to be locked up, to stop what he rightly termed a scandal.

On many occasions the natives had got up a religious excitement, and great gatherings have taken place at some spot where a miraculous appearance of the Blessed Virgin, or some supernatural manifestation has been alleged to have occurred.

All these affairs have been somewhat sceptically inquired into by the priests under a general order to this effect issued by the archbishop, and so far as my experience goes, the excessive religious ardour of the natives has rather been checked than stimulated.

When writing about the Visayas I shall have more to say about misdirected religious zeal. The Tagals practise circumcision as a hygienic measure, and not as a religious rite. The operation is usually performed at the age of fourteen by a companion or friend of the patient, and a sharp flint or piece of volcanic glass (obsidian) is used for this purpose. From what I have heard, this custom is really maintained by the women, who refuse their favours to the uncircumcised of their own nation, though with foreigners they are more complaisant.



In cursing, the Tagal displays a directness quite worthy of the Anglo-Saxon. All his remarks are very much to the point, and would have earned the approval of the late lamented and reverend author of the Ingoldsby Legends. [218]Leaving out the world-wide reflections upon the virtues of an opponent’s female ancestry, since these appear to belong indiscriminately to all nations, the principal Tagal curses are as follows:—

  • 1. May an evil wind blow upon you.
  • 2. May the earth open and swallow you up.
  • 3. May the lightning strike you.
  • 4. May the alligator eat you.

The superiority of the Tagal style as compared with the French Mortbleu, Ventre bleu, must be apparent to all unprejudiced observers. The Tagal has drawn all his curses from the grand and awful operations of nature in his own country, except the last, where he invokes the dreaded saurian, the most fearsome inhabitant of the Philippine swamps, rivers, and coasts—formerly venerated by his ancestors and respectfully addressed by them as nono, or grandfather.

Under American guidance and example, I think the Tagals quite capable of developing a startling vocabulary of swear-words, and in course of time rivalling their instructors in profanity, with a touch of their old style to give a little local colour.



Courtship is sometimes a long business amongst the Tagals. It is still customary in the country districts for the impecunious candidate for matrimony to serve the father of the damsel he desires to wed for a period which may extend to a couple of years or more. He is called a Catipado, and is expected to make himself generally useful, and to take a hand in any labour that may be going on, sowing or reaping, mending the roof, or patching the canoe.

It is his privilege to assist the girl of his choice in her labours. The girls of a household are expected to husk the rice for the next day’s use. This is done in the cool of the evening, out of doors, a wooden mortar and long heavy pestle being used. It is a well-recognised occasion for the lover to assist and entertain his sweetheart.

Very pretty do the village maidens look, as, lightly clothed in almost diaphanous garments, they stand beside the mortars plying the pestle, alternately rising on tiptoe, [219]stretching the lithe figure to its full height and reach, then bending swiftly to give force to the blow.

No attitude could display to more advantage the symmetry of form which is the Tagal maiden’s heritage, and few sights are more pleasing than a group of these tawny damsels husking paddy midst chat and laughter, while a tropical full moon pours its effulgence on their glistening tresses and rounded arms.



But let us return to the Catipado. He must be very careful not to give cause of offence to the elders of the family, more especially towards the end of his term, as there may be a disposition amongst them to dismiss him, and take on another to begin a new term. In fact, many natives have shown themselves so unwilling to consent to their daughter’s marriage, when no sufficient reason could be given for their refusal, that the Governor-General, representing the Crown, is entrusted with a special power of granting the paternal consent in such cases.

No regular marriage can be celebrated whilst the girl is a minor, without the father’s consent.

When this is refused, and the patience of the lovers is exhausted, the girl leaves her father’s house and is deposited in the house of the fiscal, or churchwarden, under the care of his wife.

A petition on stamped paper is then prepared, reciting the circumstances; this goes to the parish priest and to the Gobernadorcillo, who require the father to state the grounds of his refusal. If they are satisfied that no good reason exists, the petition, with their approval noted on it, goes to the Governor-General, and in due time a notification appears in the official Gazette that the Governor-General has been pleased to overrule the father’s negative, and a license (on stamped paper also) for the marriage to be celebrated, is delivered to the priest. This procedure is very necessary, but it has the disadvantage of being slow and expensive, so that in some cases, instead of adopting this course, the youthful pair allow themselves some advances of the privileges of matrimony, and perhaps there arrives a time when the obdurate parent finds himself obliged to consent to legalise an accomplished fact to avoid an open scandal. [220]

The erring damsel, however, may think herself lucky if she escapes a fatherly correction laid on with no grudging hand, before the reluctant consent is granted.

The priest will of course require the youthful sinners to confess and do penance for their previousness before he will marry them.

The marriage ceremony is a very simple one, and usually takes place after early Mass. The priest fixes the fee according to the means of the party; it is often a substantial one. After the ceremony comes a Catapúsan or assembly, when the relatives and friends are entertained. There will be music, and unless the priest disapproves of dancing, that will be indulged in. The Augustinians mostly allow dancing, but the Dominicans often object to it as an immoral amusement.

The house will be hung with bright-coloured cloths and paper lanterns; the table loaded with refreshments, both light and heavy.


Wedding Feasts.

Roast pig is a standing dish at these feasts, the animal being roasted whole, on a spit over a fire made on the ground. A professional roaster superintends the operation, and the pig is brought to a fine even colour all over. Sometimes there are roast turkeys or roast mutton and kid, possibly beef cooked in various ways, surely fish of different kinds, fresh, salted, or smoked; the indispensable boiled rice or morisqueta, and an abundance of sweets, fruits in syrup, guava jelly, and Dutch cheese. There will be chocolate and perhaps coffee. As to drinks, besides some native brews, there will be Norwegian or German export beer, or Tennant’s beer in stone bottles, square-face gin, and Spanish red wine (Vino Tinto).

Unlimited Buyo, cigarettes and cigars are provided. All these things are hospitably pressed upon all comers, especially upon any European present. If his politeness prevents his refusing this miscellaneous assortment, unless he is favoured with the digestion of an ostrich, he will rue it next day, and perhaps for several days. The worthy priest is naturally in the place of honour, and like the wise man he mostly is, he perhaps brings, slung under his habit, or sends beforehand, a capacious leather bottle, with a [221]supply of generous wine direct from some convent vineyard on the peninsula, a pure natural wine, undefiled and unfortified by German industrial spirit. A tall and portly Augustine monk, in his spotless and ample white robes, presents a very imposing and apostolic appearance, and looks quite in his place at the head of the table. The host seldom sits down with his guests, but busies himself attending to their wants. [222]

1 The territory occupied by each tribe is shown on the general map of Mindanao by the number on this list.

2 Ajonjoli (Sesamun Indicum, L.). See Chap. XIX. for Gogo.


Chapter XXIV.

Tagals as Soldiers and Sailors.

The houses of the well-to-do natives are large and airy, and are kept scrupulously clean under the vigilant eye of the mistress.

Hospitality is a characteristic of the Tagal. According to his means he keeps open house on religious feast-days or on family festivals, and readily invites to his table at any time travellers who may be passing through the town. Having enjoyed their hospitality on many occasions, I can testify to their kindness and liberality. They placed at my disposal their riding-ponies, vehicles or canoes, and did all in their power to show me anything remarkable in their neighbourhood.

The Tagals make good soldiers, and can march long distances barefooted. Morga remarks how quickly they learned to use the arquebus or musket in the wars of the conquest. They gave proofs of their pluck and endurance when assisting the French in Tonquin. If well led they will advance regardless of danger; when once engaged they become frenzied and blood-thirsty, most difficult to restrain. They are not improved by being made to wear gloves, boots, helmets, and European uniforms.

In this they are not singular, for the Ceylon Rifle Regiment (a Malay corps) was utterly ruined, and never did any good after being put into boots and gloves by some narrow-minded martinet.

As sailors they are unsurpassed in the East. They navigate their schooners and lorchas with much skill, although the rigging and outfit is seldom kept in thorough good order unless they have a Spanish captain.

They serve both as sailors and firemen in the fine flotilla of coasting-steamers belonging to Manila, and they [223]manned all the smaller vessels of the Spanish Navy in the Philippines.

Most of the British and foreign steamers in the far East carry four Manila men as quarter-masters. They are considered to be the most skilful helmsmen. Their ability as mechanics is remarkable. They bear out entirely Morga’s description of them: “Of good talent for anything they undertake.”

They will, without any European supervision, heave down wooden sailing-vessels up to about 1000 tons, and repair the keel, or strip, caulk, and re-copper the bottom. I have often seen this done. They build from the excellent hard wood of the country, brigantines, schooners, lorchas, also cascos, and other craft for inland navigation and shallow waters. These latter vessels are most ingeniously contrived, and admirably adapted to the conditions under which they are to be used, and although not decked, carry their cargoes dry, and in good order, in the wettest weather. They make the most graceful canoes, and paddle or punt them with remarkable dexterity.

In Manila and Cavite are to be found a fair number of native engine-fitters, turners, smiths and boiler-makers.

There must be some 400 steam sugar-mills in the islands (besides 6000 cattle-mills). The engine-drivers and firemen are all natives, and mostly Tagals.

There are also in the capital large numbers of native house-carpenters, quarrymen, stone-masons, and some brick-layers and brick-makers.

Curiously enough, foundry work is not much done by Tagals, although when Legaspi arrived in Luzon he not only found cannon mounted at Manila, but there was a cannon-foundry there, and another at Tondo.

There are foundries at the latter place to this day belonging to Chinese half-castes, but church bells are more to their way now than cannon. They, however, cast small brass mortars with handles like quart pots, which are used for firing salutes at the feasts of the church. But I think most of the workmen were then, and are now, Chinese.

They make their own gunpowder, and fireworks of all kinds. They are inordinately fond of these, and get up very creditable displays. They are careless in handling them, and I was eye-witness of an explosion of fireworks during a water fête, on the passing in front of the governor’s palace at Malacañan, when a number of people were killed. [224]I never learned how many had perished, and the newspapers were forbidden to enlarge upon it.

Excellent carriages are built in Manila entirely by native labour, the carromatas, or two-wheeled vehicles used for travelling, being made in the suburbs, or in Malabon.

Carriage-building is an important trade, for an incredible number of vehicles of all sorts are used in Manila.

Of an evening, in the Luneta, some hundreds may be seen, and on one occasion, at the races of the Jockey Club in Santa Mesa, two thousand vehicles were reported to be present.

Painting and decorating is executed by Manila men in excellent style. This art was taught them by Alberoni, and other Italians. Their pupils have covered the walls of many buildings with frescoes in the Italian style, very fairly done. There is much scope for their art in decorating altars and shrines.

The Tagals also show some talent for sculpture, as any visitor to Manila can see for himself by inspecting the Jesuit Church, which is a marvel of patient artistic labour, having taken eleven years to construct. Some of the carving there, however, is so delicate and minutely detailed, that it appears more suitable for a show case in a museum than for the adornment of a place of worship. Of course, every detail of design is due to the Jesuits themselves, amongst whom talented men of every profession can be found.

As a fisherman, the Tagal excels, and the broad expanse of Manila Bay, some 700 square miles in area, gives ample scope for his ingenuity. He practises every kind of fishing Corrales de Pesca, or fish-stakes within the five-fathom line, casting nets and seines in the shallow water, huge sinking nets attached to bamboo shear-legs mounted on rafts in the estuaries, drift nets and line-fishing in the deeper parts of the bay.

From Tondo, from Parañaque, Las Piñas, Bacoor, and Cavite Viéjo, and from dozens of other villages, go hundreds of large canoes, crowded with men, and heaped up with nets, to fish near the San Nicolas Bank, or about Corregidor Island, and they often return with large catches. Some fish by night, with torch and spear; in fact, they seem to be quite at home at any kind of fishing.

The nets and sails of the canoes, and the clothes of the [225]fishermen, are all tanned by them with the bark of the camanchile tree.

The salting, drying, or smoking of the fish caught in the bay is quite an extensive business. The smoked sardines, or tinapá, are very tasty, as also the pickled mullet roes called Bagón de Lisa. But the small shrimps fermented in a jar, and brought to a particular stage of putrefaction,1 much appreciated by the natives, will not suit European or American tastes.

The vast Bay of Manila holds fish and mammals of all sorts and sizes, from small fry to that huge but harmless monster of the deep, Rhinodon tipicus, with a mouth like the opening of a hansom cab, scooping in jelly-fish by the bushel.

The péje-rey, like a smelt, the lenguádo, or sole, the lísa, or mullet, the bacóco, corbína, pámpano, and others whose names I have forgotten, are excellent. The oysters are good, but very small. Prawns are excellent, large and cheap. Crabs are good, but large ones are not plentiful. Clawless lobsters are caught amongst the rocks of Corregidor and Mariveles. The largest turtle I have ever seen was caught off Malabon. It can be seen in the Jesuits’ Museum, Manila.

Sharks of all sorts, enormous saw-fish,2 hideous devil-fish,3 and monstrous conger eels, as well as poisonous black and yellow sea-snakes, abound, so that the fisherman does not have everything his own way. Amongst these men are to be found some excellent divers. I have found them quite able to go down to the keel of a large ship and report whether any damage has been done. Where a sheet of copper has been torn off, they have nailed on a new sheet, getting in two or three nails every time they went down. I enquired from one of these men who had frequently dived for me, when a European diver with diving-gear could not be obtained, if he was not afraid of sharks? He answered, “No es hora del tiburon”—it is not the sharks’ time—and I found he considered that he was very fairly safe from the sharks between ten and four. Before ten and after four was a dangerous time, as the sharks were on the look-out for a meal. I cannot say that I should like to trust to this, especially as I have seen sharks about at other times, and one afternoon, in the bay, had to keep off a hammerheaded-shark [226]from coming near a British diver who was examining the rudder of a steamer, by firing at it from the stern. Some sharks are heavy and slow-moving creatures, but the hammer-headed kind are endowed with a surprising activity, and twist and turn like an eel.

My native diver informed me that he was much more afraid of the Manta than of any shark, and that once when he was diving for some purpose—I do not recollect when—at the bottom a shade fell on him, and, on looking up, he beheld an enormous manta right above him—in his words, “as big as a lighter.” However, it passed on, and he was able to regain the surface.

Perhaps the most remarkable talent possessed by the Tagal is his gift for instrumental music.

Each parish has its brass band supplied with European instruments, the musicians generally wearing a quasi-military uniform. If the village is a rich one, there is usually a string band as well. They play excellently, as do the military bands. Each infantry battalion had its band, whilst that of the Peninsular Artillery, of ninety performers, under a band-master holding the rank of lieutenant, was one of the finest bands I have ever heard. There were few countries where more music could be heard gratis than in the Philippines, and for private dances these bands could be hired at moderate rates.

The Tagal is also a good agriculturist. According to his lights, he cultivates paddy with great care. It is all raised in seed-plots, the soil of which is carefully prepared, and fenced about. The fields are ploughed and harrowed whilst covered with water, so that the surface is reduced to soft mud. When the ground is ready for planting, the whole population turns out, and, being supplied with the young shoots in bundles, of which tally is kept, proceed to plant each individual shoot of paddy by hand.

Ankle-deep in the soft mud of the paddy-fields stand long rows of bare-legged men, women and children, each in a stooping position, holding against the body with the left hand a large bundle of rice-plants, incessantly and rapidly seizing a shoot with the right hand, and plunging it into the black slime with the forefinger extended.

Carabao harnessed to native Plough—Ploughman, Village, and Church.

Carabao harnessed to native Plough—Ploughman, Village, and Church.

Paddy Field recently planted.

Paddy Field recently planted.

Hour after hour the patient toil goes on, and day after day, in all the glare of the burning sun, reflected and intensified from the surface of the black water, till the whole vast surface has been planted. The matandang-sa-naya, [227]or village elder, then announces how many millions of rice shoots have been put in. The labour is most exhausting, from the stooping position, which is obligatory, and because the eyes become inflamed from the reflection of the sun on the black water. As the paddy is planted during the rainy season, it often happens that the work is done under a tropical downpour instead of a blazing sun.

When driving along a road through paddy-fields in October, it seems incredible that every blade of that luxuriant crop has been transplanted by hand. Yet the people who do this are branded as lazy. I think that they are quite ready to work for a sufficient inducement. Whenever I had works to execute I never experienced any difficulty in obtaining men. I made it a rule to pay every man with my own hands every Saturday his full wages without deductions. On Monday morning, if I wanted 300 men, there would be 500 to pick and choose from. I should like to see some of their depreciators try an hour’s work planting paddy, or poling a casco up stream.

The undulating nature of the ground renders it necessary to divide paddy land into small plots of irregular outline at varying levels, divided from each other by ridges of earth called pilápiles, so as to retain the rain or irrigation water, allowing it to descend slowly from level to level till it reaches its outlet at the lowest point. The Tagals fully justify their Turanian origin by the skill and care which they show in irrigation. About Manila, the sacáte, or meadow-grass, which is the principal food of the thousands of ponies in the city, is cultivated on lands which are exactly at a level to be flooded by the spring-tides.

The mango-tree is carefully cultivated, and the fruit is, to some extent, forced by lighting fires of leaves and twigs under these trees every evening in the early part of the year to drive off insects, and give additional warmth.

In Batangas and La Luguna, and, to some extent, in Bulacan, the Tagals cultivate the sugar-cane successfully.

But where they really shine, where all their care is lavished, where nothing is too much trouble, is in the cultivation of the buyo (Piper betel). This is a climbing plant, and is grown on sticks like hops. There were many plantations of this near Pineda, which I frequently visited. It is grown in small fields, enclosed by hedges or by rows of trees to keep off the wind.

The soil is carefully prepared, and all weeds removed. [228]As the tendrils grow up, the sticks are placed for them. The plants are watered by hand, and leaf by leaf carefully examined every morning to remove all caterpillars or other insects. The plants are protected from the glare of the sun by mat-shades supported on bamboos.

The ripe leaves are gathered fresh every morning, and taken to market, where they find a ready sale at remunerative prices for chewing with the areca nut, and a pinch of slaked shell lime.

Whenever I have had Tagal hunters with me deer-shooting, I have been struck with their knowledge of the natural history of their locality. They thoroughly understood the habits of the game, and almost always foretold correctly the direction from which the deer would approach the guns.

They have names for every animal and bird, and for the different ages or conditions, or size of antlers, of the deer.

Even insects and reptiles are named by them; they could give details of their habits, and knew whether they were poisonous or dangerous.

They always showed themselves greatly interested in sport, and much appreciated a good shot. They spoke of a gun that killed well as a hot gun (baril maínit). If they were trusted with a gun they were very reluctant to spend a cartridge unless for a dead certainty. If two cartridges are given to a hunter, he will bring in two deer or pigs, otherwise he will apologise for wasting a cartridge, and explain how it happened.

Their usual way of taking game is to set strong nets of abaca in the woods in the form of a V, then the beaters and dogs drive the game towards the hunters, who are concealed near the apex, and who kill the deer or wild pigs with their lances whilst entangled in the nets.

I have found the Tagals very satisfactory as domestic servants, although not so hard-working as the Ilocanos. Some of them could clean glass or plate as well as an English butler, and could lay the table for a dinner party and ornament tastefully with flowers and ferns, folding the napkins like a Parisian waiter.

They could also write out the ménu (their orthography having been previously corrected), and serve the dinner and wines in due sequence without requiring any directions during the meal.

Paulino Morillo. A Tagal of Laguna, Butler to the author.

Paulino Morillo. A Tagal of Laguna, Butler to the author.

[To face p. 229.


Some of them remained in my service the whole time I was in the Philippines; one of them, Paulino Morillo, came to England with me in charge of my two sons, and afterwards made three voyages to Cuba with me. I gratefully acknowledge his faithful service. His portrait is appended.

I did not find them sufficiently punctual and regular as cooks, nor did they make their purchases in the market to as much advantage as the Chinese cooks, who never bid one against another to raise the price.

As clerks and store-keepers I found the Tagals honest, assiduous, and well-behaved. As draughtsmen they were fairly skilful in drawing from hand sketches, and excelled in copying or tracing, but were quite untrustworthy in taking out quantities and computing. Some of them could write beautiful headings, or design ornamental title-pages. I have by me some of their work that could not be done better even in Germany or France. But the more skilful they were the more irregular was their attendance, and the more they had learned the worse they behaved.

When doing business with the Tagals, I found that the elder men could be trusted. If I gave them credit, which was often the case, for one or two years, I could depend upon the money being paid when due, unless some calamity such as a flood or a conflagration had rendered it absolutely impossible for them to find the cash. In such a case (which seldom happened) they would advise me beforehand, and perhaps bring a portion of the money, giving a pagaré, bearing interest, for the remainder, and never by any possibility denying the debt. I never made a bad debt amongst them, and gladly testify to their punctilious honesty. This idea of the sacredness of an obligation seems to prevail amongst many of the Malay races, even among the pagan savages, as I had occasion to observe when I visited the Tagbanúas in Palawan (Paragua). They certainly did not learn this from the Spaniards.


The More Instruction the less Honesty.

When dealing with the younger men who had been educated in Manila, in Hong Kong, or even in Europe, I found that this idea had been eradicated from them, and that no sufficient sense of honour had been implanted in its stead.

In fact, I may say that, whilst the unlettered agriculturist, [230]with his old-fashioned dress, and quiet, dignified manner, inspired me with the respect due to an honest and worthy man, the feeling evolved from a discussion with the younger and educated men, dressed in European clothes, who had been pupils in the Atenéo Municipal, or in Santo Tomás, was less favourable, and it became evident to me that, although they might be more instructed than their fathers, they were morally below them. Either their moral training had been deficient, or their natures are not improved by education. I usually preferred to do business with them on a cash basis.


Unsuitable Training.

Dare I, at the tail-end of the nineteenth century, in the days of Board Schools, County Councils, conscientious objectors, and Hooligans, venture to recall to mind a saying of that grand old Conservative, the Peruvian Solomon, Tupac Inca Yupanqui? “Science should only be taught to those of generous blood, for the meaner sort are only puffed up, and rendered vain and arrogant by it. Neither should such mingle in the affairs of state, for by that means high offices are brought into disrepute.”4

That great monarch’s words exactly express my conclusions about the young Tagals and other natives.

To take a young native lad away from his parents, to place him in a corrupted capital like Manila, and to cram him with the intricacies of Spanish law, while there is probably, not in all those who surround him, one single honest and upright man he can look up to for guidance and example, is to deprive him of whatever principles of action he may once have possessed, whilst giving him no guide for his future conduct.

He acquires the European vices without the virtues; loses his native modesty and self-respect, and develops too often into a contemptible pica-pleito, or pettifogger, instead of becoming an honest farmer.

The more educated Tagals are fond of litigation, and with the assistance of native or half-caste lawyers will carry on the most frivolous and vexatious lawsuit with every artifice that cunning and utter unscrupulousness can suggest. The corrupt nature of the Spanish courts is a mainstay to [231]such people. Although they may be possessed of ample means litigants often obtain from the court permission to sue a foreigner in forma pauperis.

They are unscrupulous about evidence, and many will perjure themselves or bring false witnesses without shame. It is said that blank stamped paper of any year can be obtained for a sufficient price for the purpose of forging documents relating to the sale of land; as there are people who regularly keep it for this purpose.

The feeling of envy is strong within them, and any Spaniard or foreigner who appears to be succeeding in an industrial enterprise in the provinces, such as planting or mining, is sure, sooner or later, to be attacked by the pettifoggers or their men of straw, and he will be bled heavily when he comes before the courts, and perhaps have to go to the Court of Appeal or even to the Tribunal Suprémo in Madrid before he can obtain a verdict in his favour.

The credulity of the Tagal is remarkable; he has on occasion given way to outbursts of ferocity, involving death and destruction to numbers of innocent people.

In 1820, during an epidemic of cholera, he was led to believe that this strange sickness had been produced by the foreigners, who had poisoned the water. An indiscriminate massacre of foreigners was the consequence of this calumny, and but few escaped. The authorities, always prompt to repress uprisings against the Government, allowed time for the foreigners to be massacred before they interfered. It is not easy to say how many English, French, or Americans met their deaths at the hands of the populace, for such details are never allowed to be published.

I may say, however, that one should not be too hard on the Tagals for this crime, since at a much later date a massacre of priests occurred in Madrid, on account of a similar belief. It was started because a lad, the servant of a priest, was seen to throw some white powder into the Fuente Castellana. I have not at hand the details of this massacre, but the friars were slaughtered like pigs.

In the dreadful epidemic of cholera in 1882, the natives behaved very well, and I must give General Primo de Rivera credit for keeping strict order and promptly organising the construction of temporary hospitals, the inspection of every parish of the city, the conveyance of the sick to hospital, and the burial of the dead. It was done under military direction, and with the assistance of the [232]priests, the civil authorities, and the principal inhabitants. No disturbances occurred owing to the strong hand of the Governor-General, although some of the evil-disposed natives began to murmur about the doctors carrying about the disease.

The mortality was dreadful; I believe that some 30,000 people lost their lives in the city and province of Manila in three or four months. In order to nurse the sick and bury the vast number of dead, it was necessary to employ the convicts and prisoners. All these people behaved remarkably well, although many succumbed to the disease. The survivors were pardoned outright, or had their sentences reduced. If the Governor-General had shown signs of weakness, the horrors of 1820 might have been repeated.

To give a better idea of the credulity of the Tagals and other natives, I may say that in 1868 telegrams were received in Manila (viâ Hong Kong), which were made public in the islands, announcing the Spanish revolution of September, and the news, with stupendous exaggerations, reached the remotest villages and the most miserable huts. A general and indelible idea took possession of the minds of the natives that Revolution (they thought it was a new emperor or a great personage) had decreed that all were equal, that there should be no difference between Indians and Spaniards, that the latter had to return to Spain and Indians be substituted in all employments, and that the tribute would be greatly reduced. That there would be no conscription nor corvée (personal work), that the Pope would name several Indian bishops, and that the Spanish priests would return to the Peninsula. That a new captain-general would arrive who would marry a native lady, who would be made a princess, that their children would be kings and sovereigns of the Philippine Empire.

All this was confirmed by prophecies, by dreams, and revelations, and great miracles by the Virgin of Antipolo and of St. Joseph, and other patrons of the Indies, not omitting St. Peter, for whom the native clergy profess a profound veneration, and who is the patron saint of a brotherhood which has caused much trouble in the Philippines.

General Gándara, informed of all these absurdities by the friars, did not fail to appreciate the immense importance of the movement which, like the teachings of the so-called gods of Panay and Samar who collected thousands of followers, might produce a general insurrection. He therefore [233]took due precautions, and invited all the Spaniards in the Philippines, without distinction of party, in support of the Government constituted in Spain. There was, however, much agitation and much travelling to and fro amongst the native clergy and the pettifogging lawyers. It was, however, not till 1872 that the conspirators succeeded in producing the mutiny of Cavite, which was quickly suppressed, with much slaughter of the mutineers.

The chief amusement of the Tagal is cock-fighting. I shall not describe this well-known sport, but will remark that it provides no inconsiderable revenue. The right of building and running the cock-pits of each province is farmed out to Chinese or Chinese half-breeds, and no combats may take place except in these places. They are opened after Mass on Sundays and feast-days, and on some other days by special leave from the authorities. The love of this sport and the hope of gain is so general that the majority of the natives of Manila are breeders of game-cocks, which they tend with assiduous care, and artisans often carry their favourite birds to their work and tether them in the shade, where they can keep them in view. Horse-fights occasionally take place. The ponies of the Philippines, although not usually vicious to man, will fight savagely with each other, and inflict severe bites. I remember a case where two ponies harnessed to a victoria began fighting and a Guardia Civil attempted to separate them, when one of the ponies seized him by the thigh, lifted him off his feet, and shook him as a terrier might shake a rat; the flesh of the man’s thigh was torn away and the bone left bare. This dreadful wound caused his death. The occurrence took place in front of the church of Binondo in Manila. Bull fights have been an utter failure in Manila, although many attempts have been made to establish them. Flying kites is a great amusement with young and old in the early months of the year, when the N.E. monsoon blows. Fights are organised: the competing kites have crescent-shaped pieces of steel attached to the tails, and the competitor who can cut the string of his opponent’s kite by causing his own to swoop suddenly across it, is the winner. Betting on the result is common. The Tagals are also fond of the theatre, and some years ago there was a Tagal theatre in Binondo where comedies in that language were played. I have also met strolling players in the country towns. [234]

But of all kinds of shows a good circus is the one that fetches his last dollar out of the Tagal. Guiseppe Chiarini reaped a silver harvest in Manila on both occasions he pitched his tents there. His advance agent, Maya, a Chilian, paved the way for success, and the pompous announcement that Chiarini was born in the sacred city of Rome, greatly impressed the natives, who flocked in thousands to his circus. Chiarini considered himself able to tame the most vicious horse, and purchased a fine Manila pony that no one could manage. The beast, however, was not subdued by his powers, and, seizing the tamer’s cheek, bit off a large piece.

On feast days in the larger towns, open-air plays are sometimes given, and what with preparations, rehearsals, and performance, absorb the attention of a large number of the inhabitants for a couple of months. I witnessed a very notable performance of this kind some years ago at Balayan in the province of Batangas, the characters being played by the sons and daughters of the principal people there. The subject was taken from the ‘Wars of Grenada.’ In the first act we saw a Christian king and his court, also his only and peerless daughter. After these had had their say, an ambassador from the Moslem king was announced, and the king summoned his council to consider the communication. He took his seat upon the throne, with grey-bearded councillors on each side. The Moslem envoy, and his suite and escort, entered on horseback and very unnecessarily galloped about and gave an exhibition of their horsemanship. Then the envoy, still on horseback, harangued the king, and arrogantly demanded the hand of the beauteous princess for his master, threatening war to the knife in case of refusal. He then retired to his camp.

Next came the discussion of the demand which the grey-beards think it hopeless to resist. The Moslem envoy was sent for, and amid great grief the princess was about to be confided to his care, when there rushed in a young Christian warrior and his followers, who swore they would never allow a Christian princess to wed a Paynim, and dismissed the envoy with contumelious remarks. He retired vowing vengeance. All this occupied a long time, and I did not remain for the rest. I think it took two days to act. But from the volleys of musketry and firing of rockets and mortars which I heard, a sanguinary war must have been waged and many of the characters must have perished. [235]The play was acted in a more spirited way than usual; some of the male performers declaimed their parts with energy. Some were mounted on fine ponies, and were well got up and armed.

The girls’ dresses were rich, and they wore a great deal of jewellery. Some of the princesses were very handsome girls. There is a sort of a superstition that any girl performing in one of these pieces is sure to be married within a year. This makes them very ready to undertake a part, as they obtain an excellent opportunity to display their charms to advantage, and so help to fulfil the prediction. The play was witnessed by the mass of the population of Balayan and by numerous visitors from the neighbouring towns. It was considered a very successful performance, and it carried my memory over the wide Pacific to Peru, where I have seen similar plays acted by the country people in the Plaza of Huacho.


Tagal Literature.

Tagal literature does not amount to very much, and the policy of the Government of late years has been to teach Spanish as well as the native dialects in the schools. This did not meet the approval of the old school of priests; but many of the younger ones have accepted the Government view. In the Exhibition of the Philippines, Madrid, 1887, Don Vicente Barrantes showed twenty volumes of grammars and vocabularies of the Philippine dialects, and thirty-one volumes of popular native poetry, besides two volumes of native plays. The Reverend Father Raimundo Lozano exhibited twenty-eight volumes of religious works in the Visayas-Panayano dialect, and the Reverend Father Francisco Valdez a study of the roots of the Ilocan dialect in manuscript. Many works in the native dialects have been written by the Spanish priests, such as one by the Reverend Father Manuel Blanco, the learned author of the ‘Flora Filipina,’ of which I give the title and the first verse:—

Tagaloc verses to assist in dying well. “Manga dalit na Tagalog at pagtulong sa mamaluatay na tanang Cristiana.”

Manila, 1867, VIII., 62 pag 8o.

“Aba bumabasa baquin baga caya

Tila camuntima i nata cang bohala.”


I now give the title of a secular poem in English and Tagal, that the reader may compare the words and note the subject:—

Story of the life of the beauteous shepherdess Jacobina, a native of Moncada, who became the wife of the King, Policarpio de Villar, in the kingdom of Dalmatia, and bore a son named Villardo. “Salita at buhay nang marilang na pastora na si Jacobina tubo sa Villa Moncada Naguing asáua nang Policarpio de Villar sa cabarian nang Dalmacia nagga roon nang isang supligna anac ang pangaia i si Villardo.”

The poem begins—

“O maamong Ester mananalong Judit

Mariang linanag nitong sang daigdig.”

and concludes—

“Panang nang pupuri ang lahat nang cabig

Sa yanang inaguling ang tinamo i sangit.”

I do not think it is necessary to quote any more, as this gives the reader sufficient idea of the language.

There is much that is good in the Tagal, much to like and admire. Antonio de Morga, Sinibaldo de Mas, Tomás de Comyn, Paul de la Gironière, Jagor, Bowring, Palgrave, Foreman, Stevens, Worcester—all have some good to say of him, and with reason. But the piratical blood is strong in him yet. He requires restraint and guidance from those who have a higher standard for their actions than he has. Left to himself he would infallibly relapse into savagery. At the same time he will not be governed by brute force, and under oppression or contumelious treatment he would abandon the plains, retire to the mountains, and lead a predatory life. Although not just himself nor truthful, he can recognise and revere truth and justice in a master or governor. Courageous himself, only a courageous man can win his respect. He is grateful,5 and whoever can secure his reverence and gratitude will have no trouble in leading him.

I have testified to the Tagal’s excellence in many handicrafts and callings, yet I greatly doubt whether they have the mental and moral equipment for any of the professions. [237]I should not like to place my affairs in the hands of a Tagal lawyer, to trust my life in the hands of a Tagal doctor, nor to purchase an estate on the faith of a Tagal surveyor’s measurement.

I do not say that they are all untrustworthy, nor that they can never become fit for the higher callings, but they are not fit for them now, and it will take a long time, and a completely changed system of education, before they can become fit.

What they want are examples of a high type of honour and morality that they could look up to and strive to imitate. There are such men in America. Whether they will be sent to the Philippines is best known to Mr. McKinley. [238]

1 The Blachang of the Malays.

2 Pristiophoridæ.

3 Raiidæ.

4 ’Comentarios Réales.’ Garcilasso Inca de la Vega.

5 Some ridiculous person has stated in a magazine article that they have no word in Tagal equivalent to Thank you. This is not true, for the word Salamat is the exact equivalent.


Chapter XXV.

Pampangos (2).

The Pampangos are close neighbours of the Tagals. They inhabit the rich and fertile province of Pampanga and a large part of that of Tarlac. There are also some detached colonies of them in the towns of Bataán, Nueva Écija, Pangasinán, and Zambales. The population of Pampanga is given in the census of 1876 as 226,000. Allowing one-half the population of Tarlac to belong to this race, we have to add 41,000, and supposing one-tenth the population of Bataán, Nueva Écija, and Zambales, to be Pampangos, say 27,000, we get 294,000 as their number in 1876. Doubtless they have largely increased since then. The Pampangos speak a different language from the Tagals, yet they can understand each other to some extent. Many of the better class speak both languages. The Pampango does not greatly differ from the Tagal in appearance or character, but his environment and his occupations are different. He is not so much a sailor, a fisherman, or a mechanic. He excels in agriculture, is a good organiser of labour, rides well, is a good hunter, and makes a bold and determined soldier. Large numbers of this war-like race have fought under the Spanish flag against the Mahometan princes of the Moluccas, of Mindanao, and Sulu, as also against the British and the Dutch. Pampangos as Cultivators.

The towns of San Fernando, Guágua Bacolor, Mexico, Angeles, Candaba, and many others have been built up by Pampanga industry. They contain many fine houses, where the European traveller is sure of a hospitable reception.

The staple crop of Pampanga is sugar, and I shall [239]explain their organisation for its cultivation and manufacture.

In Luzon the land is usually cultivated under an arrangement known as Aparceria.

The conditions of Aparceria vary according to the locality, and to established custom, since on the land near a town a smaller share is given to the cultivator than on land near the forests, where if he were not satisfied he might commence to clear land for himself. Also the land near the towns is more valuable than that at a distance for various reasons.

The following is an example of the terms usual in Pampanga. The land-owner provides:

  • A. Cleared land ready for the plough.
  • B. Sugar-cane points for the first planting.
  • C. Sugar-mill, boiling-pans and the building for same.
  • D. Money advances to keep the cultivator and his family, and for taking off the crop.
  • E. Carts for carrying the cane to the mill.

The cultivator, or inquilino, provides:

  • 1. His labour and that of his family for ploughing, planting and cultivating the cane and fencing the plantations.
  • 2. The ploughs and implements of husbandry.
  • 3. The cattle (water buffaloes) for the above labours and for working the mill if it is a cattle mill.

The money advanced to the cultivator by the land-owner is charged 20 per cent. per annum interest.

For a daily task of 9 pilones from cattle-mills or 10 pilones from steam-mills there are employed:

2 Labourers to cut cane at 25 cents and food .50 cents.
1 Carter at 25 cents and food .25
2 Mill attendants at 25 cents and food .50
Sugar boiler and fireman at 25 cents and food .75
1 Megass carrier at 25 cents and food .25
Mexican dollars 2.25
Or 25 cents per pilon.



Sugar Crop.

The land-owner pays the men’s wages, and the cultivator gives them three meals a day and cigars.

The sugar-moulds (pilones) cost about 12½ cents each, and the cost is divided between the parties.

In making up the account, 6½ per cent. per annum is charged on the value of the land, machinery and building.

The molasses which drains from the sugar belongs to the land-owner.

These pilones are supposed to contain 140 lbs. of sugar when filled. They are placed upon a small pot to allow the molasses to drain off. When delivered their weight may be from 112 to 120 lbs. according to the time they have been draining. This sugar polarises about 80 per cent. according to circumstances and requires to be treated at the farderias in Manila to bring it up to an even sample before it is exported. The sugar loaves are cut up, sorted, crushed, mixed with other sugars, sun-dried, and a certain quantity of sand added before being put into bags for export as Manila Sugar, usually No. 7 or No. 9 Dutch standard. It will be seen from the above figures how moderate the expenses are. Of course each land-owner has a number of cultivators, and often a number of mills.

Notwithstanding the low price of sugar which has prevailed for many years, the provinces of Pampanga has made money out of it as the handsome houses of the land-owners in all their towns testify.

The sugar crop in Pampanga has never quite reached a million pilones, but has exceeded nine hundred thousand, say from fifty to sixty thousand English tons. The cane is crushed in small steam or cattle mills having three horizontal rollers.

These mills are mostly made in Glasgow and have now in Pampanga entirely superseded the Chinese mills with vertical rollers of granite or the native mills with vertical rollers of hard wood.1

A Farderia, or Sugar Drying and Packing Place.

A Farderia, or Sugar Drying and Packing Place.

[To face p. 240

In former years I pointed out, in a report written for General Jovellar, what a great advantage it would be to Pampanga if the planters would abandon the use of pilones [241]and make sugar suitable for direct export and so obviate the manipulation in the farderias at Manila.

They could make a sugar similar to that produced in Negros and known as Ilo-ilo.

Now that the Philippines have passed into the hands of the United States, I do not doubt that central sugar factories will be established and will turn out centrifugal sugars polarizing 96 per cent. similar to the Cuban sugar.


Pampangos as Fishermen.

There are some Pampanga fishermen on the River Betis, at San José, and amongst the labyrinth of creeks and mangrove swamps forming the north-western shores of Manila Bay.

Their avocation is not destitute of danger, for these swamps are the home of the alligator.2 Although they are not as large as some I have seen in the River Paraguay or on the River Dáule, in Ecuador, they are quite large enough to seize a horse or a man. I was once visiting Fr. Enrique Garcia, the parish priest of Macabébe, when a native woman came in and presented him with a dollar to say a Mass in thanksgiving for the escape of her husband from death that morning. She told us that he was pushing a shrimp-net in shallow water when the buaya seized him by the shoulder. The fisherman, however, called upon his patron saint, and putting out his utmost strength, with the aid of Saint Peter, succeeded in extricating himself from the reptile’s jaws and in beating him off. His shoulder, however, was badly lacerated by the alligator’s teeth. It was lucky for him that he was in shallow water, for the alligator usually holds its prey under water and drowns it.

The Pampangos also fish on the Rio Grande, the Rio Chico, and in the Pinag de Candaba. This latter is an extensive swampy plain, partly under cultivation in the dry season, partly laid out as fish-ponds.

The Nipa palm grows in abundance in the delta of the Bétis, and small colonies of half-savage people are settled on dry spots amongst these swamps engaged in collecting the juice or the leaves of this tree. The stems are punctured and the juice runs into small vessels made of cane. It is collected daily, poured into jars and carried in small canoes to the distillery where it is fermented and distilled. [242]

The distilleries are constructed in a very primitive manner, and are worked by Chinese or Chinese half-breeds.

The produce is called Vino de Nipa, and is retailed in the native stalls and restaurants.

The leaves are doubled and sewn with rattan strips upon a small piece of bamboo, they are taken to market upon a platform laid across the gunwales of two canoes. This arrangement is called bangcas mancornadas, canoes yoked together. The nipa is sold by the thousand, and serves to thatch the native houses anywhere, except in certain parts of Manila and other towns where its use is forbidden on account of the great danger of its taking fire.

From circumstances that have come under my own observation, I believe it to be a fact that when trade in nipa thatch is dull, the canoe-men set fire to the native houses in the suburbs of Manila to make a market. I have noticed more than once that houses have commenced to burn from the upper part of the thatched roof where they could not have caught fire accidentally. The Province of Pampanga extends to the westward, as far as the crests of the Zambales mountains, and the Cordillera of Mabanga is included within its boundaries. There is but little cultivated land beyond the town of Porac to the westward. Here the Pampangos trade with the Negritos, who inhabit the Zambales range, getting from them jungle produce in exchange for rice, tobacco, sugar, and other articles. Occasionally the Negritos steal cattle from the Pampangos or at times murder one of them if a good opportunity presents itself.


Pampangos as Hunters.

The natives of this part of the province are good wood-men and hunters.

In addition to taking game by nets and ambuscade, some of them hunt the deer on ponies which are trained to run at full speed after the game, up or down hill, and to get near enough for the rider to throw or use his lance.

Being at Porac in 1879 with the late Major Deare, 74th Highlanders (now 2nd Batt. Highland Light Infantry), an enthusiastic sportsman, we saw two men who had practised this sport for years, and were told that their arms, ribs, legs and collar-bones had been broken over and over [243]again. We saw them gallop down a rocky and precipitous descent after a deer at full speed.

We could only wonder that they were alive if that was a sample of their hunting. Their saddles were fitted with strong martingales and cruppers and with triple girths so that they could not shift. The saddles themselves were of the usual native pattern, like miniature Mexicans. The men were light weights.

N.B.—If any reader of this contemplates travelling in the Philippines, let him take a saddle with him. It should be as small as he could comfortably use, and light. The ponies are from twelve to thirteen hands high, but are remarkably strong and clever. I know from experience that a good one will carry fourteen stone over rough ground with safety.



Pampanga has produced some notable bandits or Tulisanes who have given the Spaniards much trouble. Of late years there has been a diminution in the number of crimes of violence, due in a great measure to the establishment of the Guardia Civil by General Gándara in 1867.

I once built a nipa house on the banks of the Rio Grande, near Macabébe, and resided there for several months, carrying on some works. I was new to the country and ignorant of the customs of the people.

There were no other Europeans in the vicinity, except the priests.

I took care to treat all my native neighbours with strict justice, neither infringing their rights, nor allowing them to impose on me.

There came to stay with me Mr. A. B. Whyte, then an employé, now a partner in one of the leading British firms in Manila, who frequently had ten thousand dollars in gold in his safe, and similar sums were remitted to him from Manila at different times for the purchase of sugar.

One day we received a visit from an officer of the Civil Guard who came to warn us that we were in danger of an attack, that his post was too far off for him to protect us, and that the locality bore a very bad name for crimes of violence. We thanked him for his visit and warning, entertained him to lunch, and informed him that we intended to remain, after which he returned to his post at [244]Apalit. On making inquiry we found that some of our immediate neighbours were well-known bandits, but were thought to have retired from business. However, they never attacked us, and probably prevented any other Tulisanes from doing so lest they should get the blame. But had I encroached on their land or treated them contemptuously, or had I allowed them to impose upon me, I do not doubt we should have been attacked and to say the least we might have found ourselves in a tight place.

A nipa house is no place to defend, for it can be burnt in a few minutes in the dry season, and a spear can be pushed through the sides, or up through the floor with ease.

In cases like this one cannot entirely depend upon the assistance of native servants, for they have sometimes joined with criminals to rob or murder their master.

There is a curious custom amongst bandits to invite an outsider to join them in a particular enterprise, and it is considered mean and as denoting a want of courage to refuse, even when a servant is invited to help rob or kill his master. Moreover, there is much danger in refusing to join the bandits, for it will give dire offence to them and perhaps have fatal consequences. This invitation is called a Convite [see Chap. V.].

The hereditary taint of piracy in the Malay blood, and the low moral standard prevailing in the Archipelago, as well as fear of the consequences of a refusal, render it more difficult than a stranger can realise for a native servant to resist such a temptation.


Pampanga Women.

The women in Pampanga are smart in appearance, clever in business, and good at a bargain, whether buying or selling. The men are well aware of this and when selling their produce or buying a sugar-mill, they like to have the assistance of their wives, who are always the hardest customers to deal with.

They are excellent sempstresses and good at embroidery. In some villages they make very durable silk handkerchiefs with coloured borders of blue, red or purple. Straw hats, mats, salacots, cigar and cigarette cases are also made by them. [245]

Their houses are kept clean, and the larger ones are well-suited for entertainments, as the sala and caida are very spacious, and have polished floors of narra, or some other hard close-grained wood very pleasant to dance on.

A ball at a big Pampanga house is a sight that will be remembered. Capitan Joaquin Arnédo Cruz of Sulípan, on the Rio Grande, a wealthy native sugar-planter, used to assemble in his fine house the principal people of the neighbourhood to meet royal or distinguished guests. One of his daughters is married to a distinguished lawyer, my friend Don Felipe Buencamino, author of the remarkable State paper addressed to the United States Senate, and published in the Congressional Record of January 9th, 1900, pp. 752–53–54. Capitan Joaquin possessed a magnificent porcelain table-service of two hundred pieces, specially made and marked with his monogram, sent him by a prince who had enjoyed his hospitality.

He gave a ball for the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, who afterwards declared that the room presented one of the most brilliant sights he had ever seen.

This from a son of an Emperor might seem an exaggeration, but brilliant is the only word that can describe the effect produced on the spectator by the bright costumes and sparkling jewellery of the women.

Their dress seems to exercise a fascination upon Europeans which the costume of any other eastern country fails to do.

Monsieur Paul de la Gironière, in his charming book, ‘Vingt Ans aux Philippines,’ says, about the Mestiza dress: “Nothing so charming, so coquet, so provocative as this costume which excites to the highest point the admiration of all strangers.”

He goes on to say that the women are well aware of this, and that on no account would they make a change. I will add my opinion that they are quite right, and may they ever stick to the saya, the báro, and the tapis under the Stars and Stripes, may they ever be as natural, as handsome and as prosperous as when the writer dwelt amongst them on the banks of the Rio Grande under the paternal rule of Alcalde Mayor Don José Fécéd y Temprado. [246]

1 The roller pinions in both Chinese and native mills are of hard wood.

2 Crocodilus Porosus.


Chapter XXVI.

Zambales (3).

The Zambales are a small and unimportant tribe of the Malay race, with some admixture of Negrito blood. They inhabit part of the province of Zambales from the River Nája down to South Felipe, a coast village in 15° N. latitude, and in their mountains there roam a good many Negritos. The Zambales are subjugated and converted to Christianity, but some still maintain a partial independence amongst the mountains, paying, however, the “Reconocimentio de Vassallaje.” At the time of the conquest, these people were famous head-hunters, and otherwise manifested a bloodthirsty disposition. They lived in villages of thirty to forty families, quite independent of each other, and their chiefs possessed but little influence. When one of a family died the surviving male relatives put on a black head-cloth or turban, which they durst not remove until one of them had killed some one else so as to satisfy the death vengeance. A murder could be atoned for by a payment in gold or in goods, or a slave or Negrito might be delivered up to be sacrificed to the manes of the departed. It was customary amongst them to take with them to their feasts the heads or skulls they possessed. The heads were placed on poles and ceremonial dances were performed around them. They also emulated the Vikings by making drinking cups out of their enemies’ skulls.

Their religion was similar to that of the Tagals. Their principal god was called Malayari, but he had under him two deputy gods, Acasi and Manglobag, and a large number of inferior gods. Their chief priest was called Bayoc, and exercised great influence amongst them. They celebrated baptism with the blood of a pig. Amongst them, as in Borneo and with many tribes of Malays who are not Mahometans, the pig is considered as the most acceptable [247]sacrifice to the gods. For particulars about this I refer the reader to ‘Life in the Forests of the Far East,’ by Spenser St. John.

Now, at last, they have been brought into the Christian fold, though, perhaps, amongst the pine-clad mountains, heathen customs maintain their hold upon the wild hillmen. These latter trade with their Christian and partly-civilised brethren, bringing them jungle produce, tobacco, and the small bezoar stones, so highly prized by the Chinese, in return for articles they require. The Zambales raise some rice and a little sugar. Their trade is inconsiderable, their exports being limited to Sapan wood, jungle produce, timber, fire-wood, and charcoal, all of which is shipped to Manila, where it finds a ready sale. The total population of this province was 94,551 in 1876, but only a portion of these were Zambales.


Pangasinanes (4).

The Pangasinanes inhabit the north-western part of the province of Pangasinan, and the northern part of the province of Zambales from the River Naja, which runs into the Bay of Bazol, round Cape Bolinao to Sual, including the Island of Cabarruyan and Santiago. But the southern and eastern part of their province is partly inhabited by Pampangos and Ilocanos.

On the other hand, there are some Pangasinanes scattered about the northern part of Nueva Écija amongst Tagals and Ilocanos, and there are a few as colonists in Benguet.

In former times the Pangasinanes occupied a wider extent of country. When Juan Salcedo arrived he found them occupying the southern part of La Union; but they have been and are still being pushed back by the more hard working and energetic Ilocanos.

As the limits of their province do not correspond to the ethnographical boundaries, it is not easy to estimate their numbers. I think there may be about 300,000 of them.

The Pangasinanes were subjugated by the Spaniards in 1572, and in 1576 they were all Christians. Their manners and customs are similar to those of the Pampangos and Tagals, but they have a rougher and more uncouth appearance. Their chief occupation is cultivating rice, and whenever this is the case the people are poor and little advanced [248]in civilisation. It is the lowest kind of agriculture any people can follow. The first sign of prosperity in an eastern people is given when they begin to import rice, as it shows that they have a more remunerative occupation to follow than cultivating it for themselves. Thus the Cagayanes who grow tobacco, the Pampangos who grow sugar, and the Vicols of Albay and neighbouring islands who grow hemp, all import rice.

Mr. J. W. Jamieson, the Acting British Consul at Sumao, in a report on the trade of Yunnan, issued the 7th of December, 1898, says: “Apart from minerals, the province possesses a few other resources and the inhabitants are lazy and unenterprising to a degree. So long as they can grow enough rice to feed themselves and procure enough cotton to make the few articles of clothing necessary in this equable climate, they are content.”

I am glad to find this confirmation of my views in this matter. Mr. Jamieson’s remarks apply to all the rice-growers I have seen.

The rice is raised in the delta of the Agno and about that river. Formerly, the Pangasinanes not only sent rice to Manila, but exported it to China, Siam, and Annan.

For this trade they built their own vessels at Lingayen, and in the flourishing period, some twenty-five years ago, their shipwrights used to turn out eight or ten schooners in a year, vessels able to carry 300 to 400 tons dead weight. Since the introduction of steamers into the coasting trade, the construction of sailing vessels has greatly diminished. Still, they turn out two or three a year.

In some parts of the province they make sugar, but it will not compare in quality with that made in Pampanga. It has a smaller grain and a paler colour, but less sweetening power. The average of thirty samples, taken as the sugar was ladled out of the tacho, was—

Crystallizable sugar 70.40 per cent.
Uncrystallizable 13.00
Ash 1.97

It is drained in pilones, or earthenware moulds; but, unlike the Pampanga custom, the moulds are not delivered with the sugar, but the leaf is wrapped in the dried sheaths of the palm, tied about with split rattan. Most of the sugar is sent by sea to Manila and exported to China for direct [249]consumption in one of the provinces where it finds a ready sale.

Indigo was formerly cultivated here and exported, and at one time a good deal of Sapan wood was also exported, but the trade in these articles has almost ceased.

Amongst the industries of Pangasinan may be mentioned the manufacture of hats, hundreds of thousands of which were made at Calasiao from grass or nito, and sent to Boston or New York. There are also at Calasiao, and in some other towns, blacksmiths who forge excellent bolos or wood-knives from the iron-bands taken off bales of cotton cloth or sacking.

Carromatas, the two-wheeled vehicles of the country, are constructed in Lingayen and Dagupan, and are said to be very well made.

I may mention here that the ponies raised in these provinces are inferior to the Ilocanos or even the Albay breed.

The sands of the River Agno near Rosales, and of the streams coming down from Mount Lagsig, are washed for gold, principally by women who obtain but a meagre return.

The civilisation of the Pangasinanes is only skin-deep, and one of their characteristics is a decided propensity to remontar, that is, to abandon their towns or villages and take to the mountains, out of reach of all authority. There are some great land-owners in Pangasinan; one of them, Don Rafael Sison, owns an estate that stretches from Calasiao and Santa Barbara to Urdaneta.


Ilocanos (5).

This hard-working and industrious race occupies the northern and western shores of Luzon, from Point Lacatacay on the 121st meridian, east from Greenwich, to San Fabian, on the Gulf of Lingayen. This includes the three provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union. The Ilocanos have also pushed into the north-eastern part of Pangasinan, where they occupy seven towns, and they inhabit the town of Alcalá in the province of Cagayan, several villages in Benguet, parts of the towns of Capas and O’Donnell in the provinces of Tarlac, and some towns in Zambales and Nueva Écija. They are all civilised and have been Christians for three centuries. Amongst them [250]dwell many converted Tinguianes and Igorrotes, who speak the Ilocan dialect.

Blumentritt attributes the energy and activity of the Ilocanos to an admixture, even though it be small, of these brave and hardy races. In dress and appearance they are similar to the Tagals, and like them carry the indispensable bolo. They cultivate tobacco, cotton, rice, maize, indigo, sugar-cane, and a little cacao and coffee. They also grow the pita (Agave Americana), which gives the fibre for the nipis textiles, ajonjoli (Sesamum indicum, L.), from which they extract oil, which is used in medicine and for the hair, and they even grow some wheat. They extract a black resin from the Antong (Canarum Pimela), which is used as incense or for making torches; another resin from the Bangad, which is used as a varnish, another from the Cajel (Citrus Aurantium), and many others used either in medicine, for torches, for varnishing, or for paying the seams of wooden vessels. They get gum from the Balete (Ficus Urostigma), and from the Lucban, or orange tree (Citrus decumana, L.), oil from the Palomaria (Calophyllum inophyllum, L.), and from a large number of other trees, some only known by the native name, and the use of which is uncertain. They obtain dyes from many trees growing wild in the forests, amongst others from the Tabungao (Jatropha Curcas, L.), the Lomboy (Eugenia Lambolana, Lam.), the sibucao (Coesalpinia Sappan, L.). Their cultivation of indigo is declining, partly because the demand has diminished in consequence of the introduction of chemical substitutes, and also because the Chinese, into whose hands the whole produce of these provinces found its way, adulterated it so abominably as to discredit it altogether. Yet so great is the facility of Ilocan territory for growing indigo, that Gregorio Sy Quia of Vigan exhibited in Madrid in 1887 no less than seventy-five different kinds of indigo, and seventy-five different seeds corresponding to the samples. At the same exhibition, no less than twenty-four different kinds of rice were exhibited from Ilocos, and this by no means exhausts the list. Every kind has a distinctive name. The textile industry flourishes amongst these industrious people. The Local Committee of Namagpacan, in the province of La Union, sent to Madrid for the above-mentioned exhibition, no less than 145 different textiles, whilst other towns sent looms and other implements. Amongst the articles woven are quilts, cotton blankets [251](the celebrated Mantos de Ilocos), napkins and towels, and a great variety of material for coats, trousers, women’s dresses and other uses. Guingon (called by sailors dungaree), a blue stuff for clothing, costs from $0.50 to $0.31, 2s. 8d. per vara (2 feet 9 inches), a mixture of cotton and silk, for men’s wear, $1.25 per vara, silk handkerchiefs $0.25 each.

The Ilocans also make nets for fish, and for deer and pigs; baskets of all sorts, salacots or hats.

They grow two kinds of cotton for textiles, the white and the Coyote. Another kind, a tree cotton from the Boboy (Eriodendron anfractuosum, D.C.), is only used for stuffing pillows. They extract oil from the seeds of all three kinds.

Like the other civilized natives they live principally on rice and fish, which they capture in large quantities. Blumentritt mentions two kinds, the “Ipon” and the “Dolon,” which they salt or pickle.

They have fine cattle, which they sell to the Igorrotes. It will be noted that the Tinguianes, on the other hand, sell cattle to the Ilocanos. The ponies of Ilocos are highly valued in Manila, where there is a great demand for them. They are smaller than the ponies of other provinces, but are very hardy and spirited, and go at a great pace. Tulisanes formerly infested these provinces and found a ready refuge in the mountains, when pursued by the cuadrilleros, or village constables, who were only armed with bolos, lances, and a few old muskets. But the creation of the Civil Guard, formed of picked officers and men, who were armed with Remingtons and revolvers, and whose orders were, “Do not hesitate to shoot,” made this business very dangerous, and the three provinces suffer little from brigandage. When Juan Salcedo conquered the Ilocos, he found a caste of nobles amongst them who possessed all the riches of the country, and treated the cailanes, or serfs, with great rigour. Their tyranny caused several bloody rebellions, and although at present matters in this respect have improved, there is still room for complaint that the people who do the work do not get a fair remuneration for it, the rich man always endeavouring to keep the poor man in permanent indebtedness. In consequence of this, the Ilocanos are ever ready to emigrate, and besides the places I have mentioned, there are thousands of them in Manila and other parts of the islands. They easily obtain employment [252]either as servants, cultivators, or labourers, for they are superior in stamina to most of the civilised races, and in industry superior to them all.

I have no doubt that there is a great future before this hardy, enterprising, and industrious people.


Ibanags or Cagayanes (6).

The Ibanags inhabit the Babuyanes and Batanes Islands and the northern coast of Luzon, from Point Lacaytacay to Punta Escarpada, and all the country comprised between the Rio Grande and the summits of the Sierra Madre as far south as Balasig.

They also hold the left bank of the river from the sea, right up to the confluence of the River Magat for an average width of some five miles.

They are said to be the finest race and the most valiant men in the islands, and to have manfully resisted the Spaniards.

However, they were conquered and converted to Christianity. From the year 1781 they have been subjected to the worst form of slavery, the forced cultivation of tobacco. The detestable abuses brought into this system by the unblushing rascality of the agents of the treasury, became, finally, so glaring, and the condition of the Ibanags so dreadful, that, in 1882, the Governor-General, Moriones (see Chapter “Spanish Government”), forced the hand of Cánovas and the royal family, who desired to sell the monopoly, and this horrible slavery ceased, having lasted over a century, going from bad to worse.

Since that date the condition of the Ibanags has greatly improved; they have continued the cultivation of tobacco, and private enterprise has done much to introduce the finest seed and to improve the cultivation and preparatory operations. The “Compañia Tabacalera de Filipinas,” a Franco-Catalan enterprise, has established the Haciendas of San Antonio, San Rafael, and Santa Isabel, in the district of Isabela.

They have built large warehouses in Tumaúini and have agents in all the principal towns.

On the river they have a stern-wheel steamer, the Antonio Lopez, and a number of steel-lighters for carrying down tobacco.

The tobacco is ready for transport in December and [253]January. It is sent down the river to Aparri, from whence it is shipped to Manila. In a normal dry season (February to August), the river is navigable for steamers of two feet draught up to Alcalá, the trade of which town is not important; but that of Tuguegárao is so, and up to that point the current is not strong.

Amongst the Ibanags the distinction of noble and plebeian has been as strongly marked as amongst the Tagals, Pampangos, and Ilocanos, and the intense cupidity of the nobles, or rather usurers, which name better describes them, has led to many bloody outbreaks on the part of the oppressed and enslaved debtors.

The government has steadily encouraged the Ilocanos and others to settle in Cagayan and plant tobacco, giving them free passages and advances of money in the days of the monopoly.

On the other hand, the discontent of the Ibanags has led them to migrate to other provinces when possible, for the authorities prevented them from doing so by force when they could. They especially endeavoured to get to Manila, and I remember many years ago the arrival of a starving and ragged band, who had tramped all the way from Isabela to Manila to escape from their cruel task-masters.

However, things are better with them now, and I hope means will be found under the Stars and Stripes to introduce a better system of finance, and to curb the greed of the usurer, either by legislation or by competition on a fair and humane basis. The Ibanag language is spreading greatly amongst the hill-tribes around them as a commercial language, just as Ilocano is spreading on the West Coast.

Under American influence an immense development of the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela may be expected in the near future, and the Ibanags will doubtless benefit by this. [254]


Chapter XXVII.

Igorrotes (7).

This is an important, and to me, the most interesting of the independent or partly subdued races of the Philippines. They are a fine, hardy, industrious, and warlike race, well worth a great and patient effort to bring them within the pale of Christianity, and to advance the civilisation they have already attained. They are of a dark bronze colour, with straight black and abundant hair, large dark eyes set rather obliquely as amongst Chinese. Their faces are broad with high cheek-bones, the nose aquiline and the head large. The features in general have a Mongolian cast, and a certain nasal twang in their speech resembles that of the Southern Chinese. The men have capacious chests, showing good lung-power, their muscles well developed indicating great strength and ability to resist fatigue. The women have also well-marked figures and rounded limbs. The fashions vary with different tribes, but it is common to find both sexes wearing their hair cut in a fringe over the forehead, but reaching down to the eyebrows, long enough at the sides to cover the ears, left long at the back of the head, where it is gathered up into a knot.

Igorrote Spearmen and Negrito Archer.

Igorrote Spearmen and Negrito Archer.

[To face p. 254.

The Igorrotes of Lepanto wear beards, some of them are as thick as a Spaniard’s, but the tribes farther South pull out, not only their beards, but all the hair on their bodies, except that of the head. Their dress varies from a mere apron (Bahaque) when at work in the fields, to an ornamental jacket very smartly cut and elaborate sword-belt when at war or on any full-dress occasion. These jackets are very handsome and have stripes of blue, crimson and white. They wear a variety of head-dresses, turban, Salacot or a kind of cocked-hat and feathers. Both men and women wear cloaks or plaids of bright colours made of cotton. Although the word Igorrote has come to be [255]almost a generic name for the heathen Highlanders of North Luzon, it is here limited to those who dwell on the Western part of the Cordillera Central, comprising the whole of the districts of Benguet and Lepanto, part of Bontoc and parts of the Provinces of La Union and Ilocos Sur. The sub-tribes Buriks and Busaos are included.

Tattooing is very general amongst them. In some districts you can hardly find a man or woman who has not a figure of the sun tattooed in blue on the back of the hand, for in Central Benguet they worship the sun. Some of them tattoo the breast and arms in patterns of straight and curved lines pricked in with a needle in indigo blue. The Busao Igorrotes, who live in the North of Lepanto, tattoo flowers on their arms, and in war-dress wear a cylindrical shako made of wood or plaited rattan, and large copper pendants in their ears. These people do not use the Talibon, and prefer the spear. The Burik Igorrotes tattoo the body in a curious manner, giving them the appearance of wearing a coat of mail. But this custom is probably now becoming obsolete, for at least those of the Igorrotes who live near the Christian natives are gradually adopting their dress and customs.

White is the colour of mourning, as amongst the Moros of Mindanao and Sulu. Both sexes are fond of personal ornaments, such as ear-rings, collars, arm-rings, bangles, leg-rings and belts. Collars of crocodiles’ teeth are highly esteemed. In the long list of their manufactures I shall enumerate their ornaments. Their arms are the talibon, a short double-edged sword; the gayang, a javelin or assegai; and the aligua, a light axe, having a spike at the back opposite to the cutting edge. After throwing their javelins, they rush on with their drawn swords, holding their shield, called a calata, on the left arm. This is made of light wood and is long and narrow. With the exception of the shape of the shield their equipment is much like that of the Roman Legionaries twenty centuries since. The aligua appears to be used, not as a fighting weapon, but to decapitate their fallen enemies and as a means of carrying the head home on a spike. Great rejoicings, with feasts and dances, were held after a successful skirmish, and large quantities of liquor consumed. But the constant pressure of the Spanish authority has in a great measure stopped these petty wars. They make a kind of beer called Basi by fermenting cane-juice, and another liquor, something like [256]the chicha of the Peruvian Coast Indians, from rice. This latter is called bundang. They are great smokers, and make their own pipes of various materials. They appear not to have universally adopted the Malay custom of chewing buyo. There is a settlement of Christian Igorrotes on the coast of Ilocos Sur, close to the boundary of La Union, which has been established many years. But in general the Igorrotes have steadily refused to embrace Christianity, and evidently do not want to go to the same heaven as the Spaniards. The behaviour of the troops led against them in 1881 by General Primo de Rivera doubtless confirmed them in this repugnance. The expedition did not do much in the way of fighting, Remingtons and mountain-guns failed to subdue the bold mountaineers armed only with javelin and sword. The Spanish officers and men, however, are reported to have abominably mishandled the Igorrote women. For this ravishing foray the late King Alfonso XII. bestowed the title of Vizconde de la Union upon Primo de Rivera, and showered promotions and crosses upon his staff.

The Igorrotes live in villages with a population of three or four hundred souls. There is a chief to each, but the villages are not organised into states, each being independent. The chief is supposed to be chosen from the families called Mainguel, who have distinguished themselves in war. As a matter of fact, the richest man usually becomes chief. The wealthy families vie with each other in the grand feasts which they give to all comers. The noble and the illustrious guests are personally invited to these feasts, but the common people assemble at beat of drum. The chief presides at the meeting of the Bacuanes or nobles in whom are vested the village lands, and who direct its affairs.

The common people are in a kind of bondage to the nobles, and cultivate their lands for them. In Lepanto they are called cailianes as in Ilocos. Their houses are square, and similar to those of the other natives in the outlying districts, being raised on posts above the ground-level. A framework of bamboos is supported on four trunks of trees, the roof is thatched with cogon (elephant grass) and the sides are closed in by canes, bamboos or pine planks. Each house stands in an enclosure of its own, strongly fenced with rough stones or posts. They are far inferior to the Christian natives in the arrangement [257]of their houses. Instead of having a separate kitchen on a pantalan or raised platform, the fire is made in the centre of the house, and the smoke finds its way out through a hole in the roof. The rafters and inside of the thatch is blackened by the soot. They make no windows to their houses and only a small door, the ladder to which is drawn up when they retire to rest. They are not clean in their persons, and neglect to wash their clothes, or clean the interiors of their houses. They thus compare very unfavourably with the Tagals as regards cleanliness, although, as we shall see, in some other respects they are greatly above them. Each village has its Town Hall, which they call the Balta-oa. This is where the Town Council assembles to settle the affairs of the community, to hear requests for divorces, and to administer the law to offenders. Public festivities also take place here.

They are monogamous, and have the highest respect for the holiness of the marriage tie. It is not absolutely indissoluble, but can be dissolved by the village council on serious grounds; but apparently divorce is systematically discouraged, and the sacredness of marriage is upheld. In former times adulteresses were punished by beheading, but more lenient views now prevail, and a good whipping is considered sufficient to meet the case. Generally death only dissolves the tie, and even then only partially, as re-marriage is difficult; for it is not proper for the widow to marry again without the consent of her late husband’s family, which may not easily be obtained, and if she contracts new ties, the children of her first marriage are removed from her control. On the other hand, Igorrote respectability requires that a widower should entirely neglect his toilet and commune silently with his grief for several years before taking to himself a new wife. Like most heathen, they show the greatest respect and affection for their parents, and cherish them to their life’s end.

In sharp contrast with the license accorded to young girls by the Tagals and Visayas, the Igorrotes carefully guard the chastity of their daughters, and do not allow them to go about without a chaperon. The father even often accompanies them on their excursions. When they arrive at the age of puberty, the boys and girls are separated.

In each village there are two special buildings not too near each other. In one of these the girls sleep under the watchful guard of a duenna, who looks after their morals, [258]and in the other the youths under the care of an elder. The youth caught violating the sanctity of the damsels’ dormitory, or the maiden who is detected in an intrigue, or shows signs of maternity, may expect a severe correction. They do not seem to raise as many difficulties about the marriage of their daughters as the Tagals do, and they do not make it a matter of a mercenary bargain. When a youth takes a fancy to a marriageable maiden of his own degree, he applies through his parents to the father of the girl, and if he and his daughter look with favour on the proposal, the young man is admitted to cohabit with the damsel. But if within a certain period the girl does not show signs of succession, the would-be bridegroom is sent about his business. On the other hand, if pregnancy is announced, the wedding takes place with all possible ceremony, including an invocation of the Anitos or ancestral gods, feasts and dances, which last eight or nine days, but the young couple are excused from attendance. The Igorrotes, in fact, openly recognise a custom which is practised to a great extent in the agricultural districts of England and Scotland, with this difference, that the Christian youth in the latter countries often evades the marriage, while the heathen Igorrote carries out his engagement. I think, on the whole, the heathen comes out best.

Although so desirous of offspring, they like to have them come one at a time, and they consider it to be an evil omen when one of their women brings forth twins. In such a case the last born is handed over to whoever desires to adopt it. This is held to avert the omen and straighten things out again.

Of late years the establishment of forts with the Tagal or Visayas garrisons in the Igorrote territory, and closer contact with Christians generally, have tended to demoralise the heathen, and, above all, to lower somewhat their lofty ideal of chastity.

Anitos of Northern Tribes.

Anitos of Northern Tribes.

[To face p. 258.

Anitos of the Igorrotes.

Anitos of the Igorrotes.

Coffin of an Igorrote Noble, with his Coronets and other Ornaments.

Coffin of an Igorrote Noble, with his Coronets and other Ornaments.

[To face p. 259.

Amongst the Igorrotes of Lepanto, and those farthest removed from Spanish influence, when a man of position dies, a notification is sent to all his blood-relations, even though they reside at a great distance, and the corpse is not buried until they have all arrived and have each taken the dead man’s hand in theirs, inquiring of him tenderly why he has abandoned his family. All this time a great feast is going on outside the house, vast quantities of rice and meat are provided and consumed, and an unlimited [259]allowance of beer drunk by the guests. The expense is often out of all proportion to the means of the family and perhaps involves them in debt for years.

In the Igorrote territory under Spanish influence this extravagance and delay of burial is discouraged. Some of the Igorrotes dry their dead over a fire in a similar way to the Tinguianes. The dead are buried in a sitting posture, after the manner of the Peruvian Indians, but enclosed in coffins, which are placed in any small cave or cleft in the rocks, enlarged by hand if necessary. The Igorrotes believe in a Supreme Being, the creator and preserver; he is called Apo in Benguet, and Lu-ma-oig in Lepanto. The wife of Apo is called Bangan, the daughter Bugan and the son Ubban. There are two inferior gods, Cabigat and Suyan, these deities hold intercourse with mankind through the Anitos or ancestral spirits, some good, some evil, who reward or chastise mankind in this life. They represent these spirits by roughly-carved idols of wood. Some of these idols are male and others female. Occasionally the carving is of an obscene nature, and similar to some clay images I have seen taken from tombs in Peru. They practise family prayer, and the object of it is to solicit the favour of the Anitos. Sometimes the will of the Anitos is declared through an old priestess called an Asitera, who receives a fee for her pains. The ancestral spirits are more worshipped than the gods. Poultry, swine, and dogs, may not be slaughtered except in a sacrificial manner. There is a priest in every village called the Manbunung who first consecrates the animal to the Anitos, and then kills it and returns it to the owner, reserving, however, the best piece for himself. In company with his first-born son he takes the lead at prayer-meetings, or on special occasions, such as illness, marriage, the commencing some important work, or averting some evil omen. This man makes some pretence at healing the sick, but rather with charms and incantations than by administering medicine. There is a sacred tree near each village, which is regarded as the seat of the Anitos. In the shade of this is a sacrificial stone. Sometimes near a house may been seen a small bench for the Anitos to repose on, and a dish of rice or other food for their refreshment. The Igorrotes believe that there are two places where the souls of the dead travel to. One is an agreeable residence provided with everything necessary to happiness, and is for the spirits of those who have died [260]a natural death. But if they have been evil-doers, such as robbers or murderers, and have escaped due punishment on earth, they are punished here by the other souls before being allowed to enjoy the advantages of the place. But the souls of brave warriors killed in battle, and of women who have died in child-birth, arrive at a much more desirable place, a real heaven, and reside amongst the gods.

Weapons of the Highlanders of Luzon.

Weapons of the Highlanders of Luzon.

[To face p. 261.

The Igorrotes of Cabugalan in Lepanto regard eels as the embodiment of their ancestors; they will not catch them or do them any harm, but feed them when opportunity offers. The Asiteras assist at feasts and make invocations and propose toasts which are drunk by the men present. The private or family feasts are called Bumaguil, being held in the giver’s house or courtyard, but public entertainments or feasts of the whole village are called Regnas, and are held in or in front of the Balta-oa or Town Hall. They are preceded and followed by songs and dances. The songs are inharmonious and monotonous. The dances vary with the localities. In one dance bowing to the beer-mugs is a feature. As amongst other Malay races, ordeals are in fashion to decide disputes. One consists in a priest or chief scratching the scalps of the disputants with a small iron fork. Whoever loses most blood during this operation has lost his case. The Igorrotes work hard at their agriculture, and their rice-farming is excellent. They plough the valleys with the aid of buffaloes and terrace the hillsides, which they cultivate by hand. They burn down the pine-forests to clear the hills. They irrigate where possible, carrying the canals over any ravine by means of rude aqueducts. They grow considerable quantities of tobacco,1 which is, however, of inferior quality. This they sell to the civilised natives, and it is exported. I suppose it goes to Hamburg to make German Havana cigars, just as conger eels go to Paris to make fillets of soles. They cultivate sweet potatoes, also the ordinary potatoes, which grow well, and although small, are much prized in Manila, and meet with a ready sale. The Igorrotes of Lepanto eagerly seek new seeds to plant. It is strange that an agricultural people like this should have little or no idea of breeding cattle, but instead of doing so, they purchase from the Ilocanos and others cattle, horses, and pigs for consumption, paying good prices for them. [261]They even buy dogs to eat. I have been assured by Mr. Ernest Heald, formerly British Vice-Consul at Sual, that he has often seen Igorrotes returning to the hills from Dagupan, leading strings of dogs, which they had purchased for food at prices varying from twenty-five to fifty cents, and that the dogs seemed to have an instinctive idea what they were being taken away for. The cooking of the Igorrotes is abominable, especially their way of cooking meat. It would not obtain the approval of Brillat Savarin. They seem to have no objection to eating it putrid, and their robust constitutions apparently prevent their suffering from ptomaine poisoning. The most remarkable characteristic of the Igorrotes is their skill as smiths, miners, and metallurgists. Their forges are not usually in their villages, but are hidden away in the forest; they use piston-blowers instead of bellows, and charcoal as fuel. Their lance-heads, swords, and other weapons are well shaped and of excellent quality. They worked the copper ores of Mancayen in Lepanto very successfully. From official documents it appears that from 1840 to 1855 they sold on an average each year about nineteen tons of copper, either in ingots or manufactured. Then a Spanish Company took up the work and ignominiously failed. Gold mining and washing was formerly a monopoly of the nobles, and the washing is so still to some extent. For centuries, and long before the Spanish conquest, the Igorrotes have brought down gold to trade with the coast natives. Such particulars as are known to me about Igorrote mining, smelting, and gold-washing, will be found under the headings Gold, Copper, Iron, in Chapter XVI.

I have added to this account of them a list of such of their manufactures as I have seen or could learn of, and in most instances I have given the Igorrote name. The Igorrotes have several dialects, so that the names of the various articles may vary according to the locality. Herewith a list of the dialects and the places where each is spoken, taken from Spanish official sources.

Dialect. Locality.
Benguetano. The greater part of Benguet.
Igorrote. Lepanto.
Igorrote del Abra. Five villages of Bontoc.
Igorrote de la Gran Cordillera. By the reduced Igorrotes and the independent tribes of the Caraballo.
Igorrote Suflin. In fifteen villages of that Cordillera.


Many of the Principales or head-men and others under Spanish influence speak and write Ilocano, which they find necessary for their trade with that people. More than twenty years ago there were seven schools in Lepanto regularly attended by five hundred and sixty-two children, of whom one hundred and ten could then read and write Spanish. No doubt by this time these schools have considerably increased.

I am much impressed by the great industry of these people and with the great skill they show in everything they undertake. It is therefore disappointing to read in Foreman’s book ‘The Philippine Islands,’ p. 213: “Like all the races of the Philippines, they are indolent to the greatest degree.” Foreman goes on to say, Polygamy seems to be permitted, murders are common, their huts are built bee-hive fashion, they keep a Dr. and Cr. account of heads with the Negritos. All this is probably in consequence of accepting idle stories as facts, and is nothing less than a libel on the Igorrotes. A people who believe in a Supreme Being, Creator of heaven and earth, in the immortality of the soul, in an upper and lower heaven, in punishment after death, if it has been evaded in life, who are strict monogamists, and who have a high belief in the sacredness of the marriage tie; a people who guard the chastity of their daughters as carefully as the British or the Americans; a people physically strong, brave, skilful, and industrious, have nothing in common with the wretches Foreman described under their name. These people live in the fairest and healthiest parts of Luzon, no fevers lurk amongst those pine-clad mountains, no sultry heats sap the vital powers. What an opportunity for a grand missionary enterprise! What a noble material to work on, every condition seems favourable. The very fact of their rejection of the form of Christianity presented to them, and their distrust of the Spaniards, may influence them in favour of some simpler doctrine. I shall feel well repaid for my labour in describing these people, if the truthful picture I have attempted to present of them should interest those who have the means and the will to inaugurate a new era, to help them along the Path. A perusal of what the old chroniclers say about them convinces me that they have done much themselves to improve their moral condition, and that many detestable customs, at all events attributed to them, have long since been relegated to oblivion. [263]

I now give a list of the Missions in the Igorrote and Tinguian territory that existed in 1892.

Missions in Tinguian and Igorrote Territory.


Province. Town. Population. Missionaries.
Rev. Father—
Abra Pidigan. 2,418 P. Ornia.
Bucay. 3,688 J. Lopez.
La Paz y San Gregorio. 2,802 P. Fernandez.
Villavieja. 1,912 M. Fonturbel.
Bangued. 8,702 A. Perez.
Tayum. 3,064 L. Vega.
Dolores. 2,522 F. Franco.
Lepanto Cervantes y Cayan. 2,200 A. Oyanguren.
Benguet La Trinidad y Galiano. 849 J. Garcia.
R. Rivera.

All the inhabitants of these towns and villages are Christians, and either they or their ancestors were baptised by missionaries of the Augustinian order.

Some Manufactures of the Igorrotes.

Native Name.
Say-ang Lance, for war or for killing deer.
Talibon Short double-edged sword.
Ligua, or Aligua Axe used for decapitating the fallen enemy.
Calaság or Caláta Long narrow wooden shields.
Bunneng Wood knife.
Sayac or Dayac Sharp bamboo spikes to be set in the paths.
Bows and arrows (the Igorrotes possess these, but are not skilful archers).
Gay-ang Javelins (favourite weapons of Igorrotes).
Alpilan or Sacupit Knapsacks.
Lagpi. Haversacks.
Rangán Saddle-bags.
Baot Whips.
Upit Pouch for medicine and antidote for snake bite.
Sac-dey Uniform or war jackets.
Bariques Chief’s sword belt.
Balques Ancient sword belts used by their ancestors are preserved as heirlooms in the family.
Tacoco Hat made of rattan for head-men.
Hat for married men.
Suebong Hat for bachelors, woven from cane.
Hat for women.
Sachong Hat for chiefs.
Calogón or catlocón Hat made of rattan and cane used by Christian Igorrotes.
Sarquet or Barguet Headcloth used by head-men.
Loc-bo Caps.
Olei or Ulás Cloaks or plaids.
Cobal Loin-cloth of bark or cotton.
Baag or Bahaque Aprons.
Palingay Aprons for women.
Atten Skirts used by head-men’s wives or daughters.
Tachun Waterproof hoods to cover the head and the load carried on the back, e.g., to keep tobacco dry in transit.
An-nanga Waterproof capes of Anajas leaves.
Ampaya, Samit Tapis, cloth worn by women round the hips.
Barique or canes Sashes.
Baquet Woman’s belt to hold up the tapis.
Bado Woman’s shirt.
Shirts made of the bark of the pacag.
Chacang A gold plate used by head-men or chiefs to cover their teeth at feasts or when they present themselves to Europeans of distinction.
Balangat A coronet of rattan.
Aponque Collar or necklace.
Apongont A coronet of scented wood (candaroma).
Onó Necklace of reeds and coloured seeds.
Bariques Necklace of vertebræ of snakes.[265]
Siquel Necklace made of seed of climbing plant called Bugayon.
Necklace made of white stones.
Necklace made of crocodiles’ teeth.
Necklace made of boars’ tusks.
Necklace made of mother-of-pearl.
Al-taque Coronet of polished mother-of-pearl.
Garin Bangles or bracelets of copper.
Bali Arm-rings, often of copper and gilt.
Baney Leg rings of nito and fibre, or of copper, used by men.
Arisud Ear-rings.
Tabin Ear-rings of copper, used by men.
Bit-jal or Bit-hal Bracelets of boars’ tusks.
Galaong or Galang Bracelets of mother-of-pearl.
Onon-ipit Necklace or collar of metal, having three pendants, the centre one being tweezers for pulling out hairs, the other two instruments for cleaning out the ears.
Household Goods.
Gui-pan Small knife for peeling roots and splitting cane.
Lodó Ladle of cocoa-nut shell for water.
Idas Wooden spoons.
Latoc Large wooden dish, with receptacles for sauce and salt.
Dalela Rice dish of copper.
Sagatan Strainer of cane and rattan.
Sarangos-án Funnel made of a cocoa-nut shell.
Labba Basket used for carrying provisions.
Pidasen Baskets for domestic use.
Alat or Minuiniata Small basket for collecting eggs.
Babaco Provision basket.
Bigao Basket for cleaning rice.
Opit-daguil Provision basket.
Opigán or Acuba-quigan Basket for keeping clothes in.
Cal-culven Cane basket blackened by smoke.
Tapil Small basket of cane.
Hugones Great baskets to hold rice.
Agabin Creels for carrying fish.
Apisang or Sacupif Large basket used for carrying tobacco on the back.
Sulpac Large bamboos for carrying water.
Tang-tang Calabashes for measuring or holding basi.
Ting-galon Goblet of plaited cane used at feasts for drinking basi.
Pambián Spinning wheels.
Paga-blang Looms.
La-labayán Apparatus for holding skeins of cotton.[266]
Qui-tan-gang Wooden drainer for the spoons or paddles used for stirring up the basi when brewing it.
Balai-ti-ado Rack to hold spoons.
Quil-lit Earthen cooking-pot.
Ongot Drinking-cup for water.
Soled Dish of plaited rattan for boiled camote (sweet potatoes).
Dapilag Dish of plaited rattan for boiled rice.
Personal Effects.
Palting Pouches for tobacco and gold.
Upit Tobacco pouch plaited of rattan.
Suput Purse made of cotton ornamented with copper wire.
Cuaco Pipes of wood, stone, clay, or metal.
Nupit Tobacco boxes.
Sacopit Carved walking sticks.
Tad Umbrellas.
Pamiguin Pneumatic tinder-box, or fire squirt.
Apit Pocket book of cane and rattan.
Dubong Deer-skin pouch used when travelling.
Quidatang Case with fittings for striking a light.
Sagay say Combs.
Tali Ropes of Alinao bark.
Sinal-lapid Ropes of Labtang bark.
Ratén Nets for taking deer and pigs.
Chi-ay Traps for taking jungle-fowl.
Anitos Images of the household gods.
Sipas Foot-balls of rattan.
Disig Humming tops.
Casabang Branch of a tree used to frighten away snakes.
Hammocks for sleeping or travelling.
Tugas Throne for a chief and his favourite.
Musical Instruments.
Sulibao or Culibao Large drum, played with one stick.
Quinibal Small drum held between the knees and played with two sticks.
Calalen or Bab-balasan Flutes played by single women.[267]
Cong-gala or Flutes (nose flutes) played by men.
Ganza Large flat gong held in right hand, and played with left, vibrations stopped with right elbow. If a human jaw-bone, taken from a dead enemy, is fitted as a handle, the value is enhanced.
Pinsac A small gong.
Bating-ting or Triangles made of iron.
Cingo-cingco Violin played by single men.
Guitar, the body made from cocoa-nut shell.
Palgong-bocancang Cane instrument played by the women going to and coming from their work. Holding it in the right hand, they cover the orifice with the index-finger, and strike the other end on the left hand.
Mining Tools, etc.
Native names unknown Crow-bars.
Outfit for gold washing.
Blowers for smiths’ forges.
Furnaces for smelting copper.
Igorrote Dresses and Ornaments, Water-Jar, Dripstones, Pipes, and Baskets.

Igorrote Dresses and Ornaments, Water-Jar, Dripstones, Pipes, and Baskets.

[To face p. 264.

Anitos, Highlands of Luzon.

Anitos, Highlands of Luzon.

Anito of the Igorrotes.

Anito of the Igorrotes.

Igorrote Drums.

Igorrote Drums.

[To face p. 266.


1 They sell about 25,000 bales per annum.


Chapter XXVIII.


Isinays (11).

A small tribe living in the northern part of Pangasinan, towards Mount Caraballo del Sur. They are now merged in the Pangasinanes, and have lost all distinctive customs.


Abacas (12).

A small tribe living about Caranglan in the South Caraballo. They were formerly fierce and warlike, but have been pacified and converted to Christianity. They had a separate language which has died out, and their customs are now those of the Christian natives.


Italones (13).

These people live in the south-west corner of Nueva Vizcaya, about the head-waters of the River Magat. They are numerous, and occupy many towns and villages, amongst them Bayombong, Dupax, Bambang, and Aritas. They were formerly warlike head-hunters, and are said to have devoured the hearts and brains of their slain enemies in order to inherit their courage and wisdom. This is a Chinese idea, and is even now practised in Canton, where pieces of the heart and liver of a particularly hardened and desperate criminal are retailed by the executioner at a high price for the above purpose. They wear their hair long like the Ilongotes. Their weapons were the lance, shield, or wood-knife, and in their customs and religion they resembled the Igorrotes. They were said to ornament the hilts of their swords with the teeth of their slain enemies. All these detestable customs have now disappeared; they have been converted to Christianity, and [269]now are peaceful agriculturists and hunters. Game and fish abound; a telegraph line runs through their territory with a station at Bayombong. This is part of the line from Manila to Aparri.


Ibilaos (14).

These savages inhabit the hilly country about the sources of the River Casepuan, which, according to D’Almonte’s map, is a tributary of the River Casiguran, which runs into the Bay of Baler; but, according to Olleros, is a tributary of the Rio Grande de Cagayan. However this may be, their habitat is on the borders of Nueva Écija and Nueva Vizcaya. Some of these people have been subjugated, but the others live a nomadic life in the mountain forests, and resemble the Negritos. Their pleasure is to lie in wait and shoot the passers-by with their arrows. Like the Italones they are said to ornament their weapons with the teeth of the slain, and, like them, wear their hair long. The independent Ibilaos live by the chase, and on jungle produce, and do no cultivation. They are small of stature and weak. It is possible that they are a hybrid Negrito Malay race. Their bloodthirsty propensities make them a curse to their neighbours.


Ilongotes (15).

The Ilongotes inhabit the rocky fastnesses of the range of mountains on the east coast, called the Caraballo de Baler, the whole length of the Distrito del Principe, the north-east corner of Nueva Vizcaya and a strip of the southern part of Isabela.

Their neighbours on the east are the Negritos, who live along the sea-shore. These people are also their neighbours on the north, where they inhabit the mountains.

On the west they have the Ifugaos in the northerly part of their boundary, and civilised Indians of mixed races in the southern part. Their nearest neighbours to the south are some scattered Tagals.

Blumentritt describes them from a photograph lent him by Dr. A. B. Meyer, as having eyes long and deeply sunk, upper lip and chin hairy, the hair long plaited in a tail, and often reaching the hips. A Spanish authority describes [270]them as similar to the other hillmen, but wearing long hair, and dirty and disagreeable in their aspect

Their dress is as primitive as that of the other savage races, the adult men wearing a band of beaten bark round the waist, the women wearing a tapis, and the children going quite naked. They wear rings or spirals of brass wire on their arms, necklaces, and other ornaments. But when the men have occasion to go into the Christian villages, they wear shirts and trousers. I have myself seen instances of this custom amongst the Tagbanúas in Palawan.

They are clever smiths and know how to temper their weapons. Their lances have different shaped heads, and the shafts are made of Palma Brava. Their swords are well-made and ornamented, and are carried in a wooden scabbard from a belt of webbing. This appears to be their favourite weapon. They never go unarmed, even for a few paces, and they sleep with their weapons beside them. Their shields are of light wood, carved, and painted red.

Their domestic life is not unlike that of the Christian natives, for they are not polygamists; they, however, are more careless and dirty. They purchase their wife from her parents. They subsist by hunting and fishing, and by cultivating rice, maize, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables. They grow tobacco, which they exchange for other goods with the Christian natives. They catch the wild carabaos in traps. They are ineradicably addicted to head-hunting, and wage a continual war with all their neighbours, but if an interval of peace occurs, they fight one family or clan against another, for they must have heads. The marriage ceremony cannot be completed till the bridegroom has presented the bride with some of these grisly trophies; heads of Christians for choice.

They signify war by placing arrows in the path and sprinkling blood upon it. Treaties of peace, or rather truces, are sometimes ratified by human sacrifices, and the ceremony of blood-brothership is practised.

They have few religious practices, although they believe in a Supreme Being, and in the ancestor-worship common to the country. The relatives assemble to celebrate a birth by a feast. On the fifth day a name is given to the infant. They take care of the sick and endeavour to cure them with herbs, to which they ascribe medicinal virtues. If the patient dies, the relatives devour everything in the house in [271]order to mitigate their grief, and they bury the corpse within twenty-four hours of death, placing some provisions upon the grave. From a statement in a Spanish official publication, the Ilongote dialect is spoken in two towns and twenty-two rancherias of Nueva Vizcaya, and in four rancherias in the district of Principe. This shows that at least on their western border they are now somewhat held in check. But the poor Negritos still have to suffer their incursions.


Mayoyaos and Silipanes (16).

These people are very numerous, and inhabit the north-west corner of Nueva Vizcaya, and the south-west corner of Isabela, between the Cordillera Central and the River Magat. For neighbours, they have on the east the Ifugaos, those deadly lasso-throwers; on the west, the Igorrotes are separated from them by the Cordillera; to the north they have the Gaddanes, and the Itetapanes, and to the south the Italones. In appearance, dress, arms and ornaments, they resemble the Igorrotes of Lepanto. The Ifugao language is spoken at the missions of Quiangan and Silipan, and in a large number of hamlets of these people. They were pacified and converted to Christianity about half a century ago, and are gradually improving in civilisation.


Ifugaos (17).

The Ifugaos, who bear a strong resemblance to the Japanese, inhabit a territory in central Nueva Vizcaya, and in the south of Isabela, mostly between the River Magat and the Rio Grande, but they have a great many hamlets on the left bank of the Magat. They cultivate rice, camote, and other crops, but prefer to live by robbery whenever possible. They are persistent head-hunters, frequently at war with the neighbouring tribes, or amongst themselves.

One notable peculiarity must be mentioned. Besides the lance, knife, and bow and arrows, they use the lasso, which they throw with great dexterity. Lurking near a trail, they cast the fatal coil over some unwary traveller, and promptly decapitate him, to add his skull to their collection, and decorate their hut.

It is their custom to wear as many rings in their ears as they have taken heads. [272]

Major Galvez, after a skirmish with these people, found the corpse of one of their warriors who wore thirty-two death-rings in his ears.

Their religion is said to be after the style of the Igorrotes, and some other hill-tribes of Luzon. Their chief god Cabunian had two sons, Sumabit and Cabigat, and two daughters, Buingan and Daunguen, who married amongst themselves, and from them the human race is descended. Ancestor-worship is also practised. The Spaniards built and garrisoned a chain of forts in the Ifugao territory to keep them in order, and of late years their murderous incursions have been kept in check. It would require an enquiry on the spot to say whether there is any prospect of this tribe becoming civilised, and converted to Christianity.


Gaddanes (18).

The Gaddanes occupy the north-east quarter of Saltan and Bondoc, and their territory stretches over into Isabela in a south-easterly direction to the River Magat, thus bordering on the five-mile strip of Ibanag territory on the left bank of the Rio Grande. The upper part of the Rio Chico runs through their Saltan territory, and the River Libug through their Isabela territory.

In appearance they are darker than any other of the hillmen of Luzon. They are not as well built as the Igorrotes. They have round eyes, and large, flat noses. They are very dirty. Their houses are built on lofty piles, and the ladder is drawn up at night, or in war time. They are partly converted to Christianity, and are of a milder disposition than their neighbours.


Itetapanes (19).

These people live in Bontoc, almost the centre of Northern Luzon. On the west they have the Busaos Igorrotes, on the east the Gaddanes, to the north-west they have the Guinanes, and to the south the Mayoyaos. They are more like the Gaddanes than any other neighbours, especially in the eyes and hair, yet in other respects they are something like the Negritos in appearance, and much more so in their dispositions and customs, for it has not been possible to civilise them. Their arms are the same as [273]the Busaos, and, like them, they wear a cylindrical shako, which they dye a brilliant red. They appear to be a hopeless race.


Guinanes (20).

These terrible neighbours of the peaceful Tinguianes inhabit both slopes of the Cordillera Central in Abra and Bontoc. They do not pass to the west of the River Abra, or its affluent, the Pusulguan.

On the south the Guinanes have the warlike Busaos, who are well able to defend themselves, and to retaliate on their aggressors. Consequently, the Tinguianes are the principal victims; in fact, some years back, they had no peace, and are not now free from danger.

The fame and respect enjoyed by a successful head-hunter is the great incentive to them to persevere in their sanguinary forays, which they conduct with the greatest cunning.

The return of the head-hunters to their village with their ghastly trophies is celebrated by prolonged and frantic orgies—feasting and drinking, singing war-songs, music and dancing. In fact, their rejoicings only differ in degree and intensity from those customary in Christian nations to celebrate the slaughter of their enemies.

So fond are the Guinanes of getting heads, that when not at war with other tribes they fight amongst themselves.

They are much like the Igorrotes, and, like them, are settled in towns and villages. They practise agriculture, and are excellent smiths, and forge specially good knives, which are much esteemed by the Busaos, and find a ready sale amongst them.

Little is known of their manners and customs, or of their numbers, since few travellers care to run the risk of having their skulls added to the collection of some connoisseur.

I cannot suggest any use this tribe could be to the United States, for I do not think the most enthusiastic or devoted missionary would hanker after being appointed to convert them, and even if such an one could be found, the probability of his success would be very small. [274]


Chapter XXIX.


Caláuas, or Itaves (21).

A small tribe, living in a strip of country stretching across the great loop formed by the Rio Chico de Cagayan just before it enters the Rio Grande. They are peaceful and industrious cultivators, and grow rice and excellent tobacco. In former days, when the State monopoly was in force, they used to smuggle this, and were attacked, and their plantations laid waste in consequence. But now they are able to trade freely, and must have become prosperous. Very little is known about them. The word Caláuas is also spelt Calaguas.


Camuangas and Bayabonanes (22).

These people live in the southern part of the province of Cagayan, say about 17° 30′ north latitude. On the north they have the Caláuas, or Calaguas, and on the south the Dadayags. D’Almonte’s map shows no hamlets in their territory, and the nearest visita is Gamuasan. Nothing is known about them, and Blumentritt considers it not improbable that they are a branch of the Dadayags.


Dadayags (23).

A small tribe living in the north-west comer of Isabela, not far from the left bank of the Rio Grande.


Nabayuganes (24).

These people, who have a language of their own, live in two long valleys extending from the Cordillera Central towards the east. According to D’Almonte’s map, these [275]parallel valleys lead down to the town of Malaneg, and in each of them there is a river. That in the northern valley is called the River Nabbuangan, and that in the southern valley the River Nabbuanguan. They join before reaching Malaneg, forming the River Nagalat, a tributary of the Rio Chico de Cagayan. Nothing is known of their religion or nature. On the north-east of the Nabayuganes live the Aripas.


Aripas (25).

This tribe inhabits the hills to the west of the junction of the Rio Grande and Rio Chico of Cagayan. They have the Apayaos on the west, the Ibanags on the east, the Calingas on the north, and the Ilanes on the south. They are peaceful, and partly converted to Christianity.


Calingas (26).

These people inhabit the mountains to the north of the Aripas. On their north and east they have the Ibanags, and on the west the Apayaos. They are supposed to have a good deal of Chinese blood in their veins. They are now peaceful, like the Aripas.


Tinguianes (27).

The Tinguianes inhabit the western half of the province of Abra, and their villages are thickly scattered about on the eastern slopes of the Ilocos mountains, and on the banks of the River Abra. They have also pushed their way to the extreme north-east corner of Abra, and they extend southwards and westwards along the coast as far as Punta Darigayos. Santiago is a Christian Tinguian town, and was founded in 1736.

The Tinguianes are of a peaceful disposition, and are gradually becoming civilised and converted to Christianity. In fact, of late years, the advance of the Spaniards has been considerable. It is only in the more remote parts of their territory that some of them retain their independence, and their ancient laws, beliefs and customs. The constant intercourse they have with the Ilocanos has resulted in spreading that dialect amongst them, whilst their own language is dying out.

In appearance the Tinguianes differ considerably from [276]the other mountain tribes of Luzon, being taller, and of a much lighter colour. Their noses are not flattened like those of the Malays, but are aquiline, and remind one of the features of the Cholos of the Peruvian coast. They are a cleanly people; the men wear turbans, jacket and trousers; the women belonging to their nobility have their garments beautifully embroidered. They wear arm-sheaths, and sometimes leg-sheaths, made of plaited fibre, and ornamented with beads, or with coloured stones, brought from the Batanes islands, which they purchase in Ilocos. They also wear necklaces of these stones, copper or silver ear-rings, and other trinkets.

Spanish writers consider these people to have a strong admixture of Chinese blood, and suppose it may be from a remnant of the pirates under Li-ma-hon, who were defeated by Juan Salcedo in 1574. The learned Blumentritt, however, dissents from this opinion, which he considers to be a modern invention, and gives Salcedo credit for doing his work very thoroughly, and not letting many of the pirates escape. He says that, although in dress and appearance the Tinguianes are very similar to the fishermen of the province of Fo-Kien, there are no Chinese words to be found in their dialect, and that consequently the intermixture of Chinese can only have been small. However this may be, the coast of Fo-Kien, which is opposite Formosa, is only about 500 miles from the Port of Vigan, the currents are favourable for the southerly voyage, and sailing craft can cross in either monsoon. Consequently, either as traders, fugitives, or castaways, Fo-Kien sailors or fishermen could easily have arrived on the coast.

The Tinguianes assiduously cultivate their land, and irrigate their rice-fields with some skill. They breed horses and cattle, which they sell in the markets of Ilocos, as well as jungle produce, wax, skins and gold-dust. They raft timber down the Abra River and make for sale various articles of wood, such as bateas, ladles and spoons, also they make mats and baskets.

Tinguianes, Aeta, and Igorrotes.

Tinguianes, Aeta, and Igorrotes.

[To face p. 276.

Their marriages are conducted in a similar manner to those of other tribes, the ceremony, whether Christian or heathen, being followed by the usual feasts and dancing, and music in the intervals of eating and drinking. Their instruments are drums, flutes and guitars. As usual, roast pig is the principal dish, the animal being roasted whole on a spit of cane. When the feast is over the newly-married [277]couple are conducted to their house by the principal chief or elder. A large mat being spread on the ground they lie down on it keeping at a distance of several feet from each other. A boy of six or eight years of age then lies down between them, and the elders retire leaving the trio together. The bride and bridegroom are forbidden to indulge in any caresses, nor even to speak to each other till the following day. The healthy life led by the women enables them to recover very rapidly after child-birth. In fact, they return to their usual avocations directly after the ceremony of purification, which consists of washing the newly-born infant in running water. Divorce among the heathen is merely a matter of paying a fine of some thirty dollars, in money or in kind, to the village chief or elder, or to the Goberna-doreillo, if the village is under Spanish rule. Divorce is not allowed amongst those who are converted, and this must be a great hindrance to their acceptance of Christianity.

They take little care of the sick, and when hope is given up the patient is left alone to die. The Peruvian Indians have a similar custom. Amongst the Serranos, when a sick person does not soon show signs of recovery, a family meeting is called, and a fixed sum is voted for his cure, say twelve or twenty reals. When this amount has been spent, the patient is removed from his couch and laid upon a hide on the ground outside the house. A child is posted to fan him and keep off the flies, and only water is given him till he dies.

The Tinguianes formerly buried their dead in pits dug under their houses, after subjecting the corpses to a baking or drying process, and on certain days in the year food was placed near the tombs for the souls of the dead to partake of. Those who are converted have of course to bury their dead in the cemetery, and to pay a fee to the priest.

They share the idea that seems to prevail amongst all Malays, that the soul is absent from the body during sleep, and that consequently it is dangerous and wicked to awake anybody suddenly. The most dreadful thing that can happen to anybody, therefore, is to die whilst sleeping, leaving his soul wandering about. Their most desperate curse is to wish that this may happen to an adversary. This seems to reach a higher level of cursing than the oaths of the Tagals which I have previously mentioned. The usual respect for ancestors is shown, and any weapons or [278]ornaments which have belonged to them are carefully preserved as valued heirlooms. The names of an ancestor must, however, on no account be pronounced by his descendants, so that if any necessity arises to answer a question which involves mentioning the name of one, a friend not related to the person enquired about must be called in to answer.

Monsieur de la Gironière visited these people, and describes them as men of good stature, slightly bronzed, with straight hair, regular profiles, and aquiline noses. The women truly beautiful and graceful. They appeared to him to resemble the people of the South of France, except for their costume and language. The men wore a belt and a sort of turban made from the bark of the fig-tree. Their arms consisted of a long lance, a small axe, called aligua, and a shield. The women wore a belt and a narrow apron which came down to their knees, their heads being ornamented with pearls, and grains of coral and gold were fixed amongst their hair. The upper parts of their hands were painted blue, and they wore plaited sheaths ornamented with beads on their fore-arms; these sheaths strongly compressed the fore-arm, being put on when the women were young, and they prevented the development of the fore-arm, whilst causing the wrists and hands to swell. This is a beauty amongst the Tinguianes as the little foot is amongst the Chinese.

They occupied seventeen villages, and each family had two habitations, one on the ground for use in the day, and one fixed on piles or on the summits of lofty trees, as much as sixty or eighty feet from the ground, where they sleep, to protect themselves from the nocturnal attacks of the Guinanes, their mortal and sanguinary enemies. From these lofty dwellings they threw down stones upon assailants. In the middle of each village there is a large shed which serves for meetings and public ceremonies. He further states that after an attack of the Guinanes had been repulsed from Laganguilan-y-Madalay by the Tinguianes he went to an assembly at that village and witnessed a ceremony in honour of the victory. The heads of the slain enemies were exhibited to the crowd, and various speeches were made. The skulls were then split open and the brains removed and given to some young girls, who worked them up with their hands in a quantity of basi or native beer. The compound was then served in cups to the chiefs, who [279]partook of it with every appearance of enjoyment, and was afterwards handed round to all the warriors in due order. M. de la Gironière and his Tagal servant also partook of this refreshment out of politeness to their hosts. The ceremony was followed by a dance and a smoking concert, during which copious libations of basi were consumed.

M. de la Gironière has omitted to mention how his hosts, after this drunken orgy, managed to regain their elevated sleeping quarters, sixty or eighty feet from the ground. One would think that the Tinguian coroner would have been busy the next morning. He, however, does tell us that, being unable to sleep, he got up in the night and looked about him, finding a well or pit, which he descended. At different levels in this shaft were short galleries or niches, and in each of these was a dried or mummified corpse. This shaft was sunk inside the house where he slept.

He learnt from the Tinguianes that they believed in the existence of the soul, that it leaves the body after death, but remains in the family. Also that they venerated any strange object, such as a rock or tree which resembled some animal. They would make a hut over or near it, and celebrate a feast, at which they sacrificed pigs; they afterwards danced and drunk basi, then burnt down the hut and retired. They had, he says, only one wife, but might have several concubines, who, however, did not inhabit the conjugal domicile, but each had a hut of her own. The riches of a Tinguian was demonstrated by the number of porcelain vases he possessed. According to M. de la Gironière, the Tinguianes mummified their dead by subjecting them to a long drying process. The body, propped up on a stool, was surrounded by braziers with charcoal or wood embers, and the moisture which exuded from it was wiped off by the women with cotton. When the body was well dried up it was kept above ground for fifteen days and then committed to the tomb. The neighbours and friends kept up the wake and pronounced eulogies on the defunct until they had consumed all the eatables and liquor in the house, when they took their departure.

These people must have very greatly increased in numbers, as the Spanish authority has extended its protection to them, checking the incursions of the Guinanes and other savages. It has been stated that in former years the Tinguianes were much sought after as recruits for the garrison of Manila. They do not appear to be a warlike [280]race, yet so fine a body of men ought to be able to supply a battalion of infantry for the native army which the United States will have to raise, for nobody can suppose that 25,000 young Americans can be permanently kept in garrison in the Archipelago. But this I discuss in another chapter.


Adangs (28).

According to D’Almonte’s map in the latitude of Pasuquin, Province of Ilocos Notre, the Cordillera del Norte bends to the eastward and throws out a spur to the north-west, forming a Y, and enclosing a considerable valley, through which runs a river called the Bate, Bucarog, or Arimit, which falls into the Bay of Bangui. This is the habitat of the Adangs, a small tribe, yet a nation, for their language has no resemblance to that of any of their neighbours. Their customs are nearer those of the Apayaos than any other. They are civilised and have been Christians for generations. Their chief town is Adan or Adam.


Apayaos (29).

This race was formerly very warlike, but is now more civilized, and many even converted to Christianity. They inhabit the mountainous region round about the River Apayao, on the east of the Cordillera del Norte and extend down towards the plains of the Rio Chico.

They pay some attention to agriculture, and besides growing vegetables and maize for their own use, they raise tobacco and cacao which they trade away to the Ilocanos in exchange for such articles as they require.

Their houses compare favourably with those of the other hill-tribes. They are raised to a considerable height, being square in form with heavy hardwood posts at the corners. The floor is made of cedar planks, the roof is thatched with cogon or reeds, and the walls and partitions are of plaited palm leaves. A fire-place is arranged in one corner. They ornament the walls with remarkable taste, hanging up the ornaments and arms of their ancestors, which they greatly prize and will not part with for any price.

They also highly value Chinese and Japanese pottery or porcelain. [281]

Needless to say that the worship of ancestors is with them piously performed.

They used to be head-hunters and made the death of any of their chief men an excuse to lie in ambush and massacre any inoffensive passers-by for the purpose of taking the heads to place round the corpse and afterwards bury them with it.

However, the steady pressure of the Spanish authority, during long terms of years, has nearly eradicated this detestable custom, and if practised at all, it is only in the remoter fastnesses of the mountains, where they cannot yet be controlled.

The Apayaos living in the plains are mostly reduced to obedience, and many pay the poll-tax.

It would seem that there is a prospect of these people being civilised and becoming useful cultivators.


Catalanganes and Irayas (30–31).

The Irayas live in scattered hamlets on the summits of the Sierra Madre, and on its western slopes right down to the Rio Grande. Their territory extends for about twenty geographical miles on each side of the 17th parallel. Amongst them live many Negritos who have renounced their nomadic life, and have adopted the manners and customs of their hosts. The tattooing of the Irayas and Negritos is similar. The Irayas are a Malay tribe amongst whom are found individuals of a Mongolian type, others are hybrid Negrito Malays.

They do a little slovenly agriculture, using buffaloes for ploughing. They catch an abundance of fish from the four considerable streams running through their territory. They consume a large quantity of fish with their rice, and salt and sell the surplus to their neighbours. They are characteristically light-hearted and hospitable, and readily receive remontados and other strangers. Their religion is the usual Anito worship. They build wretched houses, and are very dirty in their habits, throwing their refuse down in front of the house.

The Catalanganes take their name from the River Catalangan which runs into the Rio Grande near Ilagan. They are a branch of the Irayas, but show a more strongly marked Mongolian type. [282]

They are cleaner than the Irayas, and more industrious, and provident, storing up provisions against a bad harvest.

Their fields are much better kept than those of the Irayas, and they employ their spare time in felling trees and hewing them into canoes, which find a ready sale at Ilagan.

They dress much like the Christian Malays, but are tattooed in patterns of Chinese or Japanese origin.

Their laws prescribe severe penalties for theft and other crimes. Their weapons are bows and arrows, and they are said to be very cowardly. Their choice of weapons confirms this statement.

They differ much from the Irayas in character, for they are inhospitable, avaricious and greedy, and of a gloomy disposition. On the other hand, they keep their houses cleaner.

They have temples for worship, and some roughly-made monuments. According to Semper, they have two pairs of gods which they specially worship in June: Tschichenan, with his wife Bebenaugan, and Sialo with his wife Binalinga. The usual ancestor-worship also prevails, and they show great respect for the Anitos according to seniority, providing special shelters and little benches near their houses for their convenience.

Both Irayas and Catalanganes have Gobernadorcillos appointed by the Spanish Military Governor of Isabela. They pay the poll-tax, called by the Spaniards “Acknowledgment of Vassalage,” but are otherwise independent and administer their own laws and customs. They are quite peaceful, and will doubtless in time advance in civilisation. [283]


Chapter XXX.


Catubanganes (32).

A tribe of savages inhabiting the mountains of Guinayangan in Tayabas, from whence they raid the Christian villages and drive off cattle. Nothing is known about their origin or habits; they have some wandering Negritos as neighbours.


Vicols (33).

The Vicols inhabit the southern half of the province of Camarines Norte, the whole of Camarines Sur and Albay, the islands of Catanduanes, Burias, and Ticao, and the northern shores of Masbate. They are civilised, and have been Christians for centuries.

They speak a dialect of their own, which, according to Jagor, is midway between Tagal and Visay, which dialect is spoken in its greatest purity by the inhabitants of the Isarog volcano and its immediate neighbourhood, and that thence towards the west the dialect becomes more and more like the Tagal, and towards the east like the Visay until by degrees, before reaching the ethnographical boundary, it merges into those kindred languages.

In manners and customs they appear to be half-bred between these two races, yet, according to F. Blumentritt, they preceded the Tagals, and were in fact the first Malays to arrive in Luzon. They show signs of intermixture with Polynesian or Papuan stock.

They are physically inferior to the Tagals, nor do they possess the proud warlike spirit of the dwellers in north Luzon. They are less cleanly, and live in poorer houses.

The men dress like the Tagals, but the women wear the patadion instead of a saya, and a shirt of guinára.

Blumentritt says the men carry the Malay kris instead [284]of the bolo, but I did not see a kris carried by any one when I visited the province.

In fact, the regulations enforced at that time by the Guardia Civil were against carrying such a weapon. The bolo, on the other hand, is a necessary tool.

I visited the province of Camarines Sur, going from Manila to Pasacao by sea, and from there travelled by road to an affluent of the River Vicol, and then by canoe on a moonlit night to Nueva Cáceres, the capital of the province.

Here I met a remarkable man, the late Bishop Gainza, and was much impressed by his keen intellect and great knowledge of the country.

He was said to be a man of great ambition, and I can quite believe it. Originally a Dominican monk, it was intended that he should have been made Archbishop of Manila, but, somehow, Father Pedro Paya, at that time Procurator of the Order in Madrid, got himself nominated instead, and Gainza had to content himself with the bishopric of Nueva Cáceres.

He was a model of self-denial, living most frugally on a small part of his revenue, contributing a thousand dollars a year to the funds of the Holy Father, and spending the remainder in building or repairing churches and schools in his diocese, or in assisting undertakings he thought likely to benefit the province.

Amongst other works, I remember that he had tried to cut a canal from the River Vicol to the Bay of Ragay. He had excavated a portion of it, but either on his death, or from the difficulties raised by the Public Works Department, the work was abandoned.

The Franciscan friars, who held the benefices in that province, opposed him, and annoyed him in every possible way.

The present bishop, Father Arsenio Ocampo, formerly an Augustinian monk, is a clever and enlightened man, with whom I had dealings when he was Procurator-General of his Order.

I have made this digression from my subject, because so much has been said against the clergy of the Philippines, that I feel impelled to bring before my readers this instance of a bishop who constantly endeavoured to promote the interests of his province.

Nueva Cáceres possessed several schools, a hospital, a [285]lepers’ hospital, and a training-college for school-mistresses had just been established by Bishop Gainza’s initiative.

The shops were mostly in the hands of Chinese, who did a flourishing trade in Manchester goods, patadoins, and coloured handkerchiefs.

There were several Spanish and Mestizo merchants who dealt in hemp and rice.

From Nueva Cáceres I travelled by a good road to Iriga, a town near the volcano of that name, passing close to the Isarog on my way. From Iriga I visited the country round about, and Lake Bula.

Some years after I went from Manila by sea to Tabaco, on the Pacific coast of Albay, getting a fine night view of the Mayon volcano (8272 feet) in violent eruption.

From Tabaco I drove to Tivi and visited the celebrated boiling-well and hot-springs at that place, much frequented by the natives, and sometimes by Europeans, for the cure of rheumatism and other diseases.

Now that the Stars and Stripes float over the Philippines it is to be hoped that a regular sanatorium will be erected at this beautiful and health-restoring spot, the advantages of which might attract sufferers from all the Far East.

On these journeys I had a good opportunity of studying the people. The chief exports are Abacá (Manila hemp), and rice. In Camarines Sur the principal crop is rice, whilst in Albay the hemp predominates, and they import rice.

The cultivation of rice, which I have briefly described when writing of the Tagals, is not an occupation calculated to improve the minds or bodies of those engaged in it, and I have noticed that wherever this is the staple crop the peasantry are in a distinctly lower condition than where cane is planted and sugar manufactured. Their lives are passed in alternate periods of exhausting labour and of utter idleness, there is nothing to strive for, nothing to learn, nothing to improve. The same customs go on from generation to generation, the same rude implements are used, and the husbandman paid for his labour in kind lives destitute of comfort in the present, and without hope for the future.

Nor can the cultivation and preparation of hemp be considered as a much more improving occupation.

Little care, indeed, is required by the Musa textilis after the first planting, and the cleaning of the fibre is a simple matter, but very laborious. [286]

Several Spaniards are settled in these provinces, also a few agents of British houses in Manila, and some Chinese and Mestizos. They usually complain bitterly of the difficulty they experience in getting hemp delivered to them owing to the laziness and unpunctuality of the natives.

Yet, notwithstanding this, most of them live in affluence and some have amassed fortunes by Vicol labour. There is, in fact, a good deal of money in Albay, Daraga, and other towns in the hemp districts, and they are the happy hunting-ground of the Jew pedlar who there finds a good market for yellow diamonds and off-colour gems unsaleable in London or Paris. Houndsditch and Broadway will do well to note.

The peasantry, however, either from improvidence or aversion to steady labour, seem to be rather worse off than the Tagals and Pampangos, more especially those amongst them who cultivate paddy.

The whole of the large amount of hemp exported from Manila and Cebú is cleaned by hand.

Several attempts have been made to employ machinery, but the inherent conditions of the industry are unfavourable to success in this line.

The plants are grown principally on the eastern slopes of the volcanic mountains of Southern Luzon, and the adjacent islands where the soil is soft and friable and roads are unknown.

The heavy stems of the plants cannot profitably be conveyed to fixed works for treatment, and no machine has yet been devised light enough to be carried up to the látes or plantations and able to compete with hand labour. In a recent report to the British North Borneo Company, Mr. W. C. Cowie mentions his hopes that Thompson’s Fibre Company are about to send out a trial decorticator, with engine and boiler to drive it, to the River Padas, in that company’s territories, for cleaning the fibre of the numerous plants of the Musa textilis growing in that region. It will be interesting to learn the result. Possibly the conditions of transport by rail or river are more favourable than in the Philippines, and in that case a measure of success is quite possible. But few errors are more expensive than to unwarrantably assume that machinery must necessarily be cheaper than hand labour.

Vicols Preparing Hemp.

Cutting the Plant.

Cutting the Plant.

Adjusting under the Knife.

Adjusting under the Knife.

Separating the Petioles.

Separating the Petioles.

To face p. 287.

Anyhow, as regards the Philippines here is a nice [287]little problem. If the mechanics of Massachusetts and Connecticut cannot solve it, I do not know who can.

The Vicol labourers proceed to the látes in couples, carrying their simple and efficient apparatus, all of which, except the knife, they make themselves.

One man cuts down the plant, removes the outer covering, and separates the layers forming the stem, dividing them into strips about one and a half inches wide, and spreading them out to air.

The other man standing at his bench, takes a strip and places the middle of it across the convex block and under the knife, which is held up by the spring of a sapling overhead. Then, placing one foot on a treadle hanging from the handle of the knife, he firmly presses the latter down on the block. It should be explained that the knife is not sharp enough to cut the fibres. Firmly grasping the strip in both hands, and throwing his body backwards, he steadily draws the strip towards him till all the fibre has passed the knife; then, removing his foot from the treadle, the knife is lifted from the block by the spring, leaving the pulp and waste behind it. Sweeping this off, he reverses the half-cleaned strip, and twisting the cleaned fibre round one hand and wrist, and grasping it also with the other, he draws the part he formerly held, under the knife, pressing the treadle with the foot as before, and thus completes the cleaning of one strip. The fibre is often six feet long, and only requires drying in the sun to be marketable.

A man is able to clean about twenty-five pounds of hemp per day, and receives one half of it for his labour.

He usually sells his share to his employer for a trifle under the market price. [288]


Chapter XXXI.

The Chinese in Luzon.

Mestizos or half-breeds.

When Legaspi founded the city of Manila, in 1571, he found that Chinese junks frequented the port, and carried on a trade with Tondo and the other native towns.

Three years later, the Chinese pirate, Li-ma-hon, made an attack on the new city with a force of 2000 men in ninety-five small vessels, but was repulsed.

In 1603, the Chinese in Manila, under Eng-cang, rose against the Spaniards, and entrenched themselves in the suburbs. The Spaniards failed in the first assault with heavy loss, but ultimately the Chinese were defeated, and 23,000 were massacred, the few remaining being made galley-slaves. In 1639, another insurrection of the Chinese occurred and again some 23,000 were massacred.

In 1662, in consequence of the Chinese pirate Cong-seng demanding tribute from the governor of the Philippines, a decree was made that all Chinese must leave. The Chinese, however, refused, and entrenched themselves in the Parian, or market-place, outside the walls. They were attacked, and many thousands were killed. A body of 2000 endeavoured to march north, but were massacred by the Pampangos.

In 1762, when Manila was taken by the forces of the Honourable East India Company, the Chinese eagerly joined in the plundering. It having been rumoured that the Chinese intended to join the British forces, Don Simon de Anda condemned them all to death, and most of them were hung, their property passing to their executioners.

In 1820, there occurred the fifth and last massacre of the Chinese. The mob of Manila took advantage of the [289]abject cowardice of the acting-governor, General Folgueras, and of other authorities, and for hours vented their spite on the unhappy Chinamen, showing them no mercy, and carrying off their goods.

Since that time no general massacre has taken place, but such is the dislike of the natives to the Chinese, that these latter would have been quickly exterminated if the Spanish Government had failed at any time to protect them.

The Chinese are mostly herded together in Manila, and in some of the larger towns. Some few venture to keep stores in the villages, and others travel about at the risk of their lives in the sugar, hemp and tobacco districts, as purchasers and collectors of produce.

I consider that they should not be allowed to do this, for the invariable result of their interference is to reduce the quality of everything they handle. Their trade is based upon false weights and measures, and upon adulteration, or insufficient preparation of the produce. They are very patient with the natives, and this gives them a very great advantage over a European, even if the latter is used to Eastern ways. An American would probably have less patience than any European in negotiating a purchase of produce from an up-country native; the waste of time would exasperate him. I feel sure that most of those who know the Philippines will agree with me as to the evil results of the operations of the Chinese produce-brokers. Adulterated sugar, half-rotten hemp, half-cured tobacco, badly-prepared indigo—that is what the Chinaman brings in. He spoils every article he trades in, and discredits it in the world’s markets.

The Chinese nowhere cultivate the soil, except the gardens and market-gardens around Manila, and a few of the large towns.

This is, perhaps, not due to their unwillingness to do so, but because they dare not; the natives are too jealous of them, and their lives would not be safe away from the towns.

Their genius is commercial, and they are at home in shop, bazaar, or office. I think that the Chinese agriculturist does not leave his home for the Philippines. Most of those in the islands come from Amoy, and the district round that port. Some few are from Macao; they seem to be all townsmen, not countrymen. Each shopkeeper [290]has several assistants, ranging in age from boys of ten or twelve upwards. On arrival, they are placed in a sort of school—a very practical one—to learn Spanish; for instance, numbers and coins, with such terms as Muy barato—very cheap. As a Chinaman cannot pronounce the letter R, but substitutes L, this becomes Muy balato. Thus, also, the Roo-Kiu Islands become the Loo-Chew Islands, in Chinese.

The Chinaman is an excellent shop-keeper or pedlar, and some years ago, the British importers of Manchester goods made it a practice to give credit for goods supplied to the Chinese; the banks also extended some facilities to them. In consequence, however, of heavy losses to several British firms, this custom has been abandoned, or considerably restricted.

The Chinese are good barbers, cooks and gardeners. As breeders of fish they are unrivalled. Besides this they compete successfully with the Tagal in the following trades: blacksmiths, boiler-makers, stokers, engine-drivers, ship and house carpenters, boat-builders, cabinet-makers and varnishers, iron and brass-founders, shoe-makers, tin-smiths. These artisans are very industrious, and labour constantly at their trades. Their great feast is at the Chinese New Year, which occurs in February, when they take about a week’s holiday, and regale themselves on roast pig, and other delicacies, making also presents of sweets, fruits, and Jocchiu hams, to their patrons and customers.

There are Chinese apothecaries in Manila, but they are mostly resorted to by their own countrymen, and their awful concoctions are nasty beyond belief. They deal largely in aphrodisiacs.

Some Chinese doctors practise in Manila, and are said to make wonderful cures, even on patients given up by the orthodox medicos. They feel the pulse at the temporal artery, or else above the bridge of the nose.

They used to suffer a good deal from the jealousy of the Spanish practitioners, and were persecuted for practising without a qualification.

Large numbers of Chinese coolies are employed in Manila handling coal, loading and unloading ships and lighters, pressing hemp, drying sugar, and in other work too hard and too constant for the natives.

The number of Chinese in Luzon has been variously [291]estimated at from 30,000 to 60,000 men, and two or three hundred women. The anonymous author of ‘Filipinas—Problema Fundamental’ (Madrid, 1891), gives the number of Chinese in the whole Archipelago as 125,000, and he evidently had access to good information. The fact is nobody knows, and in all probability the Spanish authorities had an interest in understating the number.

The Chinese were organised quite separately from the natives. Wherever their numbers were considerable, they had their own tribunal, with a Gobernadorcillo and Principales, the former called the Capitan-China.

In Manila, this Capitan was a man of importance, or else the nominee of such a person. Certain governors-general received, nay, even extorted, large sums from the Capitan-China. Weyler is said to have been one of these offenders, but Jovellar caused the Capitan-China to be turned out of Malacañan for offering him a present. No one who knew them would ever believe that Moriones or Despujols would condescend to accept presents from the Chinamen. One favourite trick of the more corrupt governors-general was to have some very obnoxious law made in Spain; for instance, obliging the Chinese to become cabezas-de-barangay, or responsible tax-collectors of their own countrymen, and then extort a ransom for not putting the law in force. Weyler was said to have received $80,000 from the Chinese on this account, but some of this would have to go to Madrid.

At another time it was proposed that the Chinese should be obliged to keep their accounts in Spanish on books having every leaf stamped, and that every firm should employ a trained accountant who had passed an examination in book-keeping, and obtained a diploma as a commercial expert. What it cost the Celestials to avoid this infliction I do not know.

Amidst all this extortion from the Spaniard, and notwithstanding the ever-present hatred of the native, the Manila Chinaman is a sleek and prosperous-looking person, and seems cheerful and contented. If he becomes wealthy he may very likely become a Christian, less, perhaps, from any conviction or faith, but from motives of interest, and to facilitate his marriage to a native woman, or half-caste. He invariably selects an influential god-father, and dutifully takes him complimentary presents on his feast-day, wife’s feast-day, etc. Baptism used to cost him a substantial fee, [292]but it brought him business, for the priests were good customers to him. Now, however, with freedom of religion, with civil marriage and the withdrawal of the friars, he may be able to marry without the trouble of changing his religion.

Whether Christian or heathen, he usually keeps a few sticks of incense burning before an image at the back of his shop, and contributes to any subscription the priest may be raising.

I look upon the Chinaman as a necessity in the Philippines, but consider that he must be governed by exceptional legislation, and not be allowed to enter indiscriminately, nor to engage, as a matter of course, in every calling.

If attempts are to be made to settle them on the land, great care must be shown in selecting the localities, and great precautions taken to prevent fighting between the Chinese and the natives. However, there should be plenty of room for tens of thousands of agricultural labourers in Palawan and Mindanao; but I consider women to be essential to the success of such colonies. The family is the base of any permanent settlement, and it ought to be made a condition that a considerable number of women should come over with the men.


Mestizos, or Half-Breeds.

From the intercourse of Spanish and other Europeans with the native women, there has sprung a race called Mestizo, or Mestizo-Espanol. Similarly, the Chinese, by their alliance with native women, have produced the Mestizo-Chino, or Sangley.

It is very difficult to say how many there are of these people, for opinions differ widely. The anonymous author of a pamphlet called ‘Filipinas’ (Madrid, 1891), gives the number of Spanish Mestizos in the Archipelago, in 1890, as 75,000, whilst he estimates the number of Chinese Mestizos at no less than half a million. The Spanish Mestizos vary much in appearance, character and education, according to whether they have come under the influence of their father or their mother. Many of them are people of considerable property, and have been educated in Spain, Germany or England, or at the university in Manila. Others have relapsed into the ordinary native life. As a class they are possessed of much influence. Both in Manila [293]and in the country towns they own large houses, and much landed property. Their superior intelligence and education enables them to prosper in business or in professions. Some of them are doctors of medicine, or lawyers. A very few have studied engineering. Again, a fair number are priests, and of these, some are men of great learning.

The Mestizos are the capitalists, which is to say the usurers of the country. They have not personally participated much in the revolts against the Spaniards, nor yet in the fighting against the Americans, though they may have given small sums to assist the movement. They will be there, though, when offices are to be distributed, and will make hard masters, more oppressive, in fact, than any European or American.

This is what M. André, Belgian Consul-General, says of them: “This class is composed entirely of usurers and pawnees. All the pawn-shops and gambling-houses belong to the principal Mestizo families. There is not one family free from that stigma. In the plantations belonging to the rich families of Mestizos or Indians, the workmen are treated very inhumanly.”

There can be no doubt that the Spanish Mestizos are very unpopular amongst the natives, and that an uncomfortable time would await them should the islands become independent. They are perfectly aware of this, and in their hearts long for the protection of one of the Great Powers. At the same time, they are anxious to get the lion’s share of the loaves and fishes.

The Chinese Mestizos differ both in appearance and character from the Spanish Mestizos, owning less land, and being more addicted to commercial pursuits, for which both sexes show a remarkable aptitude. It is customary for the daughters, even of wealthy families, to trade on their own account from an early age. A case was mentioned to me where five dollars was given to a young girl to begin trading. With this she purchased a pilon of sugar, and sending out some of her father’s servants to the woods, collected a large quantity of guavas. She then caused the cook to make the material into guava jelly, which she packed in tins or jars collected for the purpose. Then another servant took the jelly out for sale, and disposed of it all. The capital was soon doubled, and invested in sayas and handkerchiefs bought at wholesale prices, which were then hawked round by a servant. Some years afterwards, [294]I made the acquaintance of this young lady, and found that she was then dealing in diamond and pearl jewellery, and had a large iron safe in which she kept her stock, which was then worth several thousand dollars, all made by her trading.

Chinese Mestizos are owners of cascos and lorchas for loading or unloading vessels, also of farderias, or establishments for mixing and drying sugar.

In Manila, the Sangleyes, as they are called by the Spaniards and natives, have a gobernadorcillo and tribunal of their own. In Santa Cruz they are very numerous, and amongst them are to be found jewellers, silversmiths, watch-makers, or rather repairers, sculptors, gilders and painters, besides one or two dentists of good renown. [295]

Part II.

The Visayas and Palawan


Chapter XXXII.

The Visayas Islands.

Area and population—Panay—Negros—Cebú—Bohol—Leyte—Samar.

This name is given to the group of six considerable islands lying between Luzon and Mindanao, and also to the race inhabiting them. Beginning at the west, these islands are Panay, Negros, Cebú, Bohol, Leyte, and Samar. There are also a number of smaller islands.

Many of the larger as well as the smaller islands are thickly populated, and an extensive emigration takes place to the great and fertile island of Mindanao, where any amount of rich land waits the coming of the husbandmen. I can find no later records of population than the census of 1877. This may seem strange to an American, but to those who know the ignorance and ineptitude of the Spanish administration, it will seem a matter of course. Such data of the population as the Government Offices possess, are mostly due to the priests and the archbishop.

Since 1877 there has undoubtedly been a great increase of population amongst the Visayas, and in 1887 the population of Panay was considered to be more than a million.

The Visayas Islands contain fewer heathen than any other part of the Philippines. In Panay there are a few Negritos and Mundos; in Negros some Negritos and Carolanos. The illustration opposite p. 207 is a full-length photograph of Tek Taita, a Negrito from this island. In [296]Cebú a few Mundos live around the peak of Danao. In Bohol, Leyte, and Samar there are no heathen savages.

It may be said that the heathen in these islands would have died out before now but that they are reinforced continually by remontados, or fugitives from justice, also by people whose inclination for a savage life, or whose love of rapine renders the humdrum life of their village insupportable to them.

The following Table gives the area of each of the six larger islands, and the population in 1877.

Area in square miles. Population according to Census of 1877. Capitals.
Panay (divided into three provinces—Capiz, Antique, Ilo-ilo) 4,898 777,7771 Capiz.
Negros 3,592 204,669 Bacolod.
Cebú 2,285 403,296 Cebú.
Bohol 1,226 226,546 Tagbilaran.
Leyte 3,706 220,515 Tacloban.
Samar 5,182 178,890 Catbalogan.

Panay.—This island is approximately an equilateral triangle, with the western edge nearly north and south, having one apex pointing south. A chain of mountains extends in a curved line from the northern to the southern point, enclosing an irregular strip of land which forms the province of Antique. The rivers in this part of the island are naturally short and unimportant. The northern part of the island is the province of Capiz, the principal river is the Panay, which, rising in the centre of the island, runs in a northerly direction for over thirty miles, entering the sea at the Bay of Sapian. The eastern and southern part of the island is the province of Ilo-ilo. The principal river is the Talana, which, rising quite near the source of the River Panay, runs in a southerly and south-easterly direction into the channel between Negros and Panay to the north of the island of Guimaras. There are many spurs to the principal range of mountains, but between them is a considerable extent of land under cultivation. The province of [297]Ilo-ilo is one of the richest and most densely-populated in the Philippines. It now contains at least half a million inhabitants.

Ilo-ilo is open to foreign commerce, and vice-consuls of many nations reside there. Yet the port has neither wharves, cranes, moorings or lights. The coasting steamers drawing up to 13 feet enter a muddy creek and discharge their cargo on the banks as best they can, whilst the ocean-going ships lie out in the bay and receive their cargoes of sugar and other produce from lighters, upon each of which pilotage used to be charged for the benefit of an unnecessary number of pilots, and of the captain of the port, who received a share of the pilotage and strenuously resisted a reform of this abuse.

Under American protection, Ilo-ilo may be expected to become a flourishing port, provided with every convenience for discharging, loading, and repairing ships, as becomes the importance of its trade. The town of Ilo-ilo contained many large buildings, some of them owned by British subjects. During the fighting last year, however, several buildings were burnt.

During the Spanish rule the streets were entirely uncared for, being a series of mud-holes in the rainy season, and thick with dust and garbage in the dry season.

The town and port together are notorious examples of all the worst characteristics of Spanish rule.

The principal towns of this wealthy province are Pototan, Santa Barbara, Janiuay, and Cabatuan, each of which has more than 20,000 inhabitants.

The industries and productions of this and the other islands are treated of under Visayas when describing the inhabitants.

Negros.—A long island of irregular shape, lying between Panay and Cebú. Its axis is nearly north and south, and a chain of mountains runs up it, but nearer to the east than to the west coast.

A little to the north of the centre of this chain, the celebrated volcano Canlaon raises its peak over 8300 feet. It is frequently in active eruption, and can be perceived at an immense distance when the atmosphere is clear. I have seen it and its long plume of vapour from a steamer when passing the north of the island.

In the Sierra de Dumaguete, a range occupying the centre of the southern promontory of the island, and about [298]the centre of the range, there is the volcano of Bacon, about which little is known.

Cebú is a long and narrow island something in the shape of an alligator, looked at from above, with the snout pointing to the southward and westward. It is opposite to Negros, and separated from that island by the Strait of Tanon. It is, in fact, a range of mountains rising out of the sea, and is very narrow, being nowhere more than 22 miles wide. There being a large population of Visayas, and the mountains not being very high, the wandering heathen have to a great extent been weeded out, and only a remnant of wretched Mundos remain about the crests of the cordillera.

The capital city, Cebú, was the first in the Archipelago to possess a municipality, and was, in fact, until 1571, the capital of the Philippines.

It possesses some fine buildings; is the seat of a bishop, and formerly of the Governor-General of Visayas. It is open to foreign commerce, and vice-consuls of the principal nations reside there.

There can be no rivers in an island of this configuration, for the water runs away as from the roof of a house. The crops and industries have been spoken of under the head of Visayas.

There are considerable beds of lignite near Compostela, and various efforts have been made to work them, so far, I fear, without much success. Remarkable shells, and some pearls are obtained round about Cebú and the adjacent islands.

Bohol lies off the southern half of the eastern coast of Cebú, and is only half the size of that island, but it has more than half the population. It is hilly, and the towns and villages are situated on the coast. Only the southern and eastern coast is visited by coasting vessels, the navigation to the north and west being impeded by a labyrinth of coral reefs. The soil of this island is not rich, and the more enterprising of the natives emigrate to Mindanao.

Leyte is an island of very irregular shape—something like a hide pegged out on the ground—and lies between the northern half of Cebú and the southern part of Samar, from which it is only separated by a very narrow passage called the Janabatas Channel, and the Strait of San Juanico. The southern extremity of Leyte approaches the northern promontory of Mindanao, and forms the Straits of Surigao, the [299]second entrance from the Pacific to the seas of the Archipelago. The island is mountainous, and has two lakes, one called Bito is at the narrowest part, and one called Jaro, near the town of that name. There are several good ports. The exports, which go to Manila, are hemp and sulphur of great purity.

Samar.—This is the largest of the Visayas, and yet has fewest inhabitants. It lies to the eastward of all the other islands, and consequently its east coast, like that of Luzon and Mindanao, is exposed to the full fury of the north-east monsoon, and to the ravages of the heavy rollers of the Pacific that burst without warning on its rocky coast.

Its chief port, Catbalogan, is situated on the western coast, and is well-sheltered. From the coast many lofty peaks are visible, but the interior of this island is little known. The exports are hemp and cocoa-nut oil. The northern point of Samar approaches the southern extremity of Luzon, and forms the historic Strait of San Bernardino, one of the entrances to the Philippine Archipelago from the Pacific. It was by this Strait that the annual galleon from Acapulco entered, and here also the British privateers lay in wait for their silver-laden prey. [300]

1 The above was the Christian Visyas population, and is exclusive of Negritos, Mundos, and other heathen savages and remontados. The area is taken from a Spanish official report.


Chapter XXXIII.

The Visayas Race.

Appearance—Dress—Look upon Tagals as foreigners—Favourable opinion of Tomas de Comyn—Old Christians—Constant wars with the Moro pirates and Sea Dayaks—Secret heathen rites—Accusation of indolence unfounded—Exports of hemp and sugar—Ilo-ilo sugar—Cebú sugar—Textiles—A promising race.

The most numerous and, after the Tagals, the most important race in the Philippines is the Visaya, formerly called Pintados, or painted men, from the blue painting or tattooing which was prevalent at the time of the conquest. They form the mass of the inhabitants of the islands called Visayas and of some others.

They occupy the south coast of Masbate, the islands of Romblon, Bohol, Sibuyan, Samar, and Leyte, Tablas, Panay, Negros, and Cebú, all the lesser islands of the Visayas group and the greater part of the coast of the great island of Mindanao. In that island the Caragas, a very warlike branch of the Visayas, occupy the coast of the old kingdom of Caraga on the east from Punta Cauit to Punta San Agustin.

Another branch of the Visayas distinguished by a darker colour and by a curliness of the hair, suggesting some Negrito mixture, occupies the Calamiancs and Cuyos Islands, and the northern coasts of Paragua or Palawan as far as Bahia Honda.

In appearance the Visayas differ somewhat from the Tagals, having a greater resemblance to the Malays of Borneo and Malacca. The men wear their hair longer than the Tagals, and the women wear a patadion instead of a saya and tapis.

The patadion is a piece of cloth a yard wide and over [301]two yards long, the ends of which are sewn together. The wearer steps into it and wraps it round the figure from the waist downward, doubling it over in front into a wide fold, and tucking it in securely at the waist. The saya is a made skirt tied at the waist with a tape, and the tapis is a breadth of dark cloth, silk or satin, doubled round the waist over the saya.

In disposition they are less sociable and hospitable than the Tagals, and less clean in their persons and clothing. They have a language of their own, and there are several dialects of it. The basis of their food is rice, with which they often mix maize. They flavour their food with red pepper to a greater extent than the Tagals. They are expert fishermen, and consume large quantities of fish. In smoking and chewing betel they resemble the other races of the islands. They are great gamblers, and take delight in cock-fighting. They are fond of hunting, and kill numbers of wild pig and deer. They cut the flesh of the latter into thin strips and dry it in the sun, after which it will keep a long time. It is useful to take as provision on a journey, but it requires good teeth to get through it.

The Visayas build a number of canoes, paraos, barotos, and vintas, and are very confident on the water, putting to sea in their ill-found and badly-equipped craft with great assurance, and do not come to grief as often as might be expected. Their houses are similarly constructed to those of the other inhabitants of the littoral.

Ancient writers accused the Visaya women of great sensuality and unbounded immorality, and gave details of some very curious customs, which are unsuitable for general publication. However, the customs I refer to have been long obsolete among the Visayas, although still existing amongst some of the wilder tribes in Borneo. The Visaya women are very prolific, many having borne a dozen children, but infant mortality is high, and they rear but few of them. The men are less sober than the Tagals—they manufacture and consume large quantities of strong drink. They are not fond of the Tagals, and a Visaya regiment would not hesitate to fire upon them if ordered. In fact the two tribes look upon each other as foreigners. When discovered by the Spaniards, they were to a great extent civilised and organised in a feudal system. Tomas de Comyn formed a very favourable opinion of them—he writes, both men and women are well-mannered and of a [302]good disposition, of better condition and nobler behaviour than those of the Island of Luzon and others adjacent.

They had learnt much from Arab and Bornean adventurers, especially from the former, whose superior physique, learning, and sanctity, as coming from the country of the Prophet, made them acceptable suitors for the hands of the daughters of the Rajas or petty kings. They had brought with them the doctrines of Islam, which had begun to make some converts before the Spanish discovery. The old Visaya religion was not unlike that of the Tagals, they called their idols Dinatas instead of Anitos—their marriage customs were not very different from those of the Tagals.

The ancestors of the Visayas were converted to Christianity at, or soon after, the Spanish conquest. They have thus been Christians for over three centuries, and in constant war with the Mahometan pirates of Mindanao and Sulu, and with the Sea Dayaks of Borneo. However, in some localities they still show a strong hankering after witchcraft, and practise secret heathen rites, notwithstanding the vigilance of the parish priests.

A friar of the order of Recollets who had held a benefice in Bohol, assured me that they have a secret heathen organisation, although every member is a professing Christian, taking the Sacrament on the great feasts of the Church. They hold a secret triennial meeting of their adherents, who come over from other islands to be present. The meeting is held in some lonely valley, or on some desert island, where their vessels can lie concealed, always far from any church or priest. All the Recollet could tell me about the ceremonies was that the sacrifice of pigs formed an important part of it

The Visayas are no less credulous than the Tagals, for in Samar, during my recollection, there have been several disturbances caused by fanatics who went about in rags, and by prayers, incoherent speeches, and self-mortification acquired a great reputation for sanctity. The poor ignorant people, deluded by these impostors, who gave themselves out to be gods, and as such, impervious to bullets, and immortal, abandoned their homes and followed these false gods wherever they went, listening to their wild promises, and expecting great miracles. They soon came into collision with the Guardia Civil; and on one occasion, armed only with clubs and knives, they made a determined charge on a small party of this corps under the command of a [303]native officer. The Guardia Civil formed across the road and poured several steady volleys into the advancing crowd, breaking them up and dispersing them with heavy loss and killing the false god. The native officer received the laurel-wreathed cross of San Fernando as a reward for his services.

The Visayas are taxed with great indolence, yet they are almost the only working people in districts which export a great quantity of produce. Leyte and Samar produce a good many bales of excellent hemp, and it should be remembered that every bale represents at least twelve days’ hard work of one man in cleaning the fibre only, without counting the cultivation, conveyance to the port, pressing, baling, and shipping.

In Negros and Panay the sugar estates are much larger than in Luzon, and mostly belong to Spaniards or mestizos. They are not worked by aparceria as in Luzon, but the labourers are paid by the day. Great troubles often occur as bands of labourers present themselves on the plantations and offer to work, but demand an advance of pay. Sometimes, after receiving it, they work a few days and then depart without notice, leaving the planter in great difficulty and without redress. Strict laws against vagrants are urgently required in Visayas. On the other hand the planter is more free to introduce improvements and alterations than when working by aparceria when he has to consult the inquilino or cultivator about any change. The cane-mills are much larger than in Luzon, and are mostly worked by steam engines.

The sugar is handled differently from the custom of Pampanga. Pilones are not used, and no manipulation in farderias is required to prepare it for export. The cane-juice is carefully clarified and skimmed, then boiled in open pans to a much higher point than when making pilon-sugar, and to get it to this point without burning or over-heating much care and experience is required.

From the teache it is ladled into large wooden trays, always in thin layers, and is there beaten up with heavy spatulas until it becomes, on cooling, a pale yellow amorphous mass. It is packed in mat-bags, and is then ready for shipment. It travels well and loses but little during a Voyage to San Francisco or New York. None of it goes to England, which is now entirely supplied by the vile beet sugar “made in Germany,” except for a few hundred [304]tons of Demerara crystals imported for use by connoisseurs to sweeten their coffee.

Ilo-ilo sugar is shipped under three marks, No. 1, No. 2, No. 3. An assortment or cargo of this sugar should consist of 1–8th No. 1, 2–8ths No. 2, 5–8ths No. 3.

A representative analysis of Ilo-ilo sugar is as follows:

No. 1. No. 2. No. 3.
Per Cent. Per Cent. Per Cent.
Crystallizable sugar 86.60 84.50 81.20
Glucose 5.40 5.50 6.56
Mineral matter (ash) 1.50 2.56 3.72
Sand trace .24 1.28

In Cebú the properties are small and are mostly in the hands of Visayas. There are, perhaps, five or six steam-mills, but most of the cane is ground in cattle-mills. They follow the practice of negroes in making sugars direct for export, but the produce is of a lower quality. An analysis of the Cebú sugar is as follows:

Cebú Superior. Cebú Current.
Per Cent. Per Cent.
Crystallizable sugar 81.10 71.00
Glucose 7.90 12.50
Mineral matter (ash) 2.16 2.23

The sugar produced in the other Visayas islands is quite insignificant.

Visayas Women at a Loom.

Visayas Women at a Loom.

[To face p. 305.

Ilo-ilo and Cebú are the principal ports in the Visayas territory. Besides what they shipped to Manila in 1897, they exported directly to the United States, Great Britain, or other countries, the following: Ilo-ilo, 127,744 tons of sugar; 51,300 piculs of Sapan wood; Cebú, 15,444 tons of sugar; 80,271 bales of hemp; 46,414 piculs of Copra. And [305]it must be remembered that the Visayas cultivate most of the rice, maize, and other food-stuffs which they consume, and also make their own instruments of agriculture. Besides this, Ilo-ilo exported to other parts of the Philippines a million dollars’ worth of textiles of cotton, silk, and other fibres, made by the Visayas women in hand-looms. The women in Antique make the finest piña, a beautiful transparent texture of the utmost delicacy, woven from the fibres of the leaves of a non-fruiting pine (ananas). When doing the finest work they have to keep their doors and windows closed, for the least draught would break or disarrange the delicate filaments. The export from other ports in Visayas of textiles of cotton and silk is considerable, and, in addition to what they sell, the Visayas women weave most of the material for their own clothing and for that of the men.

The Visayas also export mat-bags for sugar, which are called bayones; mats for sleeping on, called petates or esteras; pillows stuffed with cotton, hides, mother-of-pearl shell, Balate (Bèche de Mer), edible bird’s-nests, gutta-percha, gum-dammar, wax, rattans, coffee (of indifferent quality), and leaf tobacco. Both the island of Panay and the coasts of Negros are dotted over with cane plantations.

The Visayas extract oil from cocoa-nuts and forge excellent weapons from scrap iron. The bands from bales of Manchester goods are much esteemed for this purpose.

If we take all these points into consideration, the Visayas may not appear so deplorably indolent as they have been said to be. When writing of the other races, I have pointed out that the indolence imputed to them rather goes beyond what is warranted by the facts.

It will be understood that there are degrees in the civilisation of the Visayas, and as amongst the Tagals and other races, considerable differences will be found to exist between the dwellers in the towns and those in the outlying hamlets, whilst the Remontados may be considered to have relapsed into savagery.

The Visayas do a certain amount of trade with the heathen hill-men of their islands, and as will be pointed out when describing these tribes, it is hard to say whether the Christian Visayas or the Mahometan Malays rob these poor savages more shamefully.

The Visayas are a promising race, and I feel sure that when they have a good government that will not extort too [306]heavy taxes from them, nor allow the native and half-caste usurers to eat them up, their agriculture and industries will surprisingly increase.

It is to the Visayas that the American Government must look to provide a militia that will now hold in check, and ultimately subjugate, the piratical Moros of Mindanao and Paragua. The fighting qualities of this race, developed by centuries of combat with their Mahometan aggressors in defence of hearths and homes, will be found quite sufficient if they are well armed and led to make an end of the Moro power within a very few years.

That this aspiration is one well worthy of the countrymen of Decatur, will, I think, be admitted by all who have read my description of the Moros under the heading of Mindanao. [307]


Chapter XXXIV.

The Island of Palawan, or Paragua.

The Tagbanúas—Tandulanos—Manguianes—Negritos—Moros of southern Palawan—Tagbanúa alphabet.

The island of Palawan, or, as it is called by the Spaniards, La Paragua, is situated between the parallels 8° 25′ and 11° 30′ N. lat. The capital, Puerto Princesa, was founded in 1872, and is situated on the east coast in lat. 9° 45′, being 354 miles from Manila, 210 miles from North Borneo, and 510 miles from Singapore. Palawan is about 250 miles long, and from 10 to 25 wide, with an area of about 5833 square miles, the third in size of the Philippine Islands. There are several good ports in the northern part, which is much broken up, and its coasts studded with numerous islets, forming secure anchorages.

Off the western coast is a large submarine bank, with many coral reefs and islets. The navigation on this coast is very dangerous, and can only be done in daylight.

The harbour of Puerto Princesa is an excellent one, and sufficiently large for all requirements.

Limestone and other sedimentary formations predominate. No volcanic rocks are known to exist. It is conjectured that the island has been formed by an upheaval, and it bears little resemblance geologically to any of the other Philippines. Plastic clays suitable for making bricks, tiles, and pottery, abound.

Nothing is known about the mineralogy, except that rock-crystal is found, a magnificent specimen of great purity and value was sent from the island to the Madrid Exhibition of 1887.

A chain of mountains, with peaks of varying elevation up to 6500 feet, runs lengthways of the island, much nearer [308]to the western coast than to the eastern. The descent from the summits to the eastern coast is, therefore, gradual, and on the western coast it is abrupt. Mount Staveley, Mount Beaufort (3740 feet), Pico Pulgar (4330 feet), and the Peaks of Anepalian, are in the central part of the island.

The following record is taken from the observations made by Captain Canga-Arguelles, a former governor, during his residence of three years in Puerto Princesa.

Month. Mean Temp. Barometer.
Fahrenheit. Inches. Rainy Days.
January 85 30.34 4
February 81 30 3
March 85 30.07 4
April 87 29.92 5
May 84 29.80 4
June 82 29.90 12
July 80 .. 17
August 82 29.84 4
September 79 29.88 20
October 85 29.90 20
November 82 29.95 8
December 82 30 4
Mean 82.83 105

It will be seen that the temperature is not excessive, and that the distribution of the rainfall is favourable to agriculture and planting. The force of the monsoon is much spent when it arrives on the coast of Paragua, and the typhoons only touch the northern extremity of the island.

Volcanic phenomena are unknown, and there is no record of earthquakes.

From the lay of the island there is always one coast with calm water, whichever way the monsoon is blowing.

The troops and civil population of Puerto Princesa suffer to some extent from intermittent fevers; but the reports of the military, naval, and civil infirmaries, state that the disease is not very severe, and that it yields to treatment, and this assertion is confirmed by the reports of the French travellers, Drs. Montano and Rey and M. Alfred Marche.

The northern part of the island has been colonised from the other Philippines, and the Christian inhabitants number [309]about 10,000 distributed amongst several small villages. The southern coasts are occupied by Mahometan Malays, who number about 6000, and the rest of this large island, except Puerta Princesa, is only populated by savages, the principal tribes being the—

Tagbuanas, estimated to number 6,000
Tandulanos, estimated to number 1,500
Negritos, estimated to number 500
Manguianes, estimated to number 4,000

This gives a grand total of 28,000 inhabitants, or 5.6 to the square mile. In the island of Luzon, in which extensive districts are uncultivated and unexplored, the mean density of the population in 1875, was 76.5 per square mile, and in the provinces of Batangan and Pasgasinan, which are, perhaps, the best cultivated, the density was 272 inhabitants to the square mile.

The fauna has been studied to some extent, a French collector having resided for a considerable period on the island. It comprises monkeys, pigs, civets, porcupines, flying squirrels, pheasants, and a small leopard, this latter not found in any other of the Philippines, and showing a connection with Borneo.

The island is covered with dense forests, which have been little explored.

The Inspeccion de Montes (Department of Woods and Forests) gives a list of 104 different kinds of forest-trees known to be growing there, and states that ebony abounds there more than in any other province of the Philippines. According to Wallace, the camphor-tree is found in the island.

Amongst the timbers mentioned in the Woods and Forests lists are ebony, camagon, teak, cedar, dungon, banaba, guíjo, molave, and many others of value. The forest or jungle-produce will comprise: charcoal, firewood, bamboos, rattans, nipa (attap), orchids, wax, gums, resins, and camphor. Edible birds’-nests are found in various localities. Fish is abundant in the waters, and balate (Bèche de mer) is collected on the shores and reefs.

Puerto Princesa is visited by a mail steamer from Manila once in twenty-eight days. A garrison of two companies of infantry was kept there, and several small gun-boats were stationed there, which went periodically [310]round the island. Piracy was completely suppressed, and the Mahometan Malays were kept in good order by the Spanish forces.

The dense primeval forests which have existed for ages, untouched by the hand of man, undevastated by typhoons, volcanic eruptions, or earthquakes, must necessarily have produced an enormous quantity of decayed vegetable matter, rich in humus, and such a soil on a limestone subsoil, mixed with the detritus washed down from the mountains, may reasonably be expected to be of the highest fertility, and, perhaps, to be equal to the richest lands of the earth, most specially for the cultivation of tobacco.

The varied climates to be found from the sea-level to the tops of the mountains should allow the cultivation of maize, rice, sugar-cane, cotton, cacao, coffee, and hemp, each in the zone most favourable to its growth and fruitfulness. The exemption from typhoons enjoyed by this region is most important as regards the cultivation of the aborescent species, and the cocoa-nut palm would prove highly remunerative on land not suited for other crops. Tagbanúas.

The Tagbanúas are said to be the most numerous of the inhabitants of Palawan. I understand that this word comes from Taga, an inhabitant, and banua, country, and therefore means an original inhabitant of the country, as opposed to later arrivals.

They inhabit the district between Inagáhuan, on the east coast, and Ulugan and Apurahuan, on the west coast. Their numbers in 1888 were estimated at 6000. In 1890 I spent ten days amongst these people, and employed a number of them as porters to carry my tent, provisions, and equipment, when travelling on foot through the forests to report on the value of a concession in the neighbourhood of Yuahit and Inagáhuan. I therefore describe them from personal knowledge. They are of a yellowish colour, and generally similar to the Mahometan Malays of Mindanao. Those who have settled down and cultivated land have a robust and healthy appearance; but those who are nomadic, mostly suffered from skin diseases, and some were quite emaciated. Their Maestro de Campo, the recognised head of their tribe, lived near Inagáhuan, and I visited him at [311]his house, and found him quite communicative through an interpreter.

Maestro de Campo is an obsolete military rank in Spain, and a commission granting this title and an official staff, is sometimes conferred by the Governor-General of the Philippines, or even by the King of Spain, upon the chiefs of heathen tribes, who have supported the Spanish forces against the pirates of Sulú, Mindanao, or Palawan. Sometimes a small pension accompanies the title.

I also learnt much about the Tagbanúas from a solitary missionary, a member of the Order of Recollets, Fray Lorenzo Zapater, who had resided more than two years amongst them, and had built a primitive sort of church at Inagáhuan.

They are sociable and pacific; their only weapons are the cerbatana, or blow-pipe, with poisoned darts, and bows and arrows, for the knives they carry are tools and not weapons. They do not make war amongst themselves, but formerly fought sometimes to defend their possessions against the piratical Mahometans, who inhabit the southern part of the island. These heartless robbers, for centuries made annual raids upon them, carrying off the paddy they had stored for their subsistence, and everything portable worth taking. They seized the boys for slaves, to cultivate their lands, and the girls for concubines, killing the adults who dared to resist them. However, since the establishment of a naval station and the penal colony at Puerto Princesa in 1872, the coast has been patrolled by the Spanish gun-boats and the piratical incursions have come to an end. The nomadic Tagbanúas, both men and women, were quite naked, except for a cloth (tapa-rabo) which the men wore, whilst the women wore a girdle, from which hung strips of bark or skin reaching nearly to the knees. Round their necks they wore strings of coloured beads, a turquoise blue seemed to be the favourite kind, and on their arms and ankles, bangles made of brass wire. Coming out of the forest into a clearing where there were two small huts built in the usual manner, and another constructed in the fork of a large tree, I found a group of these people threshing paddy. Amongst them were two young women with figures of striking symmetry, who, on being called by the interpreter, approached my party without the slightest timidity or embarrassment, although wearing only the fringed girdle. I learnt that they had both been baptized [312]but on asking the taller girl her name, instead of answering me, she turned to her companion and said to her, “What is my name?” to which the other answered, “Ursula.” I then asked the shorter girl her name, and she also, instead of answering me, asked the other girl, “What is my name?” to which the taller one answered, “Margarita.” These names had recently been given them instead of their heathen names, and I could not be sure whether they had forgotten their new names or whether, as is the case in several tribes, they must never pronounce their own names nor the names of their ancestors. They thankfully accepted a cigarette each, which they immediately lighted.

On the following Sunday, these girls came to Mass at the Inagáhuan Church, completely dressed like Tagal women, and although they passed in front of me, I did not recognize them until I was told, for they looked much shorter.

When the missionary accompanied me to visit any of these people, I observed that as we approached a house the people were hurriedly putting on their clothes to receive us, but they were evidently more at ease in the garb of Adam before the fall.

The Tagbanúas have no strong religious convictions, and can be easily persuaded to allow their children to be baptised. The population of Inagáhuan and Abortan at the time of my visit was, according to the missionary, 1080, of whom 616 were baptised. But from this number many had been taken away by their half-caste or Chinese creditors to Lanúgan, a visita of Trinitian, to collect wax and almáciga—the forests near Inagáhuan and Yuáhit being entirely exhausted. The heathen Tagbanúas believe in future rewards and punishment, and call the infernal regions basaud. They believe in a Great Spirit, the creator and preserver, who presides over all the important acts of life. They call him Maguindose, and make offerings to him of rice and fish. Polygamy is allowed amongst them, but from what I saw is not much practised. When a Tagbanúa proposes marriage to the object of his affections, he leaves at the door of her hut the fresh trunk of a banana plant. If she delays answering till the trunk has withered, he understands this as a negative, and the damsel is spared the pain of verbally refusing; but if she approves of his suit, she sends him her answer in good time.

The lover then conveys to the house of the bride’s [313]parents, where all her relations are assembled, large baskets of boiled rice. He takes a morsel of this and places it in the mouth of the girl, she then does the same to him, and by this symbolic act they assume the responsibilities of matrimony. This particular ceremony is common to many Philippine tribes. The remainder of the cooked rice furnishes the basis of the marriage feast.

They are said to cruelly punish adultery; on the other hand, divorce is easily obtained.

When one of their number is very ill, they get up a concert (?) of gongs and drums with the hope of curing him, and during the performance nobody must approach the patient’s couch. I could not learn whether the music was intended to cheer up the sick person, or to frighten away the evil spirit, which they look upon as the cause of his malady; but I incline to the latter belief, because the so-called music is calculated to frighten away any living thing.

If, however, the patient does not improve, he is then consulted as to where he would like to be buried, and about other details of the ceremony and funeral feast. This reminds me that I have read of a Scotchwoman consulting her dying husband as to whether the scones to be made for his funeral should be square or round. Such, however, is the custom of the Tagbanúas.

Immediately after death the relatives place by the corpse the weapons and effects belonging to the deceased and sprinkle ashes on the floor all around—then they retire and leave the dead alone for a time. Later on, they return and carefully examine the ashes to see whether the soul of the defunct, when abandoning the body, left any foot-marks.

Then, forming a circle round the dead, they chant a dirge in honour of the departed, after which they commit his body to the earth in the midst of his cleared land, unless he has selected some other spot, burying with him his arms and utensils, not forgetting the wood-knife and a liberal ration of cooked rice and condiments for his journey to the other world. They then abandon both hut and land and never return to it. They bury small children in jars called basinganis.

I was much interested in these people, and felt a great pity for them. All energy and determination seemed to have been crushed out of them by centuries of oppression [314]from their predatory neighbours, and when at last the Spanish gun-boats delivered them from these periodical attacks, they were held in what was practically slavery by their half-caste or Chinese creditors. The respectability of a Tagbanúa is measured by the weight of gongs he possesses, just as the importance of a Malay pirate-chief depends on the weight of brass-guns he owns.

The half-castes, or Chinese, will supply them with a brass-gong worth, say $5, for which they charge them thirty dollars to account. This must be paid in almáciga (gum-dammar) at $5 per picul. Consequently the poor savage has to supply six piculs of almaciga. Now this gum was worth $12 per picul in Singapore, and the freight was trifling. Consequently the savage pays the greedy half-caste, or avaricious Chinaman, $72 worth of gum (less expenses) for a $5 gong, and these rascally usurers take care that the savage never gets out of their debt as long as he lives, and makes his sons take over his debt when he dies. These terms are considered very moderate indeed; when I come to speak of Mindanao I shall quote some much more striking trade figures. Many of the traders there would think it very bad business to get only $72 for goods costing $5.

Instead, therefore, of being allowed to till their land, these people are hurried off to the most distant and least accessible forests to dig for almáciga. This gum is found in crevices in the earth amongst the roots of secular trees. I was assured that deposits had been found of 25 piculs in one place—more than a ton and a half, but such finds are rare, as the gum is now scarce. The savage has to hide or guard his treasure when found, and he or his family must transport it on their backs for twenty, thirty, or forty miles, as the case may be, making repeated journeys to deliver it to their creditor. I think this hard work, and want of good food, explains the emaciation I noticed amongst these people. Some few of them were not in debt. Near Inagáhuan, I found a man named Amasa who had a small cane-field, and was at work squeezing the cane with a great lever-press, which reminded me of the wine-presses in Teneriffe. The lever was made of the trunk of a tree; the fulcrum was a growing tree, whilst the pressing block was a tree-stump hollowed at the top. The juice was boiled to a thick syrup, and found a ready sale in the neighbourhood. Amasa was the biggest and strongest [315]man I saw amongst the Tagbanúas, and stood five feet nine inches high. He possessed a comfortable house and clothes, yet he accompanied me on one of my journeys as a porter, but the exposure at night was too much for him, and he had an attack of fever when he returned. Near Amasa lived a Christian woman named Ignacia, a widow. She had lived ten years in one place, and had an abundant supply of paddy stored in huge baskets in her house. She also had a plantation of cacao trees, many of them in full bearing. They were rather neglected, but had grown remarkably. I bought some of her produce for my own use.

I was surprised to find that the Tagbanúas could read and write; one day I observed a messenger hand to one of them a strip of bark with some figures scratched on it, which the latter proceeded to read, and on inquiring from the missionary, I learnt that they had an alphabet of sixteen or seventeen letters. I obtained a copy of this from the Padre Zapater, and it will be found on page 319. They do not use a pen, but scratch the letters with the point of a knife, or with a nail, or thorn.

The Tagbanúas are very fond of music and dancing. On the evening of my arrival at Yuahit, a collection of about a dozen huts with forty inhabitants, they gave an open-air performance in my honour. My party consisted of a boat’s-crew of eight Tagal sailors of the Navy, two servants, an interpreter, and two companions. The orchestra consisted of four brass gongs of varying sizes, and a tom-tom. Torches were stuck in the ground to illuminate the scene, and the whole of the inhabitants of the hamlet turned out and watched the proceedings with greatest interest. The dances were performed by men, women, and children, one at a time, and were perfectly modest and graceful. The women were dressed in shirts and bright-coloured patadions, and were adorned with silver rings, brass bangles, and armlets, some had strings of beads round their necks. The best dance was performed by a young woman, holding in each hand a piece of a branch of the bread-fruit tree, which they call Rima, with two of the large handsome leaves. These she waved about very gracefully in harmony with her movements. The spectators behaved very well, and were careful not to crowd round me. I rewarded the dancers with beads and handkerchiefs, and the musicians with cigars. This dancing seemed to me a very innocent amusement, but I was sorry to find that the missionary [316]took a different view. He associated the dances with heathen rites and forbade them, confiscating the dearly-bought gongs of his converts, as he said they were used to call up evil spirits. However, I observed that he had hung up the largest gong to serve as a church-bell, after having sprinkled it with holy water. I remembered having read how the Moravian missionaries in Greenland put a stop to the dancing which formerly enlivened the long dark winter of that desolate region, and I asked myself why the Christian missionary, whether teaching in the icy gloom of the Arctic circle, or in brilliant sunshine on a palm-fringed strand, must forbid his converts to indulge in such a healthful and harmless recreation, in both cases almost the sole possible amusement. I could see no reason why the heathen should have all the fun. The labours of the missionary were, however, very much to the benefit of the Tagbanúas, as inducing them to settle down, build houses, and raise crops for their support.

The Spanish gun-boats had stopped the inroads of Moros by sea, and detachments of native troops along the coast stopped the raiding by land. For twenty years the Tagbanúas had suffered little, and for several years absolutely nothing from the Moros, yet they apparently could not realise their security, and were afraid to accumulate anything lest it should be taken from them. To the ravages of the pirate, there has succeeded the extortion of the usurer, and John Chinaman waxes fat whilst the wretched Tagbanúa starves.

Whilst travelling through the jungle I found some natives cutting canes, and my interpreter pointed out to me an emaciated couple, and assured me that during the famine of the previous season, these poor wretches had killed and eaten their own child to save their lives. What a state of things in a country where maize will grow up and give edible grain in forty-two days from the date of planting it! I trust that the change of government may result in some benefit to these poor people, and that a Governor or Protector of Aborigines may be appointed with absolute power who will check the abuses of the half-caste and Chinese usurers, and give the poor down-trodden Tagbanúas, at one time I firmly believe a comparatively civilised people, a chance to live and thrive. [317]



The Tandulanos are physically similar to the Negritos, but less robust. They inhabit the shores of Palawan, being scattered along the western coast between the Bay of Malampaya and Caruray. They are more savage than the other races of the island, but they fulfil their engagements with rigorous exactness. They make rough canoes, and subsist principally on fish and shell-fish, and they do no cultivation. They are very skilful in the use of the harpoon which they employ for fishing. If they can obtain iron, they use it for their harpoon-points, otherwise they point them with the spike from the tail of a skate.

They use a most active poison on their harpoons and darts, so much so, that it is said to produce almost instantaneous death.

This poison is unknown to the other tribes. They refuse to sell their cerbatanas, or blow-pipes, from which they shoot their darts.

They are said to intermarry indiscriminately, without regard to kinship. Their number was computed at 1500 in the year 1888, and they are probably not much more numerous now.

These people are, like the Negritos, whom they resemble, a hopeless race, not capable of advancing in civilisation.


Manguianes and Negritos of Palawan.

These people have been described under the heading Aetas or Negritos, in Part I. The first-named inhabit the interior of that part of the island occupied by the Moros who jealously prevent them from holding any intercourse with strangers.

Moros of Southern Palawan.—These people do not differ in any essential particular from the Moros of Mindanao. They look back with regret on the good old days before the advent of the steam gun-boats, and the establishment of the fortified posts along their shores when they could make their annual raids and massacre, plunder, and enslave, the wretched Tagbanúas without interference. They will doubtless take full advantage of any negligence of the United States authorities to keep up the gun-boat flotilla, and to maintain the military posts. [318]

They now live by agriculture, all the labour being performed by slaves, and by trading with the savages of the mountains, vying with the Christians in usurious rapacity.

John Chinaman in Palawan is just the same as his brother in Mindanao—a remorseless usurer, and a skilful manipulator of false weights and measures, but no worse in the treatment of the unhappy aboriginal than the Christian native or half-caste.

Puerto Princesa, the capital, had a population at the time of my visit in 1890 of about 1500, of which number 1200 were males and 300 females. About half the males were soldiers and sailors, one-fourth convicts, and the remainder civilians. Most of the women had been deported from Manila as undesirable characters in that decorous city. Notwithstanding their unsavoury antecedents, they found new husbands or protectors in Puerto Princesa the moment they landed. Such was the competition for these very soiled doves, that most of them had made their new arrangements before leaving the jetty alongside which the steamer they arrived in lay.

There was some little cultivation round about the capital, but as usual trading with the aborigines for gum, rattans, balate, green snail-shells, and other jungle produce was the most entrancing pursuit.

At a short distance from the town was a Government Sugar Plantation, which I visited. If sugar planting could flourish anywhere, it surely should have done so here, for the land cost nothing, the convicts did all the unskilled labour and the machinery was paid for by the Government. Yet the blighting influence of the official mind succeeded even here in causing the place to be run at a loss. The sugar badly prepared was shipped to Manila to be sold at a reduced price, and sugar for the troops and general use was imported from other parts.

The governor of the island, during the later period of Spanish rule, has usually been a naval officer, and as the communications are principally by sea, and any punitive operations have to be performed by the gun-boat flotilla, this would seem to be a precedent the United States might follow with advantage. [319]


Tagbanúa Alphabet.

Communicated to F. H. Sawyer by Fray Lorenzo Zapater, Missionary at Inagáhuan, Palawan.

Q q
Ng ng
P p
O or U
o or u
G g
E or I
e or i
N n
D d
M m
C c
T t
B b
S s
A a
L or R
l or r


e i

N.B.—The Roman letters are to be pronounced as in Spanish and the Tagbanúa correspondingly, Ah, bay, say, day, aye or ee, o or oo, pay, ku, etc.


Notes by the Padre Zapater.


1. The consonants in the Tagbanúa alphabet are eleven and sometimes twelve, but the vowels are three, since the ia and the oa which are vowels, are compound letters, although strictly they may be considered as vowels, but the ia and the ua are written the same, as has been said. [320]

2. In reading the Tagbanúa alphabet, you begin from the bottom upwards.

3. To write the consonants with their vowels, for example, ba, be, bi, bo, bu, you put a dash at the right or left. If on the right, it means be, bi, and if on the left of the consonant bo, bu.

N.B.—Father Zapater’s note 3 is somewhat obscure, or rather badly expressed. It perhaps ought to have been said that a dash right and left means ba. [321]

Part III.

Mindanao, Including Basilan.


Chapter XXXV.

Brief Geographical Description.

Configuration—Mountains—Rivers—Lakes—Division into districts—Administration—Productions—Basilan.

Mindanao is of a very irregular shape, which it is not easy to describe. It has some resemblance to a winged skate, with a long tail, one of the Raiidæ, which is common in Manila Bay. The head of the skate is turned to the east; the peninsula of Surigao forms the northern wing, and Punta Panguian the tip of the southern wing, out of which, however, a great piece has been bitten, corresponding to the Gulf of Davao. The body is represented by the main part of the island, and the tail commences at the isthmus of Tucúran and stretches westward for a degree of longitude. This straight part is the old kingdom of Sibuguey. On the north of it, however, a huge excrescence appears; this is the peninsula of Dapitan, and on the south, opposite to it, there is a similar projection, which is cut in two by the Gulf of Dumanquilas.

Mt. Silingan represents the spike or hook usually found on the tails of these fish, and from here the tail bends southward and westward through an arc of 60°. This part represents the peninsula of Zamboanga, and the town of that name is situated at the tip of the tail. A continuous chain of mountains down the centre of the tail represents the vertebræ.

Beginning on the east, we find a long stretch of coast from Surigao to Cape San Agustin with only one or two [322]anchorages for small vessels. The rest of the coast is exposed to the full force of the Pacific Ocean, and from November to April is quite open to the N.E. monsoon. It is also subject to tidal waves or rollers just as are the coasts of Peru and Chili. A destructive bore enters the river mouths and inlets, and heavy seas get up off all the headlands. In the channels between Surigao and the islands off the northern coasts, rapid currents are formed and overfalls render navigation dangerous for country vessels. In fact, during the strength of the N.E. monsoon the east coast, from Placer to the Bay of Mayo, is hemmed in with surf, and without a single port. Behind point Taucanan, however, is found Port Balete and Port Pujada. This latter is the best port in the island, being well sheltered from the N. and N.E. The country about it is well watered, and produces timber trees of great size and fine quality. The waters contain plenty of fish, and turtle, also some mother-of-pearl shells. The forests give the best kinds of almáciga, and wax.

The hill-men are partly independent but pacific, and the Visaya population is considerable in the district of Mati.

In general, the east coast is rocky, and very foul in many places. The land is fertile and well-wooded. Gold is found in the Cordillera, and on its eastern slopes all the way from Surigao to Punta Tagobong. One of the northern towns is called Placer on this account. The inaccessibility of the east coast during the strength of the N.E. monsoon has retarded the civilisation of Surigao which was settled in the early years of the conquest. The Caraga-Visaya, who inhabit a considerable district on this coast, are old Christians and have always been ready to fight for their faith.

Practically parallel to this coast is a chain of mountains which begins at Surigao and extends down to Punta San Agustin with hardly a break. I shall call this the eastern Cordillera. In this chain, near the northern end, lies Lake Mainit (Hot Lake), having steep sides with twenty fathoms close to the edge, and two hundred fathoms in the middle. This cavity has, no doubt, been formed by volcanic action, like the lake of Taal. On the slopes of the mountains around it are many thermal springs which run into the lake, and in rainy weather the summits are always shrouded in vapour by the evaporation of the rain. [323]

The lake is subject to tremendous floods. Dr. Montano, who visited it in December, 1880, speaks of a rise of twelve fathoms. He also says that a ground-swell gets up in this sheltered lake; this must be from some modified volcanic action still going on. As usual in Philippine crater-lakes, this is a great breeding-place for alligators.

The Eastern Cordillera being so near the coast, there are of course no navigable rivers running into the Pacific, but the streams become impassable torrents during the heavy rains which begin in June, and prevent communication by land for many days or even weeks at a stretch.

Approximately parallel to the Eastern Cordillera, and at about fifty geographical miles distance, there stands another range which I shall call the Central Cordillera. A line drawn from Punta Diuata to the middle of the Gulf of Sarangani, nearly due north and south, intersects Mt. Sinalagao, Mt. Panamoyan, the active volcano, Mt. Apo and Mt. Matutuan, which appear to be the loftiest peaks of the range.

From Mt. Panamoyan in about 7° 50′ N. Lat. a spur strikes eastwards at right angles to the range, reaching half-way across the valley. This spur then turns to the south parallel to the range for some twenty miles, and from the middle of the east and west part, another spur turns south for about 20 miles, thus forming a letter E with the points looking south.

In the wide valley between the Eastern and Central Cordilleras, and taking the drainage of the whole watershed is the River Agusan. Rising about the 7th parallel on the slopes of Mt. Tagoppo, this river runs a very sinuous course in a general northerly direction, but inclining slightly to the west, receiving innumerable tributaries on either side. At about 8° 15′ N. Lat. the Agusan expands or overflows, forming a series of shallow lakes, choked up with driftwood and vegetation, and varying in extent with the rainfall.

Continually gathering volume, it runs into the Bay of Butuan about 9° N. Lat.

At Moncayo, in 7° 45′ N. Lat., the Agusan is one hundred yards wide, and is navigable for canoes even much higher up.

The spur previously spoken of as striking east and south from Mt. Panamoyan, forms two small watersheds. The western one gives rise to the River Libaganon, and the eastern to the River Salug. Both these rivers run in a [324]southerly direction, and unite to form the River Tagum, which runs for a short distance S.E. and falls into the head of the Gulf of Davao.

A little way south of Mt. Panamoyan some mountain streams dash down the sides of the Cordillera and running through a gap unite to form the River Davao which flows in a south-easterly direction till it reaches the plain, when it changes its course and runs east into the Gulf of Davao. From Point Sipaca, in 9° N. Lat., a range of mountains stretches in a southerly direction for about sixty miles. Amongst these are Mt. Sipaca, Mt. Saorag, and Mt. Quimanquil. With the Central Cordillera this range forms a watershed, and the torrents on the steep sides of Sinalagao and Quimanquil dash down and take a southerly direction to form the headwaters of the River Pulangui and ultimately become the Rio Grande. In 7° 50′ N. Lat. two important affluents join, the River Sauaga and the River Malupati, a few miles lower the Calibatojan and the Kaya-Kaya bring their tribute, and the united flood with rapid current casts itself headlong into the deep Cañon of Locosocan and runs in this for over four miles to Salagalpon, where another cataract occurs. The river continues for miles a rushing torrent amongst huge boulders, at the bottom of this cleft, so narrow in places, where the rocks jut out and nearly meet overhead, that it seems like a tunnel. In 7° 46′ N. Lat. there is a small volcano close to the left bank which, whenever it rains, becomes active and gives off stifling fumes of sulphur. At Mantanil, in 7° 40′ N., the river can be navigated on bamboo rafts, handled by skilled Manobo pilots, but not without much risk; for some distance down there are two buchis, or sinks, where the water runs down into subterraneous passages through the river-bed, forming dangerous whirlpools. There are also several rapids which require great dexterity to pass safely. The banks are still high; but, on approaching the confluence of the Kulaman river, on the left bank, the gorge is much lower, and on arriving at Ilang the country opens out.

South of the confluence of the River Molita, vintas can navigate the river, and a little lower down, at the confluence of the River Simuni, is the place reached by the gunboat Taal in 1863 on a 6-foot draught. The river now runs in a southerly and westerly direction, with dozens of bends till about 6° 45′ N. Lat., when, on reaching Lake Liguasan (really a Pinag) a shallow and weedy expanse of water, it [325]turns to the west, and then north-west. At Tumbao it bifurcates, and enters the Bay of Illana by two mouths forming a long narrow delta of deep and rich alluvial soil.

From Tumbao to Tamontaca is the most beautiful and fertile part of this river. On both banks grow cocoa-palms, areca-palms, banana and cacao-trees, coffee-bushes, and hemp plants in abundance, and amongst them are groups of native houses forming a continuous village, of which the placid river, here fifty yards wide, forms the main street. These houses are mostly occupied by friendly Moros.

Nearly parallel to the Sipaca-Soarag-Quimanquil range a second range stretches irregularly in a north and south line, ending at the coast near Cagayan. Amongst these mountains is Mt Quitanglag. From Pt. Sulanan the western extremity of the Bay of Macajalar, a third range stretches south, then south-east, then south again for some thirty miles. Between this range and the Bay of Iligan there is a fourth range of hills. These four ranges form three valleys or watersheds, each of which has its river, with a general course from south to north, all three running into the Bay of Macajalar.

The most easterly is the River of Tagoloan which has fourteen tributaries, the next is the River Cagayan with only three, then the River Capay with seven tributaries, all on the left bank.

Proceeding westward we come to the great and deep Lake of Lanao, described under the heading Moros, but which has never been surveyed, and then to the Gulf of Panguil, which, on the map, looks like a forearm and clenched fist, which nearly cuts Mindanao in two. The isthmus is only fourteen miles across in a straight line.

This was formerly a regular pirates’ track, over which they hauled their vessels, but it was till lately guarded by a chain of forts connected by a military road called the Trocha of Tucuran.

Two rivers running in a general direction from west to east and having between them a dozen tributaries, run into the Gulf of Panguil. The most northerly of the two is the Mipangi and the other is the Lintogo.

We now arrive at the peninsula of Sibuguey which I have likened to the tail of the skate. Around Lake Lanao there is an irregular loop of hills, and from the western end of this starts a cordillera which stretches right down the centre of the peninsula of Sibuguey and Zamboanga. A [326]line drawn from Punta Sicayati (in the Dapitan excrescence) to the eastern shore of the Gulf of Dumanquilas will intersect a range of mountains which cross the Cordillera of Sibuguey nearly at right angles and with equal arms north and south. But the end of the northern arm bifurcates and throws out two ranges N.E. and N.W.

In the watershed thus formed three rivers take their rise, and have a general course from south to north but bearing a little to the westward. The easternmost of these is called the Dapitan, and runs into the bay of the same name. The next is the Dipolog, which runs into the sea west of Punta Sicayab; and the last is the Lubungan, running in about two leagues more to the west.

The other rivers in the peninsula are so unimportant that I do not enumerate them. Like those on the east coast they become raging torrents in the rainy season.

On the northern and southern coasts, which are more protected than the eastern, sheltered anchorages are to be found here and there, but no such fine natural harbours exist as abound in Southern Luzon. There is, however, less need for them, as it is very rare that the typhoons, which are so destructive in Luzon and the Visayas, cause damage in Mindanao, except at its northern and eastern corner. But for service on these coasts, vessels of a light draught of water are the most useful, as they can more easily find sheltered anchorage.

Mindanao is not nearly so unhealthy as is commonly supposed. Zamboanga and neighbourhood, Davao, Surigao, Talisay, and several other places, are really quite healthy for Europeans, if they take care of themselves.

Earthquakes are frequent. They would sometimes be destructive, but there is so little in the way of buildings to destroy. Divisions for Administrative Purposes.

Zamboanga is the chief military station and the residence of the commandant-general of the island.

Mindanao is divided into five districts:—

  • 1st. District chief town Zamboanga (capital of the island).
  • 2nd. District chief town Misamis (includes Lake Lanao).
  • 3rd. District chief town Surigao (includes the whole kingdom of Caraga, also the valley of the Agusan).[327]
  • 4th. District chief town Davao (shores of the bay and peninsula of San Agustin).
  • 5th. District chief town Cotta-bato (valley of the Rio Grande and ancient Sultanate of Buhayen).

The island of Basilan forms a sixth district under the commandant-general of Mindanao.

Each of these districts was under a politico-military governor and other officials, as follows:—

  • 1st District, Major, Naval Lieutenant, Captain of Port.
  • 2nd District, Lieut.-Colonel.
  • 3rd District, Lieut.-Colonel.
  • 4th District, Major.
  • 5th District, Lieut.-Colonel.
  • 6th District, Naval Lieutenant, Naval Station.

Besides these politico-military governors there were the following officers in charge of military districts:—

  • Mumungan in 2nd district (Fort Weyler and vicinity to look after the Moros of Lake Lanao) Major.
  • Dapitan in 2nd district (To look after the Moros of Sindangan Bay) Major.
  • Bislig in 3rd district (To look after the Mandayas and Manobos) Captain.

To attend to the administration of justice there was a third-class judge in each district. From their decisions there was an appeal to the Audiencia at Cebú, and from there to the Supreme Court, Madrid.

In Zamboanga where there is (or was) a custom-house, there resided a Treasury delegate of the second class. In each of the other districts there is one of the fourth class.

The southern naval division has its headquarters at Isabela de Basilan.


Productions of Mindanao.

The climate and soil of Mindanao are suitable for growing almost any tropical crop to great advantage: hemp, sugar cane, tobacco, coffee, cacao, rice, indigo, sesame, maize, sweet potatoes, pepper, all flourish. But the island is very backward; it is only recently that the savage races have been settled in the reducciones. The population is very sparse, and natives are more addicted to washing the sands for gold or seeking jungle-produce than disposed to apply themselves to agriculture. [328]

The exports have hitherto been very small. About some of the northern ports a good beginning has been made in cultivating and preparing hemp, and several Spaniards have laid out plantations there.

There is a small export of coffee and cacao, and the circumstance that the greater part of the island is free from typhoons renders it exceptionally favourable for planting these valuable products, or for growing unlimited quantities of cocoa-nut for making copra. For the same reason the timber in Mindanao is larger than in the best districts of Luzon, and some of the trees are truly magnificent. Mindanao, with its inhabitants busily engaged in murdering their neighbours and enslaving their children, can, of course, never prosper; but if such outrages are repressed, and peace assured, the population will rapidly increase and agriculture will prosper.

Amongst the forest produce gutta-percha took a leading place, but this product came through the hands of the Chinese traders, who, as their custom is, adulterated it to such an extent that its value became greatly depreciated in European and American markets, and the trade fell off. Some lignite is found in Mindanao, but I have no confidence in the value of Philippine coal-fields. They have been too much broken up by volcanic action. I have very little doubt that petroleum will be found in Mindanao when it is explored. It has been reported in Mindoro and Cebú.

The early explorers of the Archipelago state that the natives wore little clothes, but abundance of gold ornaments. Now they wear more clothes but little gold. It is surprising how quickly the heathen become impoverished whenever they have Christian neighbours.



The sixth district of Mindanao is formed of the Basilan group of some forty islands lying opposite to Zamboanga, having a total area of 170,000 acres. The only important one of the group is Basilan Island, which has an irregular outline, an oval with two projections opposite each other, east and west, the latter resembles a turtle’s head and the former a turtle’s tail, so that the shape of the island on the map is that of a turtle with his head to the west. The total length from the point of the beak to the tip of the [329]tail is about thirty-two geographical miles, and the width across the body about twenty-one miles. The port of Isabela is sheltered by the Island of Malamaui, on which there is a Moro rancheria called Lucbalan, and a Christian visita, Sta. Barbara. The capital, Isabela, is situated about the centre of the channel, and to the east of the mouth of the Pasahan (now called Isabela) River.

To the south of the town, which is situated on a stony slope at a short distance, the fort is placed at an elevation of about sixty feet above the sea. It commands both entrances of the channel.

There is a barrack near the fort, a prison, military infirmary, school, town hall. The naval station consists of store-houses and workshops, marine-barracks, hospital, and magazine.

There is a church, and missionaries’ residence. The island is hilly but fertile in places. Some twenty to thirty acres are under cultivation near Isabela, and the Moros who form the principal population make their slaves work on the lands about their hamlets. There are no manufactures worth mentioning.

The Christian population is as follows:—

Town of Isabela 921
Hamlet of San Pedro de Guihanan 130
Hamlet of Santa Barbara 50
Reduccion of Panigayan 25
Reduccion of Tabuc 12
Scattered Christians 12
Members of the Naval Station 86 variable.
Garrison of the Fort 40

The Moro population is distributed in about fifty villages or hamlets. They can turn out about 4400 fighting-men, and are considered valiant and hardy.

The Moros of Basilan, according to Father Foradada, have not the sanguinary instincts of those of Lake Lanao or of Joló, and any outrages they commit are, he thinks, due to the instigations of the Moros of Joló, who unfortunately keep up a communication with them and corrupt them.

Amongst the most influential Dattos of Basilan is Pedro Cuevas, a Tagal. He was formerly a convict, but [330]escaped, and, by force of character and desperate courage, he became a leading man amongst the Moros. Having rendered some services to Spain, he received a pardon, and now has extensive plantations, a sugar-mill, and herds of cattle. He is, in fact, about the richest and most influential man in the island, and has become reconciled to the Church, and was much trusted both by the military and naval authorities and by the missionaries.

The map of the island is from a report of Father Cavalleria who went by sea right round it in 1893. [331]


Chapter XXXVI.

The Tribes of Mindanao.


Visayas (1) [Old Christians].

In another part of the book I have given a description of the Visayas in their own islands, and have spoken of their enterprise and industry as manifested in the extent of their exports of sugar and hemp, and in their manufacture of textiles of the most varied kind.

The Visayas of Mindanao have been modified by their environment both for good and evil. Thus they are bolder and more warlike than their brethren at home, having had for centuries to defend themselves against bloodthirsty Moros. The Visayas of Caraga are especially valiant and self-reliant, and they needed to be so, for the Spaniards, whenever hard pressed by English, Dutch or Portuguese, had a way of recalling their garrisons, and leaving their dependents to shift for themselves. The Visaya of Mindanao, therefore, though not a soldier, is a fighting-man, and their towns possess a rudimentary defensive organisation called the somaten. This, I believe is a Catalan word, and indicates a body of armed townsmen called together by the church bell to defend the place against attack. This service is compulsory and unpaid.

The arms have been supplied by the Spanish Government, and have generally been of obsolete pattern. I have seen in Culion flint-lock muskets in the hands of the guards. Latterly, however, Remington rifles have been supplied, and they are very serviceable and quite suitable for these levies.

The Visayas have been the assistants of the missionaries, and from them come most of the school-masters [332]and mistresses who instruct the children of the recently-converted natives.

Their language is fast extending, and their numbers are increasing, both naturally, and by a considerable voluntary immigration from the southern Visayas Islands.

To the inhabitants of these small islands, fertile Mindanao, with its broad lands, free to all, is what the United States were a generation ago to the cotters of Cork or Kerry—a land of promise.

There is, however, a demoralising tendency at work amongst the Visayas. The profits of bartering with the hill-men are so great, that they are tempted away from their agriculture, and from their looms, to take up this lucrative trade, in competition with the Chinese.

The Visaya has one great advantage over the Chinaman; he has the courage to go up into the hills, and find his customers in their haunts. This the Celestial could not do, but has to remain at his store on the coast and await the hill-men.

Both traders cheat the hill-tribes most abominably.

Dr. Montano mentions a case which happened in Butuan in December, 1879.

A Visaya went into the interior taking with him some threads of different colours which he had purchased for seventy-five cents, and returned with jungle produce worth ten dollars. This he invested in beads, brass-wire, and other articles of trade, and returned to the woods. In a month he came back, bringing produce to the value of 100 dollars, and 400 dollars to his credit with the natives.

The tribes of Mindanao pay their debts with scrupulous exactness. If they die before paying, their sons assume the debt, and unless they are killed or taken as slaves by other races, the money is sure to be paid. Consequently, this rapacious usurer had sold them goods costing 10 dollars, 75 cents, for 510 dollars, of which 110 dollars in cash, and 400 dollars credit. It is satisfactory to learn that the commandant at Butuan made him disgorge, and freed the hill-men from their heavy debt.

Lieut. P. Garcia and Local Militia of Baganga, Caraga (East Coast).

Lieut. P. Garcia and Local Militia of Baganga, Caraga (East Coast).

[To face p. 333.

To sum up, the Visaya is a necessary man in Mindanao, and the immigration should be encouraged. All the Visaya towns bordering on the Moros should have their somatenes armed, exercised, and supplied with ammunition. Amongst Visayas are to be found plenty of men well suited to command these bands. As they are fighting the Moros for life [333]and property, they may be trusted to stand up to them manfully.

The illustration shows a party of Visayas militia belonging to the town of Baganga, in Caraga, under a native officer of gigantic stature, Lieutenant Don Prudencio Garcia.


Mamanúas (2).

A hybrid race between Negritos and Malays.

They are not numerous, and live in the northern promontory of Surigao, from near the River Agusan to the east coast, south of Lake Mainit. They are, indeed, miserable wretches, wandering in the hills and forest without any fixed habitation, their only property a lance, a bolo, and some starveling curs.

Sometimes they plant a few sweet potatoes, and at certain times in the year they get wild honey; at other times they hunt the wild pig. They lay up no provisions, and wander about naked and hungry. They are difficult to convert, having no good qualities to work upon. They promise anything, but never perform, being able to give as a reason—some evil omen, for instance—that, on coming out in the morning, they have heard the cry of the turtle-dove (limbucun) on the left hand.

Notwithstanding all these difficulties, the zeal of the missionaries has not been wasted, and several reducciones of Mamanúas have been founded, and are progressing to some extent.


Manobos (3).

The Manobos are a warlike heathen race, widely extended in Mindanao. The great River Agusan, taking its rise in the district of Davao, in 7° N. latitude, falls into the Bay of Butuan about 9° N. latitude. Its general course is parallel to the eastern Cordillera, from which it receives numerous tributaries. At almost 8° 15′ N. latitude it expands, and forms four considerable lakes of no great depth, and varying in extent according to the season. They are partly covered by aquatic plants. These lakes are called Linao, Dagun, Dinagat and Cadocun; they are quite near each other. The Manobos inhabit this spacious valley from Moncado, in 7° 45′, to about 8° 45′ N. latitude on the right bank, where they come in contact with the Mamanúas and Mandayas; but on the left bank they extend nearly to [334]the sea, and up to the eastern slopes of the Central Cordillera. They even extend over the Cordillera to the head waters of the Rio Grande. They occupy the left bank of the Pulangui, and their southern frontier on the Rio Grande is at 7° 30′ N. latitude, where one of their chiefs, called the Datto Capitan Manobo, lives. The river is navigable for vintas up to here, and, in 1863, the gunboat Taal, drawing six feet, steamed to within five miles of this point, say up to the River Simuni. They extend up the Pulangui to about 8° 15′ N. latitude. In appearance they have a Mongolian cast of feature. Their faces are longer than amongst the Mandayas; their noses are not flattened, but straight, and projecting, and slightly curved at the lower end. Their general aspect is robust; their stature is about 5 feet 7 inches. Their usual dress consists of short drawers reaching to the knee, and a sort of singlet, or short shirt.

They live in clans under a bagani, or head-murderer (see Mandayas for explanation), who is usually accompanied by his brothers-in-law. They are polygamists; still, the first wife is the head, and all the others must obey her. Each wife has her own house, just as the late Brigham Young’s harem had at Salt Lake City. But they are satisfied with fewer than that prophet, there being none amongst their dattos who have nineteen wives. They are slaveholders, as the children taken in war become slaves, and all the work of cultivation is done by the women, children and slaves.

Their houses are built on piles, as are also their granaries. They cultivate on a considerable scale, and raise quantities of rice, maize, sweet potatoes and tobacco, not only to supply their own wants, but to sell in boat-loads to the Visayas. Their arms are lances, shields, swords and daggers, and, in some parts, bows and arrows. They are said to be expert archers where they use the bow. They raise numbers of horses for riding.

In valour, and in disposition to come to close quarters in fighting, they resemble the Igorrotes of Luzon. They stand up squarely to the Moros, which few other races have the pluck to do. Like the Igorrotes, their religion consists in ancestor-worship, but they call their idols Dinatas instead of Anitos. They are much impressed by thunder, which they call the voice of the lightning, and a rainbow fills them with awe. Like the Tagals, and some races in British India, they consider the crocodile a sacred animal, and [335]respectfully address it as grandfather. They also, like the old heathen Tagals, consider rocks, caves, or balete trees, as residences of spirits. They celebrate a feast in honour of the Dinatas after the harvest, and make sacrifices of swine.

Tag-Busan is their god of war, and it is usual amongst them to go on the war-path after the harvest is secured; the bagani, as high priest of this god, carries his talisman hung round his neck.

They make ambuscades, and attack neighbours or enemies in the most treacherous manner, either by setting fire to their houses and murdering them as they attempt to escape from the flames, or they cut through the piles supporting the houses, covering themselves with their shields interlocked whilst doing so, and spearing the occupants when the house falls. When an enemy has been felled, the bagani, taking a consecrated sword, never used in fighting, cuts open the chest, and immerses the talisman of the god in the blood; then, tearing out the heart or liver, he eats a piece. The Sácopes are not allowed this privilege, which belongs only to the chief, as the high priest of the god of war. The children of the slain are taken as slaves, and the young women for concubines. One of the prisoners is kept to be sacrificed in some cruel manner to Tag-Busan on the return of the expedition as a thank-offering.

The death of a relative requires to be atoned for by the murder of any innocent person passing by, the avenger concealing himself near a path, and killing the first stranger who comes.

The Manobos are very smart in handling canoes or rafts on their rivers, which are very dangerous to navigate, and have many rapids and whirlpools; the Pulangui even precipitates itself into a chasm, and runs underground for a league and a half. However, the terrible picture I have drawn of their habits is becoming year by year a thing of the past to thousands of Manobos, although still kept up in places. The intrepidity of the Jesuit missionaries is proof against every danger and every privation, has carried them up the River Agusan, on which, at short distances apart, they have established towns or villages, and have brought many thousands of Manobos within the Christian communion.

Father Urios, one of these missionaries, baptized 5200 [336]heathen in one year, and now no less than twenty Christian towns or villages stand on the banks of the River Agusan and its tributaries, populated by perhaps fifteen thousand Manobos, formerly heathens, who have given up their detestable practices and their murderous slave-raids to occupy themselves in cultivating the soil, whilst their children of both sexes are receiving instruction from Visaya school-masters and mistresses. There is always a tendency to remontar amongst them, and sometimes nearly all the inhabitants of a village take to the woods and hills. Yet, secure from attack, the number of converts steadily increases. The Baganis have become gobernadorcillos, and their chief vassals tenientes, jueces de paz, and cuadrilleros. Some of the old Baganis who were well off were so anxious not to be behind the Visayas, that they sent to Manila for hats, black cloth coats and trousers, and patent leather shoes, to wear on the great feasts of the Church, and on the occasion of the annual village festival.

This is a long way from human sacrifices to the Tag-Busan, and ceremonial cannibal rites, which these men formerly practised. I look on this warlike and vigorous race as capable of becoming valuable citizens, but they will require careful handling for some years to come. They must not be rushed, for, if alarmed by innovations, they may take to the woods en masse, and the labour of years will have been wasted.

I look to this tribe, when trained to use fire-arms, and stiffened with a few Americans, to destroy the power of the pirate races—the murderous, slave-hunting Moros, with whom it is useless to make treaties, who cannot be converted till the power of their dattos is broken, and who must be sternly put down by force unless the nascent civilisation of Mindanao is to be thrown back for a century.

In the beginning of June, 1892, a Bagani of the Manobos performed the paghuaga, or human sacrifice, on a hill opposite Veruela, on the River Agusan. The victim was a Christian girl whom he had bought for the purpose from some slave-raiders.


Mandayas (4).

The Mandayas live on the Eastern Cordillera of Mindanao which runs parallel to the coast, and their territory extends from the 7th to the 9th parallel. They occupy the country [337]down to the River Salug. They are remarkable for their light colour, some having quite fair complexions. Their faces are wide, the cheek-bones being very prominent; yet their appearance is not unpleasing, for they have large dark eyes shaded by long eye-lashes.

They are much respected by other tribes as an ancient and aristocratic race, and the war-like Manobos eagerly seek, by fair means or foul, to obtain Mandaya women for wives.

They usually shave off their beards, and also their eyebrows, wearing their hair long, tied in a knot at the back.

They are powerfully built, and of good stature. The men wear short drawers, and on grand occasions don an embroidered jacket. Both men and women wear large ear-ornaments. The women are clad in a bodice and patadion with ornaments of shells, beads, or small bells. The men are of a bold and warlike disposition, ready to fight against other villages of their tribe when not at war with the Manobos, the Guiangas, or the Manguangas, their neighbours. They have a language of their own which has a great affinity to the Visaya.

Their houses, four or five forming a village, are built on lofty piles thirty or forty, or even fifty feet above the ground. The floor is of thick planks and has a parapet all round pierced with loop-holes for defence. Above this parapet the house is open all round up to the eaves, but this space can be closed in by hanging shutters in bad weather. The construction of dwellings at such a height must involve an enormous amount of labour. Each group of houses forming a village is usually surrounded by a strong palisade of sharp-pointed posts, and further defended by pits lined with sharp stakes, which are lightly covered over with twigs and leaves.

Several families live in one house, after the custom of the Dayaks of Borneo, to provide a garrison for defence. An ample supply of arms is kept in the house, bows and arrows, spears, swords and knives. They are liable to be attacked in the night, either by the Manobos, the Moros, or by the sácopes of some neighbouring datto, who shoot flaming arrows covered with resin into the roof to set it on fire, or covering themselves with their shields from the arrows of the defenders, make a determined attempt to cut down the piles so that the house will fall. The attacking party is most often victorious, and the defenders, driven out by fire, or bruised and entangled amongst the fallen timbers, [338]are easily killed, the women and children, with the other booty, being carried off by the assailants. Under this reign of terror the population is diminishing. These people not only kill for booty, but also for the honour and glory of it. Each warrior is anxious to become a bagani, and to be allowed to wear the honourable insignia of that rank. The dress of a bagani indicates approximately the number of murders he has committed. A scarlet head-cloth shows that he has killed from five to ten men; a red shirt, in addition, from ten to twenty, whilst a complete suit of red shows that he has murdered more than twenty persons, and is a much-desired and very honourable distinction, a sort of D.S.O. or K.C.B. amongst them.

All the dattos are baganis; they could hardly possess enough prestige to govern their sácopes without this title.

The Mandayas are superstitious, and much attached to their own beliefs, and on this account it is difficult to convert them to Christianity. The devotion of the Jesuits, however, has not been in vain, and several pueblos on the east coast round about Bislig, Caraga, and Cateel-Baganga are now inhabited by Christian Mandayas, some of whom have intermarried with the Visayas, or “old Christians.” These Mandayas are now safe from attack. They give their attention to cultivation, and are increasing in numbers and rising in the scale of civilisation.

Ancestral-worship is their religion, and their Dinatas, or wooden idols, are stained red with the sap of the narra tree. They have priestesses whom they call Bailanes, and they are said to occasionally make human sacrifices.

As amongst other tribes in Mindanao, the Limbucun, or turtle-dove, is a sacred bird, and rice and fruit is placed for its use on a small raised platform, and it is never molested.

They are organised in a strict feudal system, the headman or datto of each village is in fact the only free man of his clan. The others are Sácopes—that is, followers or vassals who, as well as the datto, possess slaves. A Mandaya datto can seldom raise more than fifty spears; sometimes two or three federate, but expeditions on a large scale cannot be undertaken, for it would be impossible to feed several hundred men in their country, such is the poverty of the inhabitants.

Sometimes a small group of Mandaya dattos recognises as suzerain some neighbouring datto of the piratical Moros, who always tries to keep them isolated and to prevent any [339]intercourse or trade with the Christians, unless through themselves.

The Mandayas have canoes and bamboo rafts on the streams and rivers running through their territory. They catch a good many fish.

Their agriculture is on a very reduced scale, and is limited to small plantations of rice and sweet potatoes near their villages; they keep poultry. They do not dare to travel far from their houses for fear they might be seized for slaves, or even sold to be sacrificed on the death of a datto. Sometimes when a man has been condemned to death for some crime his datto sells him to some person requiring a victim for the death-vengeance, if he is assured that it is intended to kill him. The datto thus combines the execution of justice with a due regard to his own profit.


Manguángas (5).

According to Blumentritt, this tribe lives in the Cordillera Sagat, and extends as far as the Great Lake Boayan or Magindanao, and an old estimate gives their number as 80,000. On his map he shows, the Lake and River Boayan in dotted lines, the latter is made to fall into the Rio Grande.

On two modern maps of Mindanao which I have, one by Jesuits and the other from Don Jose Nieto Aguilar’s book on this Island, neither the river nor the lake appear; but, in their stead, a lofty range of mountains is shown. In each of these maps the Manguánga territory occupies an entirely different location.

As the Jesuits have three reducciones or villages amongst this tribe, I accept their map as constructed according to the latest information. They show in their earlier maps the Manguánga territory at the head of the Bay of Davao, its southern frontier being some twelve miles from the sea, and about the head-waters of the River Salug and the River Agusan.

The reducciones are called Gandia, Pilar, and Compostela. In the general Report of the Jesuit Missions of 1896, the mission station of Jativa is stated to consist of six reducciones of Manobos, Mandayas and Manguángas, with a total population of 1389.

In the general report of the following year the Manguángas and other tribes are not specifically mentioned, [340]and the total population of the mission station of Jativa is given as 1458.

In a later ethnographical map of Mindanao the Manguánga territory appears still more circumscribed, being limited to a strip of land between the Rivers Julep and Nabo, affluents of the River Agusan; Nieto’s map, however, shows them extending over the Eastern Cordillera towards Linguit, which is situated on the coast in about 7° 50′ N. latitude.

Dr. Montano, who went up the Rio Salug in 1880, passing through the Manguánga territory, says he found the banks deserted.

There can be no doubt that this once numerous tribe has been reduced to a mere remnant, part settled in the before-mentioned reducciones, and part still wandering in mountains.


Montéses or Buquidnónes (6).

The Spanish word Montés, means hill-man. Buquid, in Tagal, means arable land; and Taga-buquid, a countryman. The Tagal equivalent of hill-man is Taga-bundoc, which corresponds to the jungle-wallah of British India. The word Buquidnónes may mean cultivators, and their extensive plantations fully justify this designation. It is therefore rather a vague expression, but still designates a particular tribe in Mindanao, whose numbers were estimated to amount to 13,000 ten years ago, and who have probably largely increased since then.

They occupy the valleys through which the Rivers of Cagayan and Tagoloan run, and the hills between them and on both sides.

They hold the country of the head-waters of the Pulangui, and the right bank, as far south as the Manobos extend on the left bank, say to 7° 30′ N. latitude. In the north they extend right up into the peninsula between the Bay of Macajalar and the Bay of Lunao, occupying the lofty mountains of Sabrac, Sinalagao, Quimanquil, and the sacred Balatucan, whence the souls of the dead jump from earth to heaven.

Father Clotet, from whose letters to his superiors I have taken these particulars, considers them to be divided into three large groups.

The first consists of those living in the hills and valleys of the rivers Tagoloan, Cagayan, and Iponam; the second, [341]of those bordering on the Manobos of the Agusan between Gingoog and Nasipit, and the third of those who live on the right bank of the Pulangui and on some of its affluents.

They bear some resemblance to their neighbours the Manobos, being of good stature, well-built, even handsome, and are of an affable and friendly disposition; some of them are so smart and well-bred as to be not in the least inferior to the most civilised of the Visayas, and to judge by their free and open address, and the absence of all affectation when settling their business with the old Christians, nobody would take them for heathens.

Father Urios said that, from the extent of their intelligence, they were fit to be kings of the Manobos, so much superior were they to these.

In their dress they show a far greater idea of decorum and modesty than any other race in Mindanao, both men and women. The latter wear a white shirt, which is held in at the waist by a long skirt, reaching to the ankles. Over this they wear a very short and tight jacket, to the edges of which they sew strips of cloth of many colours in a pleasing tracery, the short wide sleeves being trimmed in the same way.

They show great taste in choosing the colours and designs with which they ornament their dresses. On the left side at the waist they hang some bead ornaments, small bells, and bunches of scented herbs. On their legs they wear many loose rings of brass, copper, or silver, which rattle when they walk. Their manner of dressing their hair is singular, and characteristic. They take the bulk of the hair, and without plaiting it they twist and knot it in a high and large coil. All round the head fall curls cut to one length, but on the forehead there is a fringe coming down almost to the eye-brows. They secure the coil with a handsome and showy comb, well made of metal, or precious metals, according to the means of the wearer. Many of them are loaded with bracelets from the wrists to near the elbows, either of metal, of tortoise-shell, or mother-of-pearl. In their ears they wear large ornaments called balaring, made of a plug of soft wood, having on each end a circular plate of brass, copper, silver, or of engraved gold, one larger than the other. The hole of the ear is greatly stretched to allow the smaller plate to pass through; the plug then remains in the hole, and is covered at each end by the plates. They wear also necklaces, sometimes of great [342]value. These manufactures seem to be very similar to those of the Igorrotes, which have been detailed at length in the description of that interesting people.

Father Clotet mentioned a curious necklace worn by one of these women, formed of ancient silver coins, diminishing in size from the centre to the extremities. In the middle was a silver dollar of Charles III. He considered this to be worth thirty dollars, which was quite a capital to a Montés in a small hamlet.

Even when pressed by necessity they will not sell these ornaments, and they consequently pass from father to son for many generations. They wear rings of brass, silver or gold, not only on their fingers, but also on their toes.

The dress of the men on ordinary occasions is quite simple, but on grand occasions they wear long trousers of European cloth, jackets of the same stuff, and fine beaver hats. Their shirts of fine linen are not worn outside the trousers as amongst the Tagals, only the front being shown, which is often beautifully embroidered. Those amongst them who, although heathens, have a frequent intercourse with the Christians, have their hair cut short and take great care of it; but those living amongst the hills let it grow long, and, rolling it into a knot, tie it up in a kerchief like the charros of Aragon. Some of them paint their teeth black, and file them into points. The wealthy men and women cover their teeth with thin gold plates, like the chiefs amongst the Igorrotes, but unlike them they take them off to eat. It would seem to be indecent to show one’s teeth to any person of superior rank.

They believe in a future life, and are polytheists. They worship the gods of the cardinal points: the god of the north is called Domalongdong; he of the south, Ongli; of the east, Tagolambong; of the west, Magbabaya.

This last god, Magbabaya, which means Almighty, has, however, two other gods of equal rank: Ibabasag and Ipamahandi. The first is invoked for the safe delivery of pregnant women; the second takes care of the horses and cattle, and as there is hardly a Buquidnon who does not possess some of these animals to assist him in his labour, Ipamahandi is constantly called upon to help them when any accident happens.

Tagum-Banúa, the god of the fields, is prayed to for a good harvest, and a feast called the Caliga, corresponding to our harvest festival, is held in his honour. The Tao-sa-sulup, [343]or men of the woods, correspond to the Tic-Balan of the old heathen Tagals, and inhabit the trunks of secular trees, especially the Balete, or rocky crags or caves, intervening in the affairs of mortals to favour them or upset them. Consequently they make sacrifices to these spirits to propitiate them and gain their favour.

Tigbas is a much respected god, looked upon with special reverence as having come down from heaven. He is represented by stone idols on stone pedestals, only possessed by the principal dattos, who keep them amongst the heir-looms of their ancestors, and only allow their near relations or intimate friends to see them.

Talian is a small idol in the figure of a monkey squatting, usually made from the root of the willow. This they carry about with them, hanging from a cord round its neck. When on a journey, if they fear an ambush, they hold out the cord with the little idol on it like a plumb-line, and let it spin. When it comes to rest, its face is turned in the direction where the enemy is concealed. They then carefully avoid that direction, if they have been following it, by turning off and taking another path. If one of them is ill, they submerge the idol in a cup of water which he immediately drinks. Otherwise, by simply touching the suffering part, they find relief, and even a radical cure.

The Busao, an evil spirit, must be kept in good humour, and to this end they offer to it meat and drink, and sing and dance in its honour, praying to it to deliver them from any calamity they fear.

The elders are charged with the duty of offering fruits and of sacrificing the pigs and fowls to the deities. It will be seen what a strong religious bias prevails amongst these people, who are convinced that all the affairs of life are in the hands of Divine Providence, and of the necessity of prayer and sacrifice.

Marriages amongst them are arranged by the parents or by the head chief of their tribe, the Masalicampo (Maestro de Campo). A house is prepared for the young couple, and an abundant feast is made ready, including an ample supply of a fermented drink called pangasi, which is preserved in large jars. When the guests have assembled, and everything is ready, the bride and bridegroom exchange a few words, and each receives from their respective fathers a small morsel of cooked rice. This they hold out for a [344]short time on the palms of their hands, and then each places the morsel in the mouth of the other, and this action solemnises the marriage. The Tagbanúas have the same custom.

Immediately an animated conversation bursts out amongst the guests, and a profuse and carefully-cooked feast is served.

To the feast succeeds a prolonged drinking bout, the guests sucking up the liquor through straws or canes from the jars which contain it. Amongst the Montéses it is not considered good form to return home from a wedding ostentatiously sober.

Polygamy is allowed, but little practised, only the dattos having two or perhaps three wives.

Father Barrado, who was a missionary amongst them, remarked on the repugnance these people have to pass through the territory of some other datto, and Dr. Montano, who crossed Mindanao from Davao to Butuan, confirms this very fully as regards Mandayas and Manobos. In order that they may do this in safety, the principal dattos have a large and highly-ornamented lance called a quiap. In return for a small fee they lend this to any of their Sácopes who desire to pass through another datto’s territory as a passport, or safe conduct. When carrying this lance, far from being molested, travellers are treated with consideration and deference, even in time of war.

The principal dattos show their grandeur by having enormous jars, in which they preserve their heir-looms or rare and curious objects, or use for holding provisions. Gongs also are much esteemed amongst them. But their most precious possessions are certain wooden-boxes or trunks with copper coins nailed all over them in patterns, in which they keep their clothes and arms. In this they resemble the rajahs and sultans of the Malays. They use swords and lances, bolos, and sometimes the Malay kris with inscriptions and marks in Arabic, these last are got from the Moros. Some of their arms are beautifully made with carved handles of hard wood, and inlaid with silver, having sheaths of polished wood. Some of them have coats of mail, made of brass plates and wires, ornamented with silver. These appear to be of great antiquity, and it is not known where they came from originally. Others have quilted jackets such as Cortes found amongst the Mexicans. Notwithstanding their amiable characteristics, they make [345]forays like the Manobos, and attack other tribes, killing the adults, and carrying off the children as slaves and the girls as concubines.

They use the pneumatic tinder-box like the Igorrotes. They are fond of smoking, and raise large crops of excellent tobacco, selling their surplus in Cagayan de Misamis. They prefer to smoke their tobacco in pipes, which they make themselves. They also chew buyo. On their voyages they carry pouches to contain their belongings, and a curious crescent-shaped box made of brass plate, which they tie on in front.

Although able to make long journeys on foot, they usually ride, and are excellent horsemen, riding up and down the steepest paths. Their horses are adorned with one or two necklaces of sleigh-bells, so that they can be heard approaching from a distance.

They have no calendar, but know from the appearance of certain constellations in the heavens, to which they give names of their own, that the rainy season is approaching, and they then set to work busily to prepare their land for sowing or planting.

They use the plough, and make extensive plantations of maize, which is their principal article of food, and also of rice, they sell the surplus to the inhabitants of the coast towns, for articles they require, especially salt. They make small stone hand-mills for grinding maize, and what is much more curious, they have invented and manufactured cotton gins, having two wooden rollers geared together, worked by a crank on the upper one. These gins work with great regularity.

In 1889 they were much interested in planting and preparing Abacá, and Gingoog, one of their outlets, exported no less than 11,000 piculs, or the equivalent of 5500 bales in twelve months. They also take down to the coast-towns quantities of wax and resin. Their labour ought to make them wealthy, but here again we find the rascally Chinaman, who, intoxicating them with some vile spirits, deceives them in the price, cheats them in the weight, and sends them back sick and ill from their unaccustomed libations, with some wretched rubbish in exchange for their valuable produce. By this means their industry is checked, and those who take down goods return in worse plight than they went. Any decent Government would prohibit the demoralisation of this interesting people, but [346]the Chinaman well understands how to deal with the local Spanish authorities, and even subscribes largely to the church, for he likes to have two strings to his bow.

The musical instruments of the Montéses are clarinets, flutes, guitars of three strings, and a small drum.

At the time of the harvest, from the first peep of day to sunrise, before beginning to work, they sing or chant certain songs, the men and women taking alternate verses.

They have courts of justice to punish robbery and other offences. Their laws are traditional, passing from father to son, and occasionally altered at the discretion of the principal datto, to whom they appeal if they have been gravely offended. The principal datto having taken his seat, his head is bound round with the pinditon, or head-cloth, with three points, and he takes the quiap (already mentioned) in his hand. He then invites two inferior dattos, who take seats one on each side of him. The prisoner is then led forward by a guard, who sticks their lances in the earth near the seats of the tribunal. The case is argued on both sides, the court deliberates and gives judgment and sentence, which is executed upon the spot, fine, corporal-punishment, or death. This is quite an ideal criminal court, and worthy of all respect.

Amongst them it is considered as a want of education and good manners to mention their own names, and if a stranger asks, “What is your name?” the person interrogated does not answer, but some one else replies, “His name is so-and-so.” This actually happened to me amongst the Tagbanúas of Paragua, when I visited them. (See Tagbanúas.)

They believe in omens, and have many curious customs, too long to relate, but I shall mention one.

If a stranger enters a house to visit those who inhabit it, and during the conversation a fowl should fly and pass before him, the people of the house instantly kill it, and cooking it as quickly as possible, they eat it in company with the visitor to allay his fright, and cause his soul to return to his body, for it might have left him when he was startled.

The houses in their villages are large and well-built, sometimes the walls are of thick planks of hard wood tied together with rattan, for they use no nails. The houses in the country are smaller, and low in the roof, but always so high from the ground that the longest lance will not reach the floor.

Atás from the Back Slopes of the Apo.

Atás from the Back Slopes of the Apo.

[To face p. 347.


Great respect is shown to the dead. They are usually buried in their fields with lance, sword, and bolo laid beside them. They make a mound of earth over the grave, fixing several stakes like St Andrew’s crosses, and protecting the whole with the bark of a tree fastened over the stakes. From a high post hangs a bag of rice, that the soul of the defunct may sustain itself on the long journey to Mount Bolotucan, the highest peak of the whole region. The soul having arrived on this peak, gives one great jump, and reaches heaven, at a higher or lower level, according to the greater or lesser probity of its life on earth. Wherever it lands, there it remains to all eternity. The relations make great lamentations at the death, and loose their hair which they do not roll up for a greater or lesser period, according to the love they bore the dead.

It is pleasing to be able again to state that the bravery, the wisdom, and the faith and charity of the Jesuits exercised amongst this race has had a rich reward. During the four years which concluded in 1889, no less than 6600 heathen Montéses renounced their superstitions, their polygamy, and their slave-hunting murdering raids, and, accepting the doctrines of our Saviour, were baptized into the Christian faith. Besides the older coast towns, mostly occupied by Visayas, twenty-four Christian villages extend from the Bay of Macajalar far into the Montése country, now giving the hand to the military garrisons on the Rio Grande amongst those irreclaimable pirates the Moros.

The Cross was triumphing over the Crescent in Mindanao quite as much, nay, much more, by the voices of the missionaries as by the Spanish bayonets. It will be an outrage on Christianity, a blot on their renown, if through ignorance or folly, the United States should so act as to put a stop to this holy and civilising work, and so give occasion for some future author to write another “Century of Dishonour.”


Atás or Ata-as (7).

These people occupy a considerable territory from the River Libaganon, which falls into the Gulf of Davao round the northern slopes of Mount Apo, about the head-waters of the rivers running into Lakes Liguan and Buluan. To the north they have the Tagavauas and the Manobos; to the south the Vilanes, and on the east the Guiangas, [348]Bagobos and Calaganes. The swampy country on the west separates them from the Moros of Lake Liguan. From the extent of their territory the Atás are probably very numerous.

They appear to be a hybrid Malayo-Negrito race, but have advanced considerably in social organisation. They go decently dressed, the men wearing short drawers and a shirt of Chinese pattern, and the women a patadion and an embroidered bodice—with strings of beads round the neck for ornament. They weave stuffs similar to those made by the neighbouring tribes. They are said to be of a determined character, and to stand up to the Moros in defence of their families and property.

They also attack other tribes and commit atrocious murders, not sparing women and children.

A missionary passing near their territory on the River Libaganon in November 1892, found several households in great grief on account of unprovoked murders committed by the Atás.

As the Atás live remote from the sea-coast and have no navigable rivers running through their territory, the missionaries have not yet been able to make much impression on them, but they are working their way up the Davao River, and the reduction of Belen established in 1891 is quite on the borders of the Atás territory. Murders, slave-raids, and human sacrifices, are still the ordinary events of Atás life.

The illustration shows two determined-looking Atás warriors with spear and shield, two women and two young girls, all carefully dressed and wearing their ornaments.


Guiangas (8).

The Guiangas live on the slopes of Mount Apo, to the North of the Bagobos, whom they much resemble in manners and customs. In view of the small territory they occupy, they cannot be numerous.

They have a rather effeminate air, the men wearing their hair long; but notwithstanding this, they are quite robust, of remarkable agility, and very adroit in the use of arms.

Heathen Guiangas, from the Slopes of the Apo.

Heathen Guiangas, from the Slopes of the Apo.

[To face p. 349.

Montano gives the average height of the man as 5 feet 4½ inches, and measured some up to 5 feet 7½ inches. The men wear short drawers and huge ear ornaments. [349]Their weapons are the bow and spear. They are organised on the same feudal system as the other tribes being governed by their dattos. Their houses, as usual, are built on high piles. They are tolerably industrious, and occasionally work for the Visayas on their plantations. They possess horses, cattle, and poultry, and make the usual plantations of rice, camote, and maize.

As regards their religion, Tighiama is the Creator, and Manama the governor of the world. Todlay, the god of love, is husband of the Virgin Todlibun, and the women celebrate certain rites in his honour.

Dewata is the protector of the house, and he is said to love blood. It is therefore incumbent on the head of every household to avenge any insult in the blood of the offender.

As amongst other tribes, the death of a datto, or of one of his wives, requires a human sacrifice in number proportionate to the rank of the defunct. The victims are usually taken from amongst the slaves of the datto, but in some cases they are purchased by public subscription. Being securely fastened to trees so that they cannot move, the largest subscriber inflicts a stab—politely avoiding giving a mortal wound, then the others follow in accordance with the importance of their subscription. The cries of the victim, thus gradually done to death, are drowned by the vociferations of his executioners. These sacrifices are still carried on in the remoter districts, but the missionaries are beginning to convert the Guiangas nearest the coast, and have established several reducciones in Guianga territory, such as Garellano, Oran, Guernica, Oyanguren. In the parish of Davao and its missions, there were at the end of 1896 nearly 12,000 Christians, and the missionaries were actively at work and were meeting with success. If they are re-established, and supported, in a few years’ time human sacrifices will only be a dread tradition of the past.

The illustration shows a group of Guiangas, both men and women, the latter wearing many ornaments.


Bagobos (9).

This small tribe occupies the southern and eastern slopes of the Apo volcano, reaching down to the coast of the Bay of Davao, between the River Taumo on the north, [350]and the River Digos on the south. They also have an outlying settlement at Piapi—now called Vera—on the Ensenada de Casilaran. The lower part of their territory is swampy, and the inhabitants of this district suffer from fever and ague, and present a sickly appearance. They resemble the Manobos in disposition and in customs, and their weapons are the same. Their dress consists of short drawers and a jacket. The women wear a shirt and patadion. They are moderate in eating, and cleanly in their persons. Dr. Montano greatly praises the beauty of their country, especially about the banks of the Rio Matina.

The peculiarity of the Bagobos is that they are horse-Indians, everybody—men, women and children—rides in their country.

They breed these horses, which are small, but endowed with remarkable endurance, and their saddles, although rude, are scientifically constructed, like miniature McClellans. They ride with very short stirrups, and the men are always seen spear in hand when mounted. They carefully preserve by tradition the genealogy of their horses, and give their favourite animals a ration of 4½ lbs. of paddy per day, as well as grass.

The basis of their food is rice and sweet potatoes, which they cultivate, using the buffalo and plough, and getting the manual labour done by their slaves.

They plant coffee, cacao, and bananas, but having assured their subsistence, they love to wander off into the woods to seek for jungle-produce, such as wax, honey, almáciga, and the coarse cinnamon of the country, all of which finds a ready sale on the coast.

They are said to strictly perform all their engagements.

They cultivate abaca, and from the filament of this plant their women weave the tissues called dagmays, which they polish by rubbing them with shells till they take a lustre like silk. They dye these stuffs in a primitive manner, but with satisfactory results.

The men are tolerable smiths, and forge their weapons from old iron, which they obtain in barter. They make bits (for horses), and bracelets, and collars of brass. Amongst them gold is said to be dearer than in Paris, although the sands about Malalag, just south of their territory, yield gold.

Father Gisbert, S.J., Exhorting a Bagobo Datto and his Followers To abandon their Custom of making Human Sacrifices.

Father Gisbert, S.J., Exhorting a Bagobo Datto and his Followers To abandon their Custom of making Human Sacrifices.

The Datto Manib, Principal Bagani of the Bagobos, with some Wives and Followers and two Missionaries.

The Datto Manib, Principal Bagani of the Bagobos, with some Wives and Followers and two Missionaries.

The Jesuits have made many converts amongst them, [351]and they were, till the Spanish-American war, under the spiritual care of the veteran missionary, Father Urios, and his assistants. In October, 1894, 400 Bagobos were baptized. I am unable to give the numbers of the Bagobos, even approximately, but, from the small territory they occupy, they cannot be numerous.

The illustration shows the celebrated Datto Manib, one of the principal baganis (head-murderers) of the Bagobos, of the Apo, accompanied by his lance-bearers, one of whom holds the quiap. Behind him are some of his wives and children, and other followers. But not even the hard heart of this blood-stained wretch could withstand the persuasion of the Jesuits, and in 1894 he was baptized, and commenced to build the town of Santillana for himself and followers. [352]


Chapter XXXVII.

The Tribes of Mindanao—continued.


Calaganes (10).

A small tribe living on the south-eastern slopes of Mount Apo, about the head-waters of the River Digos, which runs into the Gulf of Davao, a little north of the Ensenada de Casilaran.

They are reported to be of good stature, and of a dark colour, to understand the language of the Vilanes, but to speak their own tongue, which is similar to the Manobo. They are industrious cultivators of the soil, and store provisions for their use, never suffering from famine, but rather assisting others less careful. Their country is very broken, consisting of deep valleys, divided from each other by lofty crests. These valleys are full of people, so that the tribe must be numerous.

Father Urios visited them in January of 1894, and was well treated. The reducciones of Aviles and Melitta have been recently formed amongst them, and their conversion was proceeding till the war began. Their territory forms part of the parish and missions of Davao.


Tagacaolos (11).

The Tagacaolos live in the district of Davao, on the west coast of the gulf from Malalao as far south as Lais. There are also some living on the peninsula of San Agustin, between Cuabo and Macambol. Physically, they are inferior to the neighbouring tribes, not so much in stature as in muscular development. They are timid, and those who are still heathen select places for their hamlets that cannot easily be surprised, such as rocks, or crags without forest round them, although this obliges them to carry water from a great distance. [353]

A considerable number of them have been converted, and settled in hamlets near the coast, but the mass of them are still heathen.

Their faces are long, the nose thin, and the extremity of it slightly curved.

They are the victims of the Bagobos and Guiangas, who attack them for the purpose of carrying them off into slavery. They themselves prey on the Vilanes, who are less capable of defence, and make slaves of them. They also fight amongst themselves. They make human sacrifices to their god Mandarangan, who lives in the crater of the Apo volcano, to avert his wrath, and when any noise is heard from the volcano, they consider that he is demanding a victim.

In 1896, more than 300 Tagacaolos had been baptized, and were living in a civilised manner in the town of Malalag, now called Las Mercedes. The conversion of this tribe was being actively carried on by the assistants of the veteran missionary, Father Urios, who resided in Davao until the Spanish-American war. Las Mercedes was improving, and promised to become a town of some importance.

A detachment of infantry was stationed there.

The influence of the missionaries extended beyond the reducciones, and had some effect amongst the heathen in discouraging human sacrifices and tribal wars. It may be expected that, before long, these dreadful rites will be put an end to, if the missionaries are enabled to return.


Dulanganes (12).

The Dulanganes hold a territory about twenty miles square to the south of the Tirurayes, which extends from the crests of the mountains to the coast. On the east they have the Vilanes. I have not been able to learn anything whatever about this people, nor, so far as I know, are there any reducciones in their territory.


Tirurayes (13).

The Tirurayes occupy the hills to the south of the delta of the Rio Grande, the coast being occupied by Moros.

They are reported to be of low type, physically, and to hold the chastity of their wives and daughters as of no account. [354]

The proximity of the Moros probably accounts for this looseness of morals. The missionaries have been working amongst them for years, and in 1891 they had baptized 109. However, the converts were not settled in towns, but wandered about the hills as they liked. Since then, more of them have been baptized, and were settled in Tamontaca, and several reducciones have been founded in their territory. In Tamontaca, during 1896, between heathen and Moros, there were 152 conversions and baptisms during the year, besides 197 baptisms of infants born of Christian parents. The Tagacaolos used to apply to the missionaries for everything they required—medicine for the sick, Spanish red wine for women after child-birth, or boards to make coffins. So the missionaries not only had to bury them for nothing, but had to find them the coffin into the bargain.

On the other hand, the Tirurayes declined to cut timber for the chapels at their reducciones, or to haul it to place, or to do any kind of work unless paid for it. Their zeal does not lead them to do anything for the Church as a free offering. They find it very hard to break themselves of their nomadic customs, and are particularly apt to remontar. However, they treated the missionaries with great respect, and these could go anywhere amongst them without danger.

Since the war, the missionaries have abandoned Tamontaca, and the whole neighbourhood is in disorder.


Tagabelies (14).

The Tagabelies inhabit the hilly country between Lake Buluan and the Gulf of Sarangani, to the west of the volcanoes Magolo and Maluturin. They are reported to be very ferocious, and have not been visited by the missionaries.


Samales (15).

These people inhabit the islands of Samal and Talicud, in the Gulf of Davao, and are not to be confounded with the Moros Samales of Tawi-tawi and Jolo.

The Samales surpass both the Moros and Nisayas in muscular development and stature.

Their feet and hands are large; they have high and projecting cheek-bones, and a stiff beard standing out [355]round the face gives it, according to Montano, something of a cat-like appearance. Both sexes dress like the Moros.

They are less ferocious than their neighbours, and do not, like them, go about armed.

They do not commit any aggressions, and are industrious. In character, they are superior to the Moros, and are not like them—cunning and deceitful.

They have been on good terms with the Spaniards for a long time, but until quite lately they were very obstinate, and could not be persuaded to be baptized.

They cultivate the usual crops, fish, and make salt. The women weave dagmays.

They used to have slaves, whom they purchased from the Moros or Manobos, and treated them well.

Formerly, they enclosed their dead in wooden coffins, made in two parts, the shallower part serving as a lid. Each piece was hollowed out of a solid log. They placed the coffins on a rude platform in a cave or niche in the rocks, or else built a thatched roof over it to keep off the rain.

They placed near the coffin buyo and bonga for chewing, and vases containing rice and maize. Each year after the harvest they went to visit the dead, and renewed the offerings.

Little is known of their former religion, but they worshipped the serpent, and believed in the immortality of the soul, and in a place of punishment by fire, which they called Quilut.

The patience and zeal of the missionaries has, however, been richly rewarded, and in June, 1894, a number of Samales were baptized, including most of their dattos. By the autumn of that year there was not a heathen left in the islands, and the Samales are now settled in seven villages—San José, San Ramon, Alcira, Tarifa, Carmona, Cervera, and Peña Plata. This last was the residence of the missionary, who was accompanied by a lay brother. The population at the beginning of 1897 was 1625.


Vilanes (16).

These people, the prey of every warlike tribe, and even of the Tagacaolos, live on the summit of the mountains of Buhian, to the east and west of the lake of that name.

Some of them extend as far south as the eastern shore [356]of the Gulf of Sarangani, and they people the two islands of Sarangani and Balut.

They are short and thickset, with little agility.

Montano describes them as having flat, broad noses, underhung jaws, and receding foreheads, giving them an appearance of stupidity.

Father Urios, however, writing about the Vilanes of Sarangani and Balut, gives a more favourable description of them. He says they are docile and industrious, and more active and intelligent than the Moros Sanguiles, who live on these same islands.

He thought them easy to convert, for they have no religious system of their own; but they believe in God, and in the immortality of the soul.

Although living so near the Moros, they have not adopted any of their religious ideas.

The Sarangani Vilanes dress like the Bagobos, and handle the lance and the bow, and are good shots in hunting game.


Subanos (17).

The word Subanos means dwellers by the rivers, from suba—a river.

This numerous tribe inhabits the western peninsula of Mindanao from Misamis to Zamboanga, except the coasts which are mostly occupied by Visayas or Moros.

They are of a darker colour and inferior in physique to the Mandayas and Montéses.

Like other races in Mindanao the Subanos are organised under dattos or baganis in a feudal system. It is said that he who has killed one enemy may wear a red head-cloth, whilst other tribes only concede this distinction to a warrior who has killed five.

In religion, they are polytheists, and worship the following deities amongst others:

  • Tagma-sa-dugat, or Lord of the Sea.
  • Tagma-sa-yuta, or Lord of the Earth.
  • Tagma-sa-manga bugund, or Lord of the Woods.
  • Tagma-sa-manga Suba, or Lord of the Rivers.
  • Tagma-sa-Saquit, or Lord Protector of the sick.

But they are said not to possess wooden idols like the Manobos, Mandayas and Montéses. They raise rough [357]altars of sticks, on which they lay out offerings to their deities. They call these altars Paga-paga. The offerings consist of rice, chickens, eggs, buyo and tobacco, also a large jar of pangasi, a beer brewed from rice. When making their offerings, they sing, dance, and pray round the altar to the sound of the sucaran, a rough kind of cymbal or gong. Amongst the Subanos only the dattos or rich men have more than one wife. The marriage ceremonies are very elaborate, and conclude with two great feasts or drinking bouts, one in the house of the bride’s father, the other in the house of the bridegroom. Divorce can be obtained if the couple cannot agree, or if either quarrels with the father- or mother-in-law. It is not readily conceded, and the case is sometimes argued for days before the council of elders of the village. Children are only given names when four or five years old. The Subanos have no money in circulation, and any trading is effected by barter.

They bury their dead the day after their decease, wrapping the body in a mat. The grave is dug about a yard deep, and near the house. The Balian or priest accompanies the bearers, and sprinkles water on the house and ground as he goes. Women do not accompany the funeral party. The body is laid on a bed of leaves, resting on a framework of sticks or canes at the bottom of the grave. The sides are protected in the same way, and over it another framework is constructed, carrying an earthen jar containing food and clothing. The weapons of the defunct are laid over him, and the grave is filled in with earth, great care being taken not to let a particle of it touch the body. Sacrifices are made to the god Diuata; these constitute the funeral feast, which is consumed in silence. When it is concluded, the dishes and pots which contained it are turned upside down.

On the eighth day another feast is held, when they talk and dance, intoxicating themselves with copious libations of pangasi. The priest then goes through a ceremony the purport of which is to hand over the soul of the defunct to Diuata-sa-langit, the god of heaven. He begs the soul to go away with the god, and to trouble them no more. They then renew the dancing and drinking, and thus conclude the period of mourning.

The houses of the Subanos are similarly constructed to those of the Manobos, Montéses, and other tribes, but are [358]not always raised so high from the ground, and are more roughly built. Their food is similar to that of the other heathen tribes. The men wear their hair long, but coiled up on the head, and covered with a kerchief worn like a turban. They dress in a tight jacket and trousers, either white, blue, or red. Sometimes they wear a sash. The men do not wear ear-ornaments of any kind. The women wear large combs made by themselves from bamboos, but no head-covering. Their ornaments are ear-rings, strings of beads round the neck, and many bangles or bracelets of brass or silver. They are clothed in a short shirt, either of homespun or Manchester cotton, and a skirt worn tight round the body, and reaching below the knees.

The weapons of the Subanos are the lance, which they call talanan, a round shield they call taming, a scimitar they call campilan, the Malay kris they call caliz, the machete or pes.

Their agriculture and industries are very primitive, and on a small scale.

They have scarcely any other musical instrument than brass gongs called Agum, which are played as dance music to their two dances, the Saldiringan and the Sinigay. In the first of these dances the men stand up in a row, opposite a row of women. All hold a palm-branch in each hand with which to beat time. They jump up and down with eyes fixed on the ground.

For the Sinigay, however, the partners touch each other’s hands, but only with the points of the fingers. The Subano, equivalent to our Mrs. Grundy, would feel shocked to see gentlemen dancing with their arms round their partners’ waists.

The principal feast is called Birclog, and it lasts eight days. A large shed is built, the priests offer prayers to the before-mentioned gods, and sacrifice swine and poultry. The pigs are strangled by a rope held or jerked by all the priests, and are placed on the altar one at a time. Above the carcass is placed a live cock, which they kill by wounding it through the mouth and letting it bleed to death. They also offer tobacco, rice, and pangasi.

The offerings are taken away to be cut up and cooked. They are then served, and the pangasi goes round, the priests being always served first and getting the best of everything, as seems to be the case all the world over.

When the first lot of people have been fed, they vacate [359]the shed, which is instantly filled by a fresh lot. Sometimes in one of these feasts they consume twenty pigs and forty ten-gallon jars of the strong rice-beer. When intoxicated, their conduct, according to Father Sanchez, S.J., is apt to overstep the bounds of propriety, but in this they are very much like more civilised people in the same condition.

The only vessels possessed by the Subanos are some canoes, or dug-outs, on the rivers. These are sometimes of great length, and are called by them Sacayan. They propel them with great skill, using a long double-ended paddle which they use standing up, and alternately on either side. Like many other races of the Far East, they consider a lunar eclipse as the precursor of great calamities, and make a deafening noise to frighten away the serpent or dragon which is swallowing the moon. They consider the turtle-dove, or limocon, as an omen-bird, and will halt or perhaps return if they hear its cry when starting on a journey. Also if they hear any one sneeze whilst going down the ladder of the house, they return, and remain within doors.

Some of the Subanos bear Moro titles, such as Timuay, which is equivalent to third class judge. Father Vilaclara, S.J., a bold and enterprising missionary, visited, in 1890, the house of a Subano named Audos, who had recently succeeded his father as Timuay of the Sindangan River.

He counted twenty-nine persons, great and small, in the house, but this did not include the whole family, as several were absent at their occupations. The house was built on piles, according to the universal custom, and the floor could not be reached from the ground by the longest lance. It measured eighteen yards long by ten yards wide, and formed one vast apartment, there being no partitions of any kind. The floor was made of strips of bamboo, and on this account it must be out of reach, for as the inhabitants sleep on grass mats laid on the floor, they could easily be speared in the night through the interstices of the canes.

Five married couples and their children occupied this apartment, each having its own part of the floor, its own store of rice, its own pigs and poultry. Each family cooked and ate independently, but all showed the greatest respect to the aged grandparents, and consulted them about their affairs. Father Vilaclara appears to have ultimately converted the whole family, beginning with the boys, whom he [360]took under his charge, dressed and fed them, and taught them to speak Visaya.

Gold-washing and gold-mining is practised by the Subanos between Dapitan and Misamis, where there is a vast extension of gold-bearing sand and earth. Near Pigtao auriferous iron pyrites occurs. The native name for this ore is Inga.

Horses are very abundant in the district of Misamis, and in common use for riding and as pack carriers.

The Subanos have the reputation of being war-like, yet until lately they were entirely dominated by the Moros wherever they came in contact. Since 1893 the Spaniards have isolated them from the Ilanao Moros by establishing a chain of forts, and making a Trocha, or military road, across the narrow neck of land from Tucuran on the Bahia Illana to Balatacan on Bahia Panquil. The width of the isthmus here is about sixteen miles, and the forts are called Alfonso XIII, Infanta Isabel, Sta. Paz, and Sta. Eulalia, and Maria Cristina.

The Subanos appear to be much more refractory to civilisation and Christianity than the Montéses, the Manobos or the Mandayas. This no doubt comes from the strong influence that vile nests of pirates and slave-traders around Lake Lanao has for centuries exercised over them, but in time the Trocha, if kept as it should be, in the interests of civilisation, will destroy that.

The Jesuit missionaries were actively at work round about the Bay of Dapitan in the extreme north of the Subano territory, and to some extent round about Zamboanga in the extreme south, until the war between Spain and America broke out.

In the Dapitan district there were at the end of 1896 nearly 15,000 Christians residing in the towns and villages under the spiritual, and temporal guidance of the Jesuits. During that year 208 heathen were baptized in the Dapitan district, but only 21 in the Zamboanga district.

It is safe to assume that in the Dapitan district alone there are 10,000 Christian Subanos.

The number of heathen Subanos, amongst whom there are a few semi-Mahometans, may be about 90,000. From these figures it is quite evident that the missionary enterprise should be extended, but in order to do this the insolence of the Moros must be chastised. [361]


Chapter XXXVIII.

The Moros, or Mahometan Malays (18 to 23).

These terrible pirates who have for centuries laid waste the coasts of the Philippines and the adjacent islands, with fire and sword, carrying off tens of thousands of Christians or heathen into slavery, have only within the last few years had their power definitely broken by the naval and military forces of Spain and by the labours of the Jesuit missionaries, amongst the heathen tribes of the island.

It is scarcely half a century since they annually attacked the Visayas Islands and even Southern Luzon, and they have been, up to quite lately, the great obstacle to the civilisation of the Southern Philippines. In Culion, Cuyos and other islands the churches are built within a stone fort, in which the population took refuge when the Moros appeared. The old Spanish sailing men-of-war could not cope with these sea rovers, who in their light prahus, salisipanes, or vintas, kept in shallow water or amongst reefs where these vessels could not reach them. Of course, if the pirates were surprised when crossing open water, they ran great risks, since their artillery was always very deficient, but they sailed in great numbers, and if it fell calm they would cluster round a solitary man-of-war and take her by boarding.

In consequence, a special force was raised in the Philippines to protect the coasts against these pests. It was called “La Marina Sutil,” or the Light Navy. This force consisted of large flat-bottomed launches propelled by oars and sails. They were half-decked forward, and carried a long brass gun, on a slide, and some swivels on the quarters. These boats were coppered and fitted with a cabin at the after part. They carried forty or fifty men, all natives, and squadrons of them were stationed at the [362]principal southern ports from whence they patrolled the coasts. Most of the officers were natives or mestizos; some of them survive to this day. These vessels rendered good service, and to some extent checked the incursions of the pirates, but they had not the speed to follow up the fast-rowing vintas of the Moros, which could always escape from them unless caught in narrow waters. In 1824, D. Alonso Morgado was appointed Captain of the Marina Sutil, and severely chastised the Moros.

Some of these rowing gun-boats are still to be seen rotting on the beach at the southern naval stations. But the introduction of steam gun-boats in 1860 gradually did away with the Marina Sutil, and sounded the knell of piracy in the Philippines. The Moros received terrible chastisement at the hands of these steam gun-boats, one of which, with a crew of only forty men, has been known to destroy a whole fleet of pirates, and now their power on the sea has become only a dread tradition of the past.

Even with all the advantages of steam propulsion, their suppression has been a matter of the utmost difficulty, for the Moros are not only possessed of the greatest personal valour, but are extremely skilful in taking advantage of every circumstance that can favour their defence.

Their towns are mostly built in the water, like the City of Brunei, the houses having bamboo bridges to connect them with the shore, which can be removed when desirable. They select a site well protected by reefs or islands, or only to be approached by long and tortuous channels through mangrove swamps enfiladed by guns cunningly concealed from view; a very death-trap to an attack by boats.

On rising ground and flanking their settlements they built their Cottas or forts. The walls of these strongholds are a double stockade of great trunks of trees, the space between them being filled with rock, stones, or earth rammed in. Some of these walls are 24 feet thick and as much as 30 feet high, defended by brass and iron guns, and by numerous lantacas. Such places can stand a deal of battering, and are not easily taken by assault, for the Moros mount the ramparts and make a brave defence, firing grape from their guns and lantacas, and as the assailants approach, hurling their spears on them to a surprising distance, with accurate aim, and manfully standing up to them in the breaches.

The Moro Sword and Spear.

The Moro Sword and Spear.

[To face p. 363.


Should the assault slacken they never fail to rush out, helmet on head, clad in coats of mail, and with sword and buckler engage the foe in a desperate hand-to-hand struggle where quarter is neither asked nor given.

The annals of Moro-Spanish war include many well-contested combats, where, to use the language of Froissart, “many heavy blows were given and received,” where the most desperate exertions of Spain’s bravest officers, backed up by their war-like and hardy troops, not seldom failed to carry the forts held by the indomitable and fanatic Moros. Such Homeric combats were those between that dreaded Sultan of Mindanao, Cachit Corralat and Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera, and Captain Atienzas’ bold attack on the hosts of the confederated Moros of Lake Lanao. Nor were the Spanish missionaries less active than the soldiers on the field of battle, or in the most desperate assaults. Crucifix in hand, Father San Agustin and Father Ducos calmly walked through many a hail of bullets and many a flight of spears leading and encouraging their half-savage converts in their resistance to these cruel oppressors.

Not to be out-done by either soldier or priest, Captain Malcampo, of the Spanish Navy, drove his vessel, the Constancia, right up to the Cotta of Pangalungan till her bowsprit touched the ramparts, then, sword in hand, leading a company of boarders, and using the bowsprit as a bridge, he carried the fort by assault, and put the garrison to the sword.

The thirsty soil of Mindanao has drunk freely of Spanish blood, and Pampango, Tagal, and Visaya have all worthily borne their part in this long drawn-out crusade of the Cross against the Crescent.

But not alone the Moro sword and spear has delayed for so long the conquest of Mindanao. Deadly fevers lurk in the lowlands, the swamps and the creeks of that rich and fertile island.

The Moros appear impervious to the malaria. At all events they live and thrive in, or in close proximity to, mangrove swamp and flooded jungle. The Tagal or the Visaya is not immune, and some even resist an attack of the terrible perniciosa less than a white man. I shall never in my life forget the awful sights I witnessed in 1887 and 1892 when some native regiments returned to Manila from the war in Mindanao. Any one who saw Shafter’s army [364]disembark on their return from Cuba will understand me. Those who could march were mere walking corpses, but the shrunken forms, the livid tint and the glassy eyes of those who could not stand (and there were hundreds of them), brought the horrors of mismanaged war to the onlooker like one of Vereschagin’s realistic masterpieces.

But as the slaughter of the Dervishes at Omdurman teaches, not even the most dauntless bravery can prevail against modern weapons in the hands of tolerably disciplined troops. The quick-firing gun, the howitzer with shrapnell shell, the machine-gun and the magazine-rifle must inevitably bring about the subjugation of every lowland population not supplied with these dread engines of civilisation, and only the hardy dwellers in Nature’s loftiest fastnesses, the Himalayas or the Andes, may hope to retain their independence in the future.

It is a striking instance of the irony of fate that, just as modern weapons have turned the scale in favour of the Spaniards in this long struggle, and brought the Moros within measurable distance of subjection, when only one more blow required to be struck, Spain’s Oriental Empire should suddenly vanish in the smoke of Dewey’s guns, and her flag disappear for ever from battlements where (except for the short interval of British occupation, 1762–3) it has proudly waved through storm and sunshine for three hundred and twenty-eight years.

Such, however, is the case, and it now falls to the United States to complete the task of centuries, to stretch out a protecting hand over the Christian natives of Mindanao, and to suppress the last remains of a slave-raiding system, as ruthless, as sanguinary and as devastating as the annals of the world can show.

The Moros of Mindanao are divided into five groups or tribes; Illanos, Sanguiles, Lutangas, Calibuganes, and Yacanes.

(18) The Moros Illanos, who are the most important and the most dangerous community, are described fully later on. They inhabit the country between the Bay of Iligan and Illana Bay, also round Lake Lanao, the Rio Grande and Lake Liguan.

(19) The Moros Sanguiles live on the south coast from the Bay of Sarangani to the River Kulut.

(20) The Moros Lutangas occupy the Island of Olutanga and parts of the adjacent coasts, all round the Bay of [365]Dumanguilas and Maligay, and the eastern coast of the Bay of Sibuguay.

(21) The Moros Calibuganes occupy the western coast of the Bay of Sibuguay, they are also dotted along the outer coast of the Peninsula as far as the Bay of Sindangan. They communicate by land across the mountains.

(22) The Moros Yacanes occupy the western part of the Island of Basilan, and the islands of the Tapul group.

(23) The Moros Samales are not inhabitants of Mindanao, but occupy and dominate the Islands of Jolo, Tawi-tawi and most of the smaller islands of those groups.

Physically, the Moro is a man built for the fatigues of war, whether by sea or land.

His sinewy frame combines strength and agility, and the immense development of the thorax gives him marvellous powers of endurance at the oar or on the march.

Trained to arms from his earliest youth, he excels in the management of the lance, the buckler and the sword. These weapons are his inseparable companions: the typical Moro is never unarmed. He fights equally well on foot, on horseback, in his fleet war canoe, or in the water, for he swims like a fish and dives like a penguin.

Absolutely indifferent to bloodshed or suffering, he will take the life of a slave or a stranger merely to try the keenness of a new weapon. He will set one of his sons, a mere boy, to kill some defenceless man, merely to get his hand in at slaughter.1 If for any reason he becomes disgusted with his luck, or tired of life, he will shave off his eyebrows, dress himself entirely in red, and taking the oath before his Pandit, run amok in some Christian settlement, killing man, woman and child, till he is shot down by the enraged townsmen.

Wanton destruction is his delight. After plundering and burning some sea-coast town in Visayas or Luzon, they would take the trouble to cut down the fruit trees, destroy the crops and everything else that they could not carry away.

Yet, as they made annual raids, it would have appeared to be good policy to leave the dwellings, the fruit trees, and the crops, in order to tempt the natives to re-occupy the town and accumulate material for subsequent plundering.

Commonly, very ignorant of his own religion, he is none [366]the less a fanatic in its defence, and nourishes a traditional and fervent hatred against the Christian, whether European or native.

Looking upon work as a disgrace, his scheme of life is simple; it consists in making slaves of less war-like men, to work for him, and taking their best looking girls for his concubines. His victims for centuries, when not engaged on a piratical cruise, have been the hill-tribes of the island, the Subanos, the Tagacaolos, the Vilanes, the Manguangas and others.

Originally immigrants from Borneo, from Celehes or Ternate, with some Arab admixture, the Moros have for centuries filled their harems with the women of the hill-tribes, and with Tagal and Visayas and even Spanish women, taken in their piratical excursions. They are now a very mixed race, but retain all their war-like characteristics.

Cut off from the sea by the Spanish Naval forces, they turned with greater energy than ever to the plundering and enslaving of their neighbours, the hill-men. These poor creatures, living in small groups, could offer but little resistance, and fell an easy prey. But now the devoted labours of the Jesuit missionaries began to bear fruit. They converted the hill-men, and gathered them together in larger communities, better able to protect themselves, and although the Moros sometimes burnt whole towns and slew all who resisted, carrying off the women and children into slavery, yet, on the other hand, it often happened that, getting notice of their approach, the Jesuits assembled the fighting men of several towns, and, being provided with a few fire-arms by the Government, they fell upon the Moros and utterly routed them, driving them back to their own territory with great loss. Of late years the Moros have found their slave-raids involve more danger than they care to face, and even the powerful confederation of Lake Lanao was, till the Spanish American war, hemmed in by chains of forts and by Christian towns.

Moros of the Bay of Mayo.

Moros of the Bay of Mayo.

[To face p. 367.

But they have by no means entirely renounced their slave-raiding, and in order to give a specific instance of their behaviour in recent years, I will mention that on the 31st. of December, 1893, a party of 370 of them, under the Datto Ali, son to Datto Nua, accompanied by seven other Dattos, all well armed, and forty of them carrying muskets or rifles, and plenty of ammunition, made an unprovoked [367]and treacherous attack on Lepanto, a Christian village in the Montés country, near the confluence of the Kulaman River with the Pulangui, between the Locosocan and Salagalpon cataracts. This is the extreme southern settlement of the Jesuits, and the nearest missionary resided at Linabo, whilst the nearest garrison was at Bugcaon, some four leagues distant.

The inhabitants, not being provided with fire-arms, sought safety in flight, but the Moros captured fourteen of them. They profaned the church, hacked to pieces the image of Our Saviour, and cut up a painting of Our Lady of the Rosary, smashed the altar, and with the débris, lighted a bonfire in the middle of the church, which, strange to say, however, did not take fire.

They stole the cattle and horses, looted the village, and marched off with their spoil and the fourteen captives.

When, however, they reached the ford on the River Mulita, five of the Christians refused to proceed into slavery. These were the Datto Mausalaya, another man named Masumbalan, and three women. They were all put to death by the Moros and barbarously mutilated. The flesh was cut from their bones, and it is said that the Moros consumed some of it, and so terrified the other captives that they marched forward into life-long slavery.

Had the converts in Lepanto been supplied with a few fire-arms, this disaster would not have happened.

The Mindanao Moros commonly wear a bright coloured handkerchief as a head-cloth or turban, a split shirt of Chinese pattern, wide trousers, and gaudy sashes.

The young men shave their heads, but after marriage they let their hair grow long.

The dattos, mandarines, and pandits usually cultivate a moustache, others pluck out all the hair on the face. The poorer women commonly dress in white and wear a jacket and a skirt coming down well below the knee. The richer ones wear silks of the brightest colours.

A white turban or head-cloth is a sign of mourning.

The illustration shows a group of Moros of the East coast. They are unarmed, unlike those of Lake Lanao.

The Moro noble takes great pride in his long descent, and in the distinction gained in war by his ancestors. During the long hours of their friendly meetings called Bicháras, they relate to each other tales of their ancestors’ heroism. [368]

Their feudal system has been more or less copied by Subanos, Manobos, Montéses and other hill-races. The datto or mandarin is the feudal chief amongst all these, but the Moros have gone a step further, and have instituted rajahs and sultans, although with only a shadowy authority; for every important matter must come before the council of dattos for approval.

They use titles similar to those of the Malays of Borneo and Johore. Tuang, the head-man of a village; Cuano, a Justice of the Peace; Lamudia, Nacuda and Timuay, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class judges; Gangalia, a constable; Baguadato, a principal, or Cabeza; Maradiadina, eldest son of a principal. A datto is known by the richness of his apparel and by using gold buttons, and especially by always carrying a handkerchief in his hand. He is usually followed by a slave carrying his siri-box.

Like the Malays, they call the heir of a rajah the Rajah-muda; the nephew of a sultan uses the epithet Paduca; the son of a sultan calls himself Majarasin, the pure or mighty.

Orang-Kaya, corresponds to a magnate; Cachil, to a prince of the blood. The war-minister of a sultan is called the Datto Realao.

A principal priest is called a Sárif or sheriff; and an ordinary priest a Pandita, or learned man.

The learning of these worthies is of the most rudimentary description, and consists in being able to read the Koran in Arabic, and to recite certain prayers which they often do not understand.

They have some wretched sheds for places of worship which they call Langa. During the fast of Sanibayang, which lasts for seven days, they are supposed to abstain from all nourishment. However, at midnight, when they think their god may be napping, they indulge in a hurried meal on the quiet. At the end of their week of abstinence they undergo a purification by bathing, and indemnify themselves for their fasts by several sumptuous banquets. They are forbidden to eat swine’s flesh, or drink spirituous liquors, but they are not at all strict in their religion, and the savoury smell of roast pork has been known to overcome their scruples.

They are very fond of smoking tobacco, and of chewing buyo; some indulge in opium smoking.

Their amusements are gambling, cock-fighting, and combats of buffaloes. Their slave-girls perform various [369]libidinous dances to the sound of the agun, or brass gong, and the calintangang, a kind of harmonium of strips of metal struck by a small drum-stick.

The dance called the Paujalay is usually performed at a marriage of any importance, and the young dancers, clad in diaphanous garments, strive to present their charms in the most alluring postures, for the entertainment of the dattos and their guests.

They have also a war-dance called the Moro-moro, which is performed by their most skilful and agile swordsmen, buckler on arm and campilan in hand to the sound of martial music. It simulates a combat, and the dancers spring sideways, backwards or forwards, and cut, thrust, guard, or feint with surprising dexterity.

The Moros are polygamists in general, although the influence of the Christian women taken as captives and sometimes married to their captors, has, in many cases, succeeded in preventing their husbands from taking a second wife. The cleverness and aptitude for business of Christian Visayas, and Tagal women captives, has sometimes raised them to the highest position in rank and wealth amongst the Moros; and few of them would have returned to their former homes, even if an occasion had offered. The custom of seizing girls for slaves and concubines which has prevailed amongst the Moros for centuries, has of course had the effect of encouraging sensuality, and the morals of Moro society may be compared to those of a rabbit-warren.

The Moros do not always treat their slaves with cruelty, they rather strive to attach them to their new home by giving them a female captive or a slave-girl they have tired of, as a wife, assisting them to build a house, and making their lot as easy as is compatible with getting some work out of them.

But perhaps the greatest allurement to one of these slaves is when his master takes him with him on a slave-raid, and gives him the opportunity of securing some plunder, and perhaps a slave for himself.

Once let him arrive at this stage, and his master need have no fear of his absconding.

The Spaniards have for years refused to send back any slaves who claim their protection, yet it has been remarked by Dr. Montano, and by missionaries and Spanish military officers, that slaves have been employed fishing or tilling [370]the ground near the Spanish outposts, and only rarely would one step within the lines to obtain his liberty.

If caught running away from their masters, the dattos, they are sometimes put to death, or mutilated in a most cruel manner.

The famous Datto Utto, of the Rio Grande, is said to have stripped a runaway slave naked and to have tied him to a tree, leaving him to be stung to death by the mosquitos or devoured piecemeal by ants.

This same Datto Utto, towards the end of 1889, made himself so objectionable to the Datto Abdul, one of his neighbours, that the latter determined to place himself and his people under Spanish protection. His village consisted of eighty houses and was situated on the banks of Rio Grande.

Datto Abdul gave proofs of engineering skill, for he constructed eighty rafts of bamboos, and placing a house upon each with all its belongings, inhabitants and cattle, he floated his whole village fifteen miles down the river and landed at Tumbao, establishing himself under the protection of the fort.

The Datto Ayunan, who resides in the same neighbourhood, also came over to the Spaniards, and learned to understand and speak Spanish very fairly. He had at least three thousand followers, and in the fighting on the Rio Grande in 1886–87 he took the field, supported the Spanish forces against the other dattos, and rendered important services.

Several other dattos and chiefs have submitted to the Spaniards; for instance, the Sultan of Bolinson, who has settled at Lintago, near the barracks of Maria Christina. In the district of Davao more than five thousand Moros are living peacefully under Spanish rule.

The famous Datto Utto, who gave so much trouble, lost followers and prestige, and now where the Moro King of Tamontaca held his court and reigned in power and splendour on the Rio Grande, a Jesuit Orphan Asylum, and Industrial School flourished [till the war caused it to be abandoned], bringing up hundreds of children of both sexes, mostly liberated slaves of the Moros, to honest handicrafts or agricultural labour.

Amongst the Moros, the administration of justice is in the hands of the dattos or of their nominees. Offences are punished by death, corporal chastisement, or by fines. [371]

However, the customs of the country admit of an offended person taking the law into his own hand. Thus he who surprises his wife in the act of adultery may cut off one of her ears, shave her head, and degrade her to be the slave of his concubines.

If he catches the co-respondent he may kill him (if he can).

A calumny not justified, is fined 15 dollars; a slight wound costs the aggressor 5 dollars; a serious wound, 15 dollars, and the weapon that did the mischief; a murder can be atoned by giving three to six slaves.

Adultery incurs a fine of 60 dollars, and two slaves; or death, if the fine is not paid.

He who insults a datto is condemned to death, unless he can pay 15 taels of gold, but he becomes a slave for life. The datto acting as judge takes as his fee one-eighth of the fine he imposes.

A slave is considered to be worth from 15 to 30 dollars according to his or her capabilities or appearance.

The dattos impose an annual tax on all their subjects whether Moros or heathen. It is called the Pagdatto, and consists of a piece of cloth called a Jabol, a bolo, and twenty gantas of paddy (equal to 10 gantas of rice) from each married couple. A ganta equals two-thirds of a gallon, so that the tax in rice would only be 6.6 gallons, a little over ¾ bushel.

Their language is a degraded Arabic with words from Malay, Chinese, Visaya, Tagal, and some idioms of the hill-tribes.

Very few of them can read or write.

Their year is divided into 13 lunar months, and the days of the week are as follows:—

Monday. Sapto.
Tuesday. Ahat.
Wednesday. Isnin.
Thursday. Sarasa.
Friday. Araboja.
Saturday. Cammis.
Sunday. Diammat.

Their era is the Hejira, like other Mahometans.

Their marriage customs are peculiar. When one of them takes a fancy to a damsel, he sends his friend, of the highest rank, to the house of the girl’s father, to solicit her hand. The father consults the girl, and if she is favourable he makes answer that the young man may come for her. The would-be bridegroom then proceeds to the mosque and [372]calls the Imam, who goes through a form of prayers with him, after which they proceed in company to the maiden’s house, followed by a slave bearing presents, and from the street call out for leave to enter. The father appears at a window and invites them in, but when about to enter, the male relations of the damsel simulate an attack on the visitor, which he beats off, and throws them the presents he has brought with him.

He then enters with the Imam and finds the lady of his desires reclining upon cushions, and presents his respects to her. The priest then causes her to rise and, taking hold of her head he twirls her round twice to the right, then taking the hand of the man he places it on the forehead of the girl, who immediately covers her face. The priest then retires, leaving them alone. The bridegroom attempts to kiss and embrace the bride, who defends herself with tooth and nail. She shrieks and runs, and the bridegroom chases her round and round the room.

Presently the father appears, and assures the bridegroom that he may take for granted the virginity of his daughter. The bridegroom then leaves the house to make preparations for the wedding-feast, which begins that night, and finishes on the third night, when the bride takes off all the garments she has worn as a maid and dresses in handsome robes provided by the bridegroom. At the end of the feast, the emissary who first solicited her hand for his friend conducts her to the house of the bridegroom, accompanied by the guests singing verses allusive to the occasion, and cracking jokes more or less indecent.

Contrary to the custom in other countries, it is easier to get divorced than to get married, for this is the privilege of the man, who can repudiate his wife at any time.

They celebrate the baptism of their children, and the circumcision of their boys, with feasts and entertainments. They fire off cannon and lantacas on the death of a datto, and with all sorts of instruments make a hideous discord in front of the house of death.

Professional wailers are employed, and the pandits go through many days of long-winded prayer, for which they receive most ample fees.

Moro Lantacas and Coat of Mail.

Moro Lantacas and Coat of Mail.

[To face p. 373.

They have regular cemeteries, and, after the burial, place on the grave the head of a cock with a hot cinder on the top of it. I am quite unable to explain what meaning is attached to this custom, but they are soaked in [373]all sorts of superstitions, and thoroughly believe in amulets or talismen, as do the Tagals in their Anting-Anting.

Owing to the multitude of slaves they possess, they make considerable plantations of rice, maize, coffee, and cacao. They sell the surplus of this produce to Chinamen or Visayas settled in the coast towns, as also wax, gum, resin, jungle-produce, tortoise-shell, mother-of-pearl shell, balate and cinnamon. It is estimated that they sell produce to the value of a million dollars a year. They also employ their slaves in washing the sands for gold, and, according to Nieto, in mining for silver and other metal.

I have not seen this latter statement confirmed by any other author.

Their industries are the forging of swords, cris, and lance-heads, casting and boring their lantacas.

To bore these long guns they sink them in a pit, ramming in the earth so as to keep the piece in a truly vertical position. They then bore by hand, two or four men walking round and turning the bit with cross-bars. Some of these lantacas are worthy to be considered perfect works of art, and are highly decorated. I have seen several double-barrelled. (See Illustration.)

The Moro women employ their slaves in spinning and weaving. They make excellent stuffs of cotton and of abaca, dyeing them various colours with extracts of the woods grown in the country.

Their houses are large and spacious, and they live in a patriarchal manner, master and mistress, concubines, children, and slaves with their children, all jumbled together. They possess plenty of horses, cattle, buffaloes, goats and poultry.

They use Spanish or Mexican silver coins, but most of their transactions are by barter.

To wind up this description of the Moros of Mindanao, it must be said of them that they are always ready to fight for the liberty of enslaving other people, and that nothing but force can restrain them from doing so. That they will not work themselves, and that as long as their sultans, dattos, and pandits have a hold on them, they will keep no engagements, respect no treaties, and continue to be in the future, as they have always been in the past, a terror and a curse to all their neighbours. [374]

1 See ‘In Court and Kampong,’ by Hugh Clifford.


Chapter XXXIX.

The Chinese in Mindanao.


Tagabáuas (24).

These people live in the very centre of Mindanao on the high peaks of the cordillera. If a straight line be drawn on the map from Nasipit, on the Bay of Butuan, to Glan, on the Gulf of Sarangani, it will intersect their habitat which may extend from about 7° 30′ to 8° N. lat. I can learn nothing about their manners and customs. They are reputed to be ferocious.


The Chinese in Mindanao.

The Chinese in Mindanao are almost entirely settled in the coast towns, and are occupied in trade. They do not engage in agriculture, but keep stores and sell to the civilised natives and to the hill-men.

They understand that they need protection, and are equally ready to make a present to the judge, to subscribe for a gilded altar for the church, or to render service to the governor, in order to be on good terms with the court, the priest, and the military.

Very few Chinese women come over, therefore the men have native wives or concubines, and are begetting Chinese half-castes on an extensive scale.

They are not averse to a little slave-dealing, and will casually buy a boy or girl from slave-hunters, or will order such a slave as they require from the slave-hunters, who then proceed to execute the order, which probably involves the sacrifice of several lives.

Thus they will order a smart boy, or a pretty girl, of fifteen or sixteen, and so forth.

Father Barrado, writing from Cotta-Bato, June 3rd, 1890, [375]relates that a boy of eight years of age was purchased by a Chinaman for thirty dollars.

As soon as his master had brought him to the house, he fastened the door, and being assisted by four other Chinamen, tied the boy’s hands and feet, and gagged him.

The four assistants then laid him out at full length on the ground, face downwards, and held him firmly, whilst his master took a red-hot marking-iron from the fire, and branded him on both thighs, just as if he was marking a horse or a cow.

Luckily, the boy escaped from the house, and found refuge with Father Barrado, who took charge of him, and administered a severe reprimand to the brutal Chinaman.

The Chinamen abominably cheat all those who are unable to protect themselves. Their business is based upon false weights and measures, and on adulteration. In the end, they spoil every business they enter upon, just as they have done the tea trade in their own country, and the tobacco and indigo trade in the Philippines.

They require to be closely looked after, and should be made to pay special taxes, which they can well afford.

Some of the Chinese become converts, not that their mean and sordid souls are in any degree susceptible to the influence of the Christian religion, but in order to obtain material advantages.

They hope to be favoured in business, and to be able to get a Christian wife, which otherwise might not be easy; for although a Visayas woman does not disdain a Chinaman, she would not care to marry a heathen.

In any case, the Chinaman most likely remains a heathen at heart, and if he returns to China he becomes a renegade. [376]


Chapter XL.

The Political Condition of Mindanao, 1899.

Relapse into savagery—Moros the great danger—Visayas the mainstay—Confederation of Lake Lanao—Recall of the Missionaries—Murder and pillage in Davao—Eastern Mindanao—Western Mindanao—The three courses—Orphanage of Tamontaca—Fugitive slaves—Polygamy an impediment to conversion—Labours of the Jesuits—American Roman Catholics should send them help.

The present condition of the island is most lamentable. Nothing could be more dreadful; robbery, outrage and murder are rampant. Every evil passion is let loose, and the labour of years has been lost. Mindanao, which promised so well, has relapsed into savagery, as the direct consequence of the Spanish-American war, and the cession of the Archipelago to the United States.

It should be understood that Spain, far from drawing any profit from Mindanao, has, on the contrary, expended annually considerable sums, derived from the revenues of Luzon and Visayas, in maintaining a squadron of gunboats to police the seas, and keep down piracy, in building and garrisoning forts to suppress the slave-trade, and in assisting the missionaries to attract the heathen, by providing them with seeds, implements of husbandry, and with clothing, also in giving them fire-arms and ammunition to protect themselves from the Moros.

Annuities were paid to friendly Moro dattos as rewards for services rendered, or as compensation for the cession of some of their rights.

The Moros have always been the great danger to the peace of the island, as the Visayas have always been the mainstay of Spanish authority.

Had it not been for the war with America, the Moros would have been, by this time, completely subdued.

Lake Lanao: Seat of the Moro Power, according to Nieto.

Lake Lanao: Seat of the Moro Power, according to Nieto.

[To face p. 377.

Even as it was, half the island was practically free from [377]danger from them. If you draw a line on the map from Cagayan de Misamis to the head of the Bay of Sarangani, it will roughly divide the island into halves. The Moros who lived to the eastward of this line were pacific, and some thousands of them had been baptized, and had given up polygamy and slave-trading.

Had they risen in arms—which was not at all likely—they could have been put down by the Visayas militia under the local authorities.

To the west of this line, until quite lately, the Spanish garrisons dotted along the banks of the Rio Grande from Polloc and Cotta-bato to Piquit and Pinto, dominated the Moro dattos of that region, and nearly joined hands with the forts and garrisons on the rivers running into the Bay of Macajalar.

The only remaining seat of the Moro power was the country around Lake Lanao, where the dattos had formed the Illana confederation to resist the advances of the Christians.

This lake has never been surveyed, and no two maps agree on its size, shape or position. It is, however, known to be very different from the other large lakes in Mindanao, which are shallow, whilst this, on the contrary, is deep; in some places, three or four fathoms will be found close in shore. At Lúgud and Tugana the banks are steep.

There are five or six islands in it; the largest is called Nuza. It is high and flat-topped, situated near the middle of the lake, and on it are five hundred houses.

The length of the lake may be about 14 miles, and its greatest breadth about the same.

There is a road all round it, reported to be in good condition for vehicles, except at Taraca, where the ground is soft. This road may be about fifty miles long, and is said to have houses on both sides of it nearly all the way. The accompanying sketch, from D. José Nietos’ map, shows forty-three towns clustered round the lake, but in reality it is only one vast town, and the names are those of districts or parishes, each under the rule of a datto. The Sultan lives at Taraca.

The land about the lake is very fertile, and is cultivated by the slaves.

The produce is of excellent quality, and the Moros not only supply themselves, but export annually about 1000 tons of rice, and 900 tons of coffee. [378]

The River Agus, which drains the lake, is not navigable.

Although it has a great body of water, the impetuosity of the current, rushing amongst rocks, forms dangerous rapids.

The surface of the lake must be considerably above the sea-level.

The approaches to the northern end of the lake on both sides of the river were defended by many cottas, or forts. Most of those were taken and destroyed by the Spanish forces in 1894–96, but they are now probably being rebuilt.

Half-way between the lake and the Bay of Iligan stands Fort Weyler, which had a strong garrison of infantry, cavalry, artillery and engineers, and was impregnable to any Moro attack. To the south of the lake, on the shores of Illana Bay, stand Forts Corcuera and Baras, whilst to the westward, between Illana Bay and Panguil Bay, lie four forts across the narrow isthmus called Alfonso XIII., Infanta Isabel, Santas Paz, and Eulalia and Maria Cristina.

These, with the trocha, or military road of Tucúran, cut off the Illano Moros from communication with their brethren of Sibuguey, or with their former victims, the Subanos.

Further to the northward, Fort Almonte kept watch over the quondam pirates of the Liangan River.

These forts and posts were garrisoned by nearly 3000 regular troops, all natives, except the artillery (see List of Posts in Mindanao, p. 386), and in addition a field force of several thousand men, also of the regular army, was encamped at Ulama, Pantar, and other places to the north of the lake, and three small steam-vessels had been transported overland in sections, and launched upon the lake.

Thus everything was ready for the final blow, for the Moros were completely hemmed in by Spanish garrisons or Jesuit reducciones; but the breaking out of the Tagal insurrection, in 1896, obliged General Blanco to withdraw, not only the field army, but to reduce the garrisons in order to hold Manila and Cavite until the Peninsular troops could arrive.

Later on, the war between the United States and Spain, and the immediate destruction of the Spanish naval forces by the American squadron, caused the Spanish authorities to sink the flotilla in the lake, to abandon all the posts on [379]the north coast of Mindanao, the trocha of Tucúran, and all the forts on the Rio Grande, and to concentrate their whole force at Zamboanga, leaving the recently-converted heathen and the missionaries to defend themselves against the Moros as best they could.

The missionaries of the district of Cotta-bato have taken refuge in Zamboanga, fearing to fall into the hands of the Moros, who would exact a heavy ransom for their delivery. As for the hundreds of liberated slave children, both girls and boys, who were gathered together under the protection of the missionaries at the asylum of Tamontaca, they are doubtless once more in the hands of the cruel Moros of Lake Lanao; some, perhaps, have been sold by these wretches to the heathen tribes for twenty or thirty dollars each, to be offered up as sacrifices to Tag-busan, the god of war of the Manobos, or to Dewata, the sanguinary house-god of the Guiangas.

The missionaries of the north of Mindanao were recalled by the Father Superior to Manila; but in some of the towns the native converts and Visayas have detained them by force, and keep a watch on them to prevent their escape. They treat them well, and allow them to exercise their ministry.

As there are no Moros in that part of the island, the missionaries are not in danger, for they are much beloved by their converts, whose only desire is to keep them amongst them.

The district of Davao has been, like other localities, the scene of murder and pillage since the withdrawal of the Spanish authorities. At midnight of February 6th, the bad characters and outlaws of the chief town, under the leadership of Domingo Fernandez, a native of Zamboanga, and formerly interpreter and writer in the office of the Governor of Davao, rose in arms, and attacked the house of Don Bonifacio Quidato, sub-lieutenant of the local militia. They cut his throat, and bayoneted his wife as she lay in her bed. They then attacked all the well-to-do people of the place, committing many barbarous acts, and plundering their houses.

Most of the Spanish residents escaped from the town in a lorcha, and, after a terrible voyage of sixteen days, suffering from hunger, and undergoing many severe privations, arrived in Zamboanga more dead than alive. The veteran missionary, Father Urios, and three other [380]Spaniards, could not escape, and remained in the power of the bandits.

This is only one instance of what is going on all over the island. In the words of one who knows the country well, Mindanao has become a seething hell, and is in a condition more dreadful than ever before in historic times.

But amongst these various tribes, Christian or heathen, there is said to be one subject, and one only, upon which they all agree. They have combined to resist by force the American invasion. If it is attempted to conquer them by force of arms, it will be a difficult, a tedious, and a costly operation—a campaign far more sickly than that now proceeding in the arable lands around Manila, where the ground is hard, the country very level, and where field-guns can be taken anywhere during the dry season. It is my belief that, if skilfully handled, half the island—the eastern half—could be pacified without war, although, no doubt, gangs of bandits would have to be destroyed; but this could be done by the Visayas and the converts, organised as a militia, and paid whilst on active service.

But this pacification requires the assistance of the missionaries. They are not likely to give that assistance unless terms are made with them, and one of those terms will surely be that they shall be allowed to continue their beneficent work unhindered and unvexed.

So the United States Government is confronted with a dilemma. Either they must shoot down the new Christians, to introduce and enforce freedom of worship which the converts do not want, and cannot understand, or they must negotiate with the Jesuits for them to use their influence to pacify the island, and thus subject themselves to the abuse and the outcry such a proceeding will bring upon them from the divines and missionaries of Protestant sects, and from their political opponents.

As for the western half of the island, a part may be pacified with the help of the missionaries, but military operations on a considerable scale will be required there sooner or later against the Moros of Lake Lanao.

This would be a holy war, a war of humanity, and I would say to the Americans: Look back on the deeds of your forefathers, on the days when your infant navy covered itself with imperishable glory, when it curbed the insolence of the Bashaw of Tripoli, the Bey of Tunis, and the Dey of Algiers, teaching all Europe how to deal with Mediterranean [381]pirates. Inspire yourselves with the Spirit of Decatur and his hero-comrades whose gallant deeds at Tripoli earned Nelson’s praise as being “the most bold and daring act of the age,” and do not hesitate to break up this last community of ex-pirates and murderous slave-hunters.

The Moros of Lake Lanao could be simultaneously attacked from north and south. In 1894, the Spaniards attacked by the north, and transported all their artillery and stores and their small steamers built in sections, by paths on the eastern side of the River Agus. Some of the Moros remained neutral in that campaign. Such were the Dattos of Lumbayangin and Guimba. Their cottas were spared. The distance in a straight line from the mouth of the Agus near Iligan to the lake is fifteen miles.

The path winds a good deal, and the country is hilly, wooded on the heights, and intersected by streams. There is a path on the west bank of the Agus, the country there is more open, and a large part of it is under cultivation. A good outfit of mountain-guns would be required on this northern expedition.

The other attack could be made from the south, the forces landing at Fort Baras, or at Lalabuan. From either of these places there is what in the Philippines is called a road to Ganasi at the southern end of the lake. The distance in a straight line is about twenty miles. The two roads join at about half way, just before coming to the cotta of Kurandangan in the Sultanate of Puálas.

This road is reported to have no steep gradients, no boggy parts, and no unfordable streams. The country is fairly open, as there is no thick forest, but only scrub and cogon, or elephant grass. From a description given by a Tagal who traversed this road, it appears to be practicable for field artillery. The combined attack, north and south, could be supported by an advance from the eastward of irregular forces of the Montéses from the reducciones of the Tagoloan, Sawaga and Malupati Rivers, if they were supplied with arms and ammunition for this purpose.

It seems to me that we have here the usual three courses; the fourth, to do nothing, and allow Moro and Christian to fight it out, would be unworthy of the United States, or of any civilized government.

1. Put a stop to slave-hunting and murdering by a military expedition against the Moro Dattos.

2. Maintain garrisons to keep the peace and protect the [382]missionaries and their converts and trust to their efforts to gradually convert the Moros.

3. Arm all the Christian towns round about the Moros and organise the men as local militia, so that they can protect themselves against Moro aggression.

All these courses are expensive, the second less expensive than the first, the third less expensive than the second.

However, if either the second or third course is adopted, it is very probable that before long the first course would become imperative, for the Moros are faithless and treacherous in the extreme, and no treaty unsupported by bayonets has the least chance of being respected.

To adopt the second or third course, then, only amounts to putting off the evil day.

The missionaries can be of the greatest service in pacifiying the Moros whenever the power of the dattos is broken and when slavery can be put an end to. The object of the expedition I have spoken of should not be to exterminate the Moros, but merely to break the power of the dattos and pandits, and to free their followers and slaves from their yoke.

It is generally taken for granted that a Moro cannot be converted, but this is not the case in Mindanao. Father Jaoquin Sancho, S.J., informs me that when the political power of the dattos has been destroyed, their followers have been found ready to listen to the teachings of the missionaries and beginning by sending their children to school, then perhaps sanctioning the marriage of their daughters with Christians, they have finally cast in their lot with the Roman Catholic Church, not in scores, nor hundreds, but by thousands. He says that his colleagues baptized in one year after 1892, in the district of Davao alone, more than three thousand Mahometan Moros. He adds that their religious receptivity is much greater than that of the heathen tribes, that once baptized they remain fervent Christians, whilst the Mandayas, Manobos, Montéses and other heathen are only too apt, with or without reason, to slip away to the forests and mountains and resume their nomadic life, their heathen orgies, and human sacrifices.

I have already spoken of the success of the missionaries on the Rio Grande and of their industrial and agricultural orphanage at Tamontacca, where they were bringing up hundreds of children of both sexes, mostly [383]liberated slaves of the Moros, to be useful members of society. This noble institution occupied the very spot where the former Moro Sultan of Tamontacca held his court.

Two or three more institutions like this, established at points a few miles distant from Lake Lanao, and protected from aggression on the part of the Moro, would gradually undermine the power of the Dattos by affording an asylum to all fugitive slaves attempting to escape from cruelties of their masters.

For years past the Spaniards have protected all slaves who have fled to them from their masters. The Datto Utto applied to General Weyler to restore to him forty-eight slaves who had taken refuge at a Spanish fort on the Rio Grande, but Weyler refused, reminding the datto that he had signed an engagement to keep no slaves, but only free labourers, who had the right to fix their residence where they pleased.

I assume that no slaves who seek the shelter of the Stars and Stripes will ever be sent back again into bondage.

As a guide to the strength of the expedition which will sooner or later have to be sent against the Moros of Lake Lanao, I may say that the total war strength of the Moros of Mindanao was estimated in 1894 at 19,000 fighting-men, 35 guns, 1896 Lantacas and 2167 muskets or rifles. (See list, p. 387).

They have probably since then obtained a large supply of rifles and ammunition. This traffic in arms should be at once stopped.

Swords and spears they have in abundance.

But of these 19,000 men many have submitted to the Spanish rule, or have become allies of the Spaniards, like the Datto Ayunan, the Datto Abdul, the Sultan of Bolinson and many others.

Probably 10,000 men would be the very utmost that the Moros of Lake Lanao could bring on the field, and only a part of these would have fire-arms, which they could have little skill in handling.

They would on no account give battle in the open, but would fight in the bush, and desperately defend their cottas. They would not concentrate their forces, for want of transport for their food supply; besides, the nature of the country would prevent this. [384]

They could not stop a flotilla from being launched on the lake and from capturing the islands as a base of operations.

The flotilla would be operating on inside lines of communication. It could threaten one side of the lake, and in less than two hours be landing troops on the opposite side.

In fact, with a moderate force, their subjugation would not be so difficult as has often been supposed.

It should be made clear to the Sácopes and to the slaves that the war is waged against the Sultans and Dattos, that the people would have their lives and property and the free exercise of their religion guaranteed to them, and that the adults should be exempt from taxation and conscription for the rest of their lives or for a term of years. Then the resistance would soon slacken, and the sultans and dattos might be captured. Those who would not conform to the new condition of things might be allowed to emigrate to Borneo or elsewhere, but their subjects and slaves should by no means be allowed to go with them, for they will soon become useful agriculturists and good Christians, and Mindanao cannot spare them.

The question of slavery, more especially of slave-concubines, will require delicate handling, but by adopting a conciliatory but firm policy, this curse may gradually be got rid of without causing disturbance or bloodshed. Cranks and faddists should not be allowed to handle this question, but it should be placed in the hands of some one well versed in human nature, and a true friend of freedom.

The wise policy of the British authorities in Zanzibar and Pemba is well worthy of imitation.

As happens in Africa, the greatest impediment to the conversion of the heathen polygamist is the obligation to renounce all his wives but one. This is a sore trial, more especially when they have paid a good price for them, or if they are good cooks.

Father Urios having persuaded a Manobo, who wished to be baptized, to do this, the man said to him: “Of my two wives I have decided to keep the elder, but I make a great sacrifice in separating from the other, for I had so much trouble to obtain her. Her father would only give her to me in exchange for fifteen slaves. As I did not possess them, I was obliged to take the field against the timid tribes in an unknown country, and to capture these [385]fifteen slaves. I was obliged to fight often, and to kill more than thirty men.”

The illustration represents a scene from the labours of Father Gisbert amongst the Bagobos. He is exhorting a blood-stained old datto and his wives and followers to abandon their human sacrifices, exhibiting to them the image of the crucified Redeemer, whose followers he urges them to become.

As regards the maintenance of the missions, I do not for one moment doubt that the liberality of the Roman Catholics of the United States is quite equal to the needs of the pioneers of civilisation, who have laboured with such remarkable success.

Altogether the Jesuits administered the spiritual, and some of the temporal affairs of 200,000 Christians in Mindanao.

They educated the young, taught them handicrafts, attended to the sick, consoled the afflicted, reconciled those at variance, explored the country, encouraged agriculture, built churches, laid out roads, and assisted the Administration. Finally, when bands of slave-hunting, murdering Moros swept down like wolves on their flocks, they placed themselves at the head of their ill-armed parishioners and led them into battle against a ferocious enemy who gives no quarter, with the calmness of men who, long before, had devoted their lives to the Master’s cause, to whom nothing in this world is of any consequence except the advancement of the Faith and the performance of duty.

They received very meagre monetary assistance from the Spanish Government, and had to depend greatly upon the pious offerings of the devout in Barcelona and in Madrid. It is to be feared that these subscriptions will now fall off as Spain has lost the islands; if so, it is all the more incumbent upon the Roman Catholics of America to find the means of continuing the good work.

I feel sure that this will be so—Christian charity will not fail, and the missions will be maintained.

For their devotion and zeal, I beg to offer the Jesuit missionaries my profound respect and my earnest wishes for their welfare under the Stars and Stripes.

To my mind, they realise very closely the ideal of what a Christian missionary should be. Although a Protestant born and bred, I see in that no reason to close my eyes to their obvious merit, nor to seek to be-little the great good [386]they have done in Mindanao. Far from doing so, I wish to state my conviction that the easiest, the best, and the most humane way of pacifying Mindanao is by utilising the powerful influence of the Jesuit missionaries with their flocks, and this before it is too late, before the populations have had time to completely forget the Christian teaching, and to entirely relapse into barbarism.

Double-barrelled Lantaca of Artistic Design and Moro Arms.

Double-barrelled Lantaca of Artistic Design and Moro Arms.

[To face p. 387.

List of Posts in Mindanao Garrisoned by Detachments of the Native Army with Spanish Officers in 1894.

Field Officers. Officers. Men.
1st District.
San Ramon .. 1 12 Infantry.
Santa Maria .. 1 34 Infantry.
Margos-sa-tubig .. 2 60 Infantry.
2nd District.
Fort Weyler, Mumungan 1 7 321 Infantry.
Fort Weyler, Mumungan .. 1 18 Artillery.
Fort Weyler, Mumungan .. 2 112 Engineers.
Fort Weyler, Mumungan .. 1 30 Cavalry.
Fort Weyler, Mumungan .. 3 158 Disciplinary Battn.
Iligan .. 1 30 Tercio Civil.
Almonte .. 2 58 Infantry.
Almonte .. .. 8 Artillery.
Almonte .. 1 20 Disciplinary Battn.
Tangok, Alfonso XIII. .. 1 20 Infantry.
Balatacan, Infanta Isabel .. 1 20 Infantry.
Trocha de Tucuran, Sta. Pax and Sta. Eulalia Maria Cristina .. 3 150 Infantry.
Sundangan .. 1 32 Infantry.
Parang-parang 1 3 500 Infantry.
Parang-parang .. 1 12 Artillery.
Parang-parang .. 2 60 Disciplinary Battn.
Parang-parang .. 3 60 Engineers.
Matabang .. 3 200 Infantry.
Matabang .. .. 10 Artillery.
Baras .. 3 200 Infantry.
Baras .. .. 10 Artillery.
Glan .. 2 45 Infantry.
Makra .. 1 32 Infantry.
Balut .. 1 20 Infantry.
Tumanao .. 1 Sergt. 15 Infantry. [387]
5th District.
Cottabato .. 3 100 Infantry.
Cottabato .. 1 12 Artillery.
Libungan .. 1 Sergt. 12 Infantry.
Tamontaca .. 1 20 Infantry.
Taviran .. 1 22 Infantry.
Tumbao .. 1 60 Infantry.
Kudaranga .. 1 20 Infantry.
Reina Regente .. 3 100 Infantry.
Pikit .. 1 60 Infantry.
6 Artillery.
Pinto .. .. 60 Infantry.
6 Artillery.
Pollok .. 1 Sergt. 11 Infantry.
Panay .. 1 11 Infantry.
Lebak .. 1 11 Infantry.
2 65 2758

This number is exclusive of the garrisons of Zamoanga and Davao.

Basilan 2 officers, 50 men.

Estimate of the Moro Forces in Mindanao in the Year 1894.

District. Fighting-men. Guns. Lantacas. Rifles.
Tucaran 1,000 2 54 162
Parang-parang 2,500 2 29 117
Malabang 3,500 1 342 265
Baras 2,000 4 19 23
Lake Lanao and
surrounding district 10,000 26 1,452 1,600
19,000 35 1,896 2,167

The fighting-men of the River Pulangui, and the Rio Grande comprised within the 5th District are not included in this list, as many of them have submitted to the Spaniards, and there appears little to fear from them. Only those who are quite independent and war-like, and who may be considered dangerous have been set down. [388]

Population of Mindanao in 1894.

As given by José Nieto Aguilar.

Districts. Area in Hectares. Population Total.
Christians. Moros. Heathen.
1 Zamboanga 2,984,696 17,000 8,000 90,000 115,000
2 Misamis (Dapitan and Camiguin Is.) 1,098,000 116,000 100,000 20,000 236,000
3 Surigao 1,070,190 68,000 8,000 12,000 88,000
Bislig 441,291 21,076 .. 10,000 31,076
4 Davao 1,044,333 1,500 .. 17,300 18,800
Cotta-bato 2,829,379 4,000 80,0005 120,0005 204,000
227,576 196,000 269,300 692,876


1 The territory of Sibuguey is almost unexplored.

2 The principal industry of Christians or Moros, is washing the sands and alluvial soils for gold, which is found in abundance. Agriculture is progressing.

3 The principal industry is washing the sands and mining for gold.

4 From Jesuit records the Christian population of Davao was 12,000 in 1896. This number included over 3000 converted Moros. There were also some 2,000 Moros residing there. The Jesuits residing on the spot must know best.

5 Nieto gives the total as 200,000. I have divided them as above.



Some of the Combats, Massacres and Rebellions, Disputes And Calamities of the Philippine Islands.

1521. Magellan and several of his followers killed in action by the natives of Mactan, near Cebú; Juan Serrano and many other Spaniards treacherously killed by Hamabar, King of Cebú.
1525. Salazar fights the Portuguese off Mindanao, and suffers great losses in ships and men.
1568. Legaspi’s expedition attacked in Cebú by a Portuguese fleet, which was repulsed.
1570. Legaspi founds the city of Cebú, with the assistance of the Augustinians.
1571. Legaspi founds the city of Manila, with the assistance of the Augustinians.
1572. Juan Salcedo fights the Datto of Zambales, and delivers his subjects from oppression.
1574. Siege of Manila by the Chinese pirate Li-ma-hon with 95 small vessels and 2000 men. The Spaniards and natives repulse the attack. The pirates retire to Pangasinan, and are attacked and destroyed by Juan Salcedo.
1577. War against Mindanao and Joló, parts of which are occupied. Disputes between the missionaries and the military officers who desire to enrich themselves by enslaving the natives, which the former stoutly oppose, desiring to convert them, and grant them exemption from taxes according to the “Leyes de Indias.” They considered the cupidity of the soldiers as the chief obstacle to the conversion of the heathen. The Crown decided in favour of the natives, but they did not derive all the benefits they were entitled to, as the humane laws were not respected by the governors.
The Franciscans arrived in Manila.
1580. Expedition sent by Gonzalo Ronquillo to Borneo to assist King Sirela.
1581. Expedition sent by the same to Cagayan to expel a Japanese corsair who had established himself there. The expedition succeeded, but with heavy loss.
Expedition against the Igorrotes to get possession of the gold-mines, but without success.
The Jesuits arrive in Manila.
1582. Expedition against the Molucas, under Sebastian Ronquillo. [390]An epidemic destroyed two-thirds of the expedition, which returned without accomplishing anything.
Great disputes between the encomenderos and the friars in consequence of the ill-treatment of the natives by the former. Dissensions between the Bishop of Manila and the friars who refused to submit to his diocesan visit.
Manila burnt down.
1584. Second expedition against the Molucas, with no better luck than the first.
Rebellion of the Pampangos and Manila men, assisted by some Mahometans from Borneo. Combat between the English pirate, Thomas Schadesh, and Spanish vessels.
Combat between the English adventurer Thomas Cavendish (afterwards Sir Thomas), and Spanish vessels.
1587. The Dominicans arrive in Manila.
1589. Rebellion in Cagayan and other provinces.
1593. Third expedition against the Molucas under Gomez Perez Dasmariñias. He had with him in his galley 80 Spaniards and 250 Chinese galley-slaves. In consequence of contrary winds, his vessel put into a port near Batangas for shelter. In the silence of the night, when the Spaniards were asleep, the galley-slaves arose and killed them all except a Franciscan friar and a secretary. Dasmariñias built the castle of Santiago, and fortified Manila with stone walls, cast a large number of guns, and established the college of Sta. Potenciana.
1596. The galleon which left Manila for Acapulco with rich merchandise, was obliged to enter a Japanese port by stress of weather, and was seized by the Japanese authorities. The crew were barbarously put to death.
1597. Expedition of Luis Perez Dasmariñias against Cambodia, which gained no advantage.
1598. The Audiencia re-established in Manila, and the bishopric raised to an archbishopric.
Expedition against Mindanao and Joló, the people from which were committing great devastations in Visayas, taking hundreds of captives.
Much fighting, and many killed on both sides, without any definite result.
1599. Destructive earthquake in Manila and neighbourhood.
1600. Great sea combat between four Spanish ships, commanded by Judge Morga, and two Dutch pirates. One of the Dutchmen was taken, but the other escaped.
Another destructive earthquake on January 7th, and one less violent, but long, in November.
1603. Conspiracy of Eng-Cang and the Chinese against the Spaniards. The Chinese entrench themselves near Manila; Luis Perez Dasmariñias marches against them with 130 Spaniards. They were all killed and decapitated by the Chinese, who then besieged Manila, and attempted to take it by assault. Being repulsed by the Spaniards, all of whom, including the friars, took up arms, they retired to their entrenchments. They were ultimately defeated, and 23,000 of them were massacred. Only 100 were left alive, and these were sent to the galleys as slaves. [391]
1606. The Recollets arrive in Manila.
Fourth expedition against the Molucas. Pedro de Acuña, having received a reinforcement of 800 men—Mexicans and Peruvians—attacked and took Ternate, Tidore, Marotoy and Herrao, with all their artillery and provisions. He left 700 men in garrison there, and returned to Manila, dying a few days after his arrival. The Augustinians furnished a galleon for this expedition. It was commanded by the Rev. Father Antonio Flores.
1607. Revolt of the Japanese living in and near Manila, and heavy losses on both sides.
1609. Arrival of Juan de Silva with five companies of Mexican and Peruvian infantry. Attack on Manila by a Dutch squadron of five vessels. They were beaten off with the loss of three of their ships.
1610. Unsuccessful expedition against Java. This was to have been a combined attack on the Dutch by Portuguese and Spaniards, but the Spanish squadron did not arrive in time to join their allies, who were beaten by the Dutch fleet in the Straits of Malacca.
Terrific earthquake in Manila and the eastern provinces.
1616. Violent eruption of the Mayon volcano.
1622. Revolt of the natives in Bohol, Leyte and Cagayan, which were easily suppressed.
1624. Th