[Archipelago's great extent.] The Philippine Archipelago lies between Borneo and Formosa, and separates the northern Pacific Ocean from the China Sea. It covers fourteen and one-half degrees of latitude, and extends from the Sulu Islands in the south, in the fifth parallel of north latitude, to the Babuyans in the north in latitude 19 deg. 30'. If, however, the Bashee or Batanes Islands be included, its area may be said to extend to the twenty-first parallel of north latitude. But neither southwards or northwards does Spanish rule extend to these extreme limits, nor, in fact, does it always reach the far interior of the larger islands. From the eastern to the western extremity of the Philippines the distance is about nine degrees of longitude. Two islands, Luzon, with an area of two thousand, and Mindanao, with one of more than one thousand five hundred square miles, are together larger than all the rest. The seven next largest islands are Palawan, Samar, Panay, Mindoro, Leyte, Negros, and Cebu; of which the first measures about two hundred and fifty, and the last about one hundred square miles. Then come Bohol and Masbate, each about half the size of Cebu; twenty smaller islands, still of some importance; and numerous tiny islets, rocks, and reefs.
[Favored by position and conditions.] The Philippines are extremely favored by their position and conditions. Their extension from north to south, over 16 deg. of latitude, obtains for them a variety of climate which the Dutch Indies, whose largest diameter, their extent in latitude north and south of the equator being but trifling, runs from the east to the west, by no means enjoy. The advantages accruing from their neighborhood to the equator are added to those acquired from the natural variety of their climate; and the produce of both the torrid and temperate zones, the palm-tree and the fir, the pine-apple, the corn ear and the potato, flourish side by side upon their shores.
[Harbors and water highways.] The larger islands contain vast inland seas, considerable navigable rivers, and many creeks running far into the interior; they are rich, too, in safe harbors and countless natural ports of refuge for ships in distress. Another attribute which, though not to be realized by a glance at the map, is yet one of the most fortunate the Islands possess, is the countless number of small streams which pour down from the inland hills, and open out, ere they reach the ocean, into broad estuaries; up these watercourses coasting vessels of shallow draught can sail to the very foot of the mountains and take in their cargo. [Soil and sea alike productive.] The fertility of the soil is unsurpassed; both the sea around the coasts and the inland lakes swarm with fish and shell-fish, while in the whole archipelago there is scarcely a wild beast to be found. It seems that only two civets happen to appear: Miro (paradoxurus philippinensis Tem.) and galong (viverra tangalunga Gray). Luzon surpasses all the other islands, not only in size, but in importance; and its fertility and other natural superiority well entitle it to be called, as it is by Crawfurd, "the most beautiful spot in the tropics."
[Luzon.] The mainland of the isle of Luzon stretches itself in a compact long quadrangle, twenty-five miles broad, from 18 deg. 40' north latitude to the Bay of Manila (14 deg. 30'); and then projects, amid large lakes and deep creeks, a rugged promontory to the east, joined to the main continent by but two narrow isthmuses which stretch east and west of the large inland Lagoon of Bay. Many traces of recent upheavals betoken that the two portions were once separated and formed two distinct islands. The large eastern promontory, well-nigh as long as the northern portion, is nearly cut in half by two deep bays, which, starting from opposite points on the south-eastern and north-western coasts, almost merge their waters in the center of the peninsula; the Bay of Ragay, and the Bay of Sogod. In fact, the southern portion of Luzon may be better described as two small peninsulas lying next to one another in parallel positions, and joined together by a narrow neck of land scarcely three miles broad. Two small streams which rise nearly in the same spot and pour themselves into the two opposite gulfs, make the separation almost complete, and form at the same time the boundary between the province of Tayabas on the west, and that of Camarines on the east. The western portion, indeed, consists almost entirely of the first-named district, and the eastern is divided into the provinces of North Camarines, South Camarines, and Albay. The first of these three is divided from Tayabas by the boundary already mentioned, and from South Camarines by a line drawn from the southern shore of the Bay of San Miguel on the north to the opposite coast. The eastern extremity of the peninsula forms the province of Albay; separated from South Camarines by a line which runs from Donzol, on the south coast, northwards across the volcano of Mayon, and which then, inclining to the west, reaches the northern shore. A look at the map will make these explanations clearer.
[The monsoons.] There are two seasons in the Philippines, the wet and the dry. The south-west monsoon brings the rainy season, at the time of our summer, to the provinces which lie exposed to the south and west winds. On the northern and eastern coasts the heaviest downpours take place (in our winter months) during the north-eastern monsoons. The ruggedness of the country and its numerous mountains cause, in certain districts, many variations in these normal meteorological conditions. The dry season lasts in Manila from November till June (duration of the north-east monsoon); rain prevails during the remaining months (duration of the south-west monsoon). The heaviest rainfall occurs in September; March and April are frequently free from rain. From October to February inclusively the weather is cool and dry (prevalence of N.W., N., and N.E. winds); March, April, and May are warm and dry (prevalence of E.N.E., E., and E.S.E. winds); and from June till the end of September it is humid and moderately warm.
There has been an observatory for many years past in Manila under the management of the Jesuits. The following is an epitome of the yearly meteorological report for 1867, for which I am indebted to Professor Dove:
Barometrical readings.—The average height of the mercury was, in 1867, 755.5; in 1865, 754.57; and in 1866, 753.37 millimeters.
In 1867 the difference between the highest and lowest barometrical readings was not more than 13.96 millimetres, and would have been much less if the mercury had not been much depressed by storms in July and September. The hourly variations amounted to very few millimeters.
Daily reading of the barometer.—The mercury rises in the early morning till about 9 a.m., it then falls up to 3 or 4 p.m., from then it rises again till 9 p.m., and then again falls till towards day-break. Both the principal atmospheric currents prevalent in Manila exercise a great influence over the mercury in the barometer; the northern current causes it to rise (to an average height of 756 millimeters), the southern causes it to fall (to about 753 millimeters).
Temperature.—The heat increases from January till the end of May, and then decreases till December. Average yearly temperature, 27.9 deg. C. The highest temperature ever recorded (on the 15th of April at 3 p.m.) was 37.7 deg. C.; the lowest (on the 14th of December and on the 30th of January at 6 a.m.), 19.4 deg. C. Difference, 18.3 deg. C. 
Thermometrical variations.—The differences between the highest and lowest readings of the thermometer were, in January, 13.9 deg.; in February, 14.2 deg.; in March, 15 deg.; in April, 14.6 deg.; in May, 11.1 deg.; in June, 9.9 deg.; in July, 9 deg.; in August, 9 deg.; in September, 10 deg.; in October, 11.9 deg.; in November, 11.8 deg.; and in December, 11.7 deg..
Coolest months.—November, December and January, with northerly winds.
Hottest months.—April and May. Their high temperature is caused by the change of monsoon from the north-east to the south-west. The state of the temperature is most normal from June to September; the variations are least marked during this period owing to the uninterrupted rainfall and the clouded atmosphere.
Daily variations of the thermometer.—The coolest portion of the day is from 6 to 7 a.m.; the heat gradually increases, reaches its maximum about 2 or 3 p.m., and then again gradually decreases. During some hours of the night the temperature remains unchanged, but towards morning it falls rapidly.
[Winds.] The direction of the wind is very regular at all seasons of the year, even when local causes make it vary a little. In the course of a twelvemonth the wind goes around the whole compass. In January and February north winds prevail; in March and April they blow from the south-east; and in May, June, July, August, and September, from the south-west. In the beginning of October they vary between south-east and south-west, and settle down towards the close of the month in the north-east, in which quarter they remain tolerably fixed during the two following months. The two changes of monsoon always take place in April and May, and in October. As a rule, the direction of both monsoons preserves its equilibrium; but in Manila, which is protected towards the north by a high range of hills, the north-east monsoon is often diverted to the south-east and north-west. The same cause gives greater force to the south-west wind.
[Sunshine and rain.] The sky is generally partially clouded; entirely sunny days are of rare occurrence, in fact, they only occur from January to April during the north-east monsoons. Number of rainy days in the year, 168. The most continuous and heaviest rain falls from June till the end of October. During this period the rain comes down in torrents; in September alone the rainfall amounted to 1.5 meters, nearly as much as falls in Berlin in the course of the whole year, 3,072.8 millimeters of rain fell in the twelve month; but this is rather more than the average.
The evaporation only amounted to 2,307.3 millimeters; in ordinary years it is generally about equal to the downfall, taking the early averages, not those of single months.
The average daily evaporation was about 6.3 millimeters.
[Storms.] The changes of monsoons are often accompanied with tremendous storms; during one of these, which occurred in September, the velocity of the wind was as much as thirty-seven or thirty-eight meters per second. An official report of the English vice-consul mentions a typhoon which visited the Islands on September 27, 1865, and which did much damage at Manila, driving seventeen vessels ashore.
* * * * *
[Provinces and districts.] The Philippines are divided into provinces (P), and districts (D), each of which is administered by an alcalde of the 1st (A1), 2nd (A2), or 3rd class (A3) (de termino, de ascenso, de entrada); by a political and military governor (G), or by a commandant (C). In some provinces an alcalde of the 3rd class is appointed as coadjutor to the governor. These divisions are frequently changed.
[Population.] The population is estimated approximately at about five millions.
[Language and dialects.] In spite of the long possessions of the Islands by the Spaniards their language has scarcely acquired any footing there. A great diversity of languages and dialects prevails; amongst them the Bisayan, Tagalog, Ilocano, Bicol, Pangasinan, and Pampangan are the most important.
[Luzon Provinces and their languages and populations.]
Island of Luzon
Rank of Rank of Name Prevailing Population Pueblos Official District Dialect
G. P. Abra Ilocano 34,337 5 A1. P. Albay Bicol 330,121 34 A2. P. Bataan Tagalog, Pampangan 44,794 10 A1. P. Batangas Tagalog 280,100 D. Benguet Igorot, Ilocano, Pangasinan 8,465 D. Bontoc Suflin, Ilocano, Igorot 7,052 A1. P. Bulacan Tagalog 240,341 23 A1. P. Cagayan Ibanag, Itanes, Idayan, Gaddan, Ilocano, Dadaya, Apayao, Malaneg 64,437 16 A2. P. Camarines Norte Tagalog, Bicol 25,372 7 A2(?) P. Camarines Sur Bicol 81,047 31 A3. P. Cavite Spanish, Tagalog 109,501 17 A1. P. Ilocos Norte Ilocano, Tinguian 134,767 12 A1. P. Ilocos Sur Ilocano 105,251 18 C. D. Infanta Tagalog 7,813 2 G. P. Isabela Ibanag, Gaddan, Tagalog 29,200 9 A1. P. Laguna Tagalog, Spanish 121,251 25 D. Lepanto Igorot, Ilocano 8,851 48 3A1. P. Manila Tagalog, Spanish, Chinese 323,683 23 C. D. Morong Tagalog 44,239 12 A2. P. Nueva Ecija Tagalog, Pangasinan, Pampangan, Ilocano 84,520 12 A3. P. Nueva Vizcaya Gaddan, Ifugao, Ibilao, Ilongote 32,961 8 A1. P. Pampanga Pampangan, Ilocano 193,423 24 A1. P. Pangasinan Pangasinan, Ilocano 253,472 25 D. Porac Pampangan 6,950 1 C. D. Principe Tagalog, Ilocano, Ilongote 3,609 3 D. Saltan Gaddan 6,540 A2. P. Tayabas Tagalog, Bicol 93,918 17 D. Tiagan Different Igorot dialects 5,723 G. P. Union Ilocano 88,024 11 A2. P. Zambales Zambal, Ilocano, Acta, Pampangan, Tagalog, Pangasinan 72,936 16
Islands between Luzon and Mindanao
G a3. P. Antique (Panay) Bisayan 88,874 13 G a3. P. Bohol Bisayan 187,327 26 C. Burias Bicol 1,786 1 G a3. P. Capiz (Panay) Bisayan 206,288 26 G a2. P. Cebu Bisayan 318,715 44 G a3. P. Iloilo (Panay) Bisayan 565,500 35 G a3. P. Leyte Bisayan 170,591 28 D. Masbate, Ticao Bisayan 12,457 9 A2. P. Mindoro Tagalog 23,050 10 G a3. P. Negros Cebuan, Panayan, Bisayan 144,923 31 D. Romblon Bisayan 21,579 4 G a3. P. Samar Bisayan 146,539 28
Mindanao D. Cotabato Spanish, Manobo 1,103 1 G a3. D. Misamis (J) Bisayan 63,639 14 G a3. D. Surigao (J) 24,104 12 D. Zamboanga (J) Mandaya, Spanish 9,608 2 G a3. D. Davao Bisayan 1,537
G a3. P. Batanes Ibanag 8,381 6 G a3. P. Calamianes Coyuvo, Agutaino Calamiano 17,703 5 G. P. Marianas Chamorro, Carolino 5,940 6
[Unreliability of government reports.] The statistics of the above table are taken from a small work, by Sr. [Vicente] Barrantes, the Secretary-General of the Philippines; but I have arranged them differently to render them more easily intelligible to the eye. Although Sr. Barrantes had the best official materials at his disposal, too much value must not be attributed to his figures, for the sources from which he drew them are tainted with errors to an extent that can hardly be realized in Europe. For example, he derives the following contradictory statements from his official sources:—The population of Cavite is set down as 115,300 and 65,225; that of Mindoro as 45,630, and 23,054; that of Manila as 230,443, and 323,683; and that of Capiz as 788,947, and 191,818.
[To Bulacan by steamer.] My first excursion was to the province of Bulacan, on the northern shore of the Bay of Manila. A couple of hours brought the steamer to the bar of Binuanga (not Bincanga as it is called in Coello's map), and a third to Bulacan, the capital of the province, situated on the flat banks of an influent of the Pampanga delta. I was the only European passenger, the others were composed of Tagalogs, mestizos, and a few Chinese; the first more particularly were represented by women, who are generally charged with the management of all business affairs, for which they are much better fitted than the men. As a consequence, there are usually more women than men seen in the streets, and it appears to be an admitted fact that the female births are more numerous than the male. According, however, to the church-record which I looked through, the reverse was, at any rate in the eastern provinces, formerly the case.
[Carromatas.] At the landing-place a number of carromatas were waiting for us,—brightly painted, shallow, two-wheeled boxes, provided with an awning, and harnessed to a couple of horses, in which strangers with money to spend are quickly driven anywhere they may desire.
[Town of Bulacan.] The town of Bulacan contains from 11,000 to 12,000 inhabitants; but a month before my arrival, the whole of it, with the exception of the church and a few stone houses, had been burnt to the ground. All were therefore occupied in building themselves new houses, which, oddly enough, but very practically, were commenced at the roof, like houses in a drawing. Long rows of roofs composed of palm-leaves and bamboos were laid in readiness on the ground, and in the meantime were used as tents.
[Frequence of fires.] Similar destructive fires are very common. The houses, which with few exceptions are built of bamboo and wood, become perfectly parched in the hot season, dried into so much touchwood by the heat of the sun. Their inhabitants are extremely careless about fire, and there are no means whatever of extinguishing it. If anything catches fire on a windy day, the entire village, as a rule, is utterly done for. During my stay in Bulacan, the whole suburb of San Miguel, in the neighborhood of Manila, was burnt down, with the exception of the house of a Swiss friend of mine, which owed its safety to the vigorous use of a private fire-engine, and the intermediation of a small garden full of bananas, whose stems full of sap stopped the progress of the flames.
[To Calumpit by carriage.] I travelled to Calumpit, a distance of three leagues, in the handsome carriage of an hospitable friend. The roads were good, and were continuously shaded by fruit-trees, coco and areca palms. The aspect of this fruitful province reminded me of the richest districts of Java; but the pueblos here exhibited more comfort than the desas there. The houses were more substantial; numerous roomy constructions of wood, in many cases, even, of stone, denoted in every island the residence of official and local magnates. But while even the poorer Javanese always give their wicker huts a smart appearance, border the roads of their villages with blooming hedges, and display everywhere a sense of neatness and cleanliness, there were here far fewer evidences of taste to be met with. I missed too the alun-alun, that pretty and carefully tended open square, which, shaded by waringa trees, is to be met with in every village in Java. And the quantity and variety of the fruit trees, under whose leaves the desas of Java are almost hidden, were by no means as great in this province, although it is the garden of the Philippines, as in its Dutch prototype.
[Calumpit.] I reached Calumpit towards evening, just as a procession, resplendent with flags and torches, and melodious with song, was marching round the stately church, whose worthy priest, on the strength of a letter of introduction from Madrid, gave me a most hospitable reception. Calumpit, a prosperous place of 12,250 inhabitants, is situated at the junction of the Quingua and Pampanga rivers, in an extremely fruitful plain, fertilized by the frequent overflowing of the two streams.
[Mt. Arayat.] About six leagues to the north-west of Calumpit, Mount Arayat, a lofty, isolated, conical hill, lifts its head. Seen from Calumpit, its western slope meets the horizon at an angle of 20 deg., its eastern at one of 25 deg.; and the profile of its summit has a gentle inclination of from 4 deg. to 5 deg..
[Picking fish.] At Calumpit I saw some Chinese catching fish in a peculiar fashion. Across the lower end of the bed of a brook which was nearly dried up, and in which there were only a few rivulets left running, they had fastened a hurdle of bamboo, and thrown up a shallow dam behind it. The water which collected was thrown over the dam with a long-handled winnowing shovel. The shovel was tied to a bamboo frame work ten feet high, the elasticity of which made the work much easier. As soon as the pool was emptied, the fisherman was easily able to pick out of the mud a quantity of small fish (Ophiocephalus vagus). These fishes, which are provided with peculiar organisms to facilitate respiration, at any rate, enabling them to remain for some considerable time on dry land, are in the wet season so numerous in the ditches, ponds, and rice-fields, that they can be killed with a stick. When the water sinks they also retire, or, according to Professor Semper, bore deeply into the ooze at the bottom of the watercourses, where, protected by a hard crust of earth from the persecutions of mankind, they sleep away the winter. This Chinese method of fishing seems well adapted to the habits of the fish. The circumstances that the dam is only constructed at the lower end of the watercourse, and that it is there that the fish are to be met with in the greatest numbers, seem to indicate that they can travel in the ooze, and that as the brooks and ditches get dried up, they seek the larger water channels.
[To Baliwag.] Following the Quingua in its upward and eastward course as it meandered through a well-cultivated and luxuriantly fertile country, past stone-built churches and chapels which grouped themselves with the surrounding palm-trees and bamboo-bushes into sylvan vignettes, Father Llano's four-horsed carriage brought me to the important town of Baliwag, the industry of which is celebrated beyond the limits of the province.
[Board houses and their furniture.] I visited several families and received a friendly reception from all of them. The houses were built of boards and were placed upon piles elevated five feet above the ground. Each consisted of a spacious dwelling apartment which opened on one side into the kitchen, and on the other on to an open space, the azotea; a lofty roof of palm-trees spread itself above the dwelling, the entrance to which was through the azotea. The latter was half covered by the roof I have just mentioned. The floor was composed of slats an inch in width, laid half that distance apart. Chairs, tables, benches, a cupboard, a few small ornaments, a mirror, and some lithographs in frames, composed the furniture of the interior. The cleanliness of the house and the arrangement of its contents testified to the existence of order and prosperity.
[Tapis weaving.] I found the women in almost all the houses occupied in weaving tapis, which have a great reputation in the Manila market. They are narrow, thickly-woven silk scarves, six varas in length, with oblique white stripes on a dark-brown ground. They are worn above the sarong.
[Petaca cigar cases.] Baliwag is also especially famous for its petaca cigar-cases, which surpass all others in delicacy of workmanship. They are not made of straw, but of fine strips of Spanish cane, and particularly from the lower ends of the leaf-stalks of the calamusart, which is said to grow only in the province of Nueva Ecija.
[Preparation of material.] A bundle of a hundred selected stalks, a couple of feet long, costs about six reals. When these stalks have been split lengthways into four or five pieces, the inner wood is removed, till nothing but the outer part remains. The thin strips thus obtained are drawn by the hand between a convex block and a knife fixed in a sloping position, and between a couple of steel blades which nearly meet.
[Costly weaving.] It is a task requiring much patience and practice. In the first operation, as a rule, quite one-half of the stems are broken, and in the second more than half, so that scarcely twenty per cent of the stalks survive the final process. In very fine matting the proportionate loss is still greater. The plaiting is done on wooden cylinders. A case of average workmanship, which costs two dollars on the spot, can be manufactured in six days' uninterrupted labor. Cigar-cases of exceptionally intricate workmanship, made to order for a connoisseur, frequently cost upwards of fifty dollars.
[Volcanic stone quarries.] Following the Quingua from Baliwag up its stream, we passed several quarries, where we saw the thickly-packed strata of volcanic stone which is used as a building material. The banks of the river are thickly studded with prickly bamboos from ten to twelve feet high. The water overflows in the rainy season, and floods the plain for a great distance. Hence the many shells of large freshwater mussels which are to be seen lying on the earth which covers the volcanic deposit. The country begins to get hilly in the neighborhood of Tobog, a small place with no church of its own, and dependent for its services upon the priest of the next parish. The gentle slopes of the hills are, as in Java, cut into terraces and used for the cultivation of rice. Except at Lucban I have never observed similar sawas anywhere else in the Philippines. Several small sugar-fields, which, however, the people do not as yet understand how to manage properly, show that the rudiments of agricultural prosperity are already in existence. The roads are partly covered with awnings, beneath which benches are placed affording repose to the weary traveller. I never saw these out of this province. One might fancy oneself in one of the most fertile and thickly-populated districts of Java.
[A convento and the parish priest.] I passed the night in a convento, as the dwelling of the parish priest is called in the Philippines. It was extremely dirty, and the priest, an Augustinian, was full of proselytish ardor. I had to undergo a long geographical examination about the difference between Prussia and Russia; was asked whether the great city of Nuremberg was the capital of the grand-duchy or of the empire of Russia; learnt that the English were on the point of returning to the bosom of the Catholic Church, and that the "others" would soon follow, and was, in short, in spite of the particular recommendation of Father Llanos, very badly received. Some little time afterwards I fell into the hands of two young Capuchins, who tried to convert me, but who, with the exception of this little impertinence, treated me capitally. They gave me pates de foie gras boiled in water, which I quickly recognized by the truffles swimming about in the grease. To punish them for their importunity I refrained from telling my hosts the right way to cook the pates, which I had the pleasure of afterwards eating in the forest, as I easily persuaded them to sell me the tins they had left. These are the only two occasions on which I was subjected to this kind of annoyance during my eighteen months' residence in the Philippines.
[Arrangements for travellers.] The traveller who is provided with a passport is, however, by no means obliged to rely upon priestly hospitality, as he needs must do in many isolated parts of Europe. Every village, every hamlet, has its commonhouse, called casa real or tribunal, in which he can take up his quarters and be supplied with provisions at the market price, a circumstance that I was not acquainted with on the occasion of my first trip. The traveller is therefore in this respect perfectly independent, at least in theory, though in practice he will often scarcely be able to avoid putting up at the conventos in the more isolated parts of the country. In these the priest, perhaps the only white man for miles around, is with difficulty persuaded to miss the opportunity of housing such a rare guest, to whom he is only too anxious to give up the best bedroom in his dwelling, and to offer everything that his kitchen and cellar can afford. Everything is placed before the guest in such a spirit of sincere and undisguised friendliness, that he feels no obligation, but on the contrary easily persuades himself that he is doing his host a favor by prolonging his stay. Upon one occasion, when I had determined, in spite of an invitation from the padre, to occupy the casa real, just as I was beginning to instal myself, the priest appeared upon the scene with the municipal officials and a band of music which was in the neighborhood pending the preparations for a religious festival. He made them lift me up, chair and all, and with music and general rejoicing carried me off to his own house.
[Kupang iron-foundry.] On the following day I paid a visit to Kupang, an iron-foundry lying to the N.N.E of Angat, escorted by two armed men, whose services I was pressed to accept, as the district had a bad reputation for robberies. After travelling three or four miles in a northerly direction, we crossed the Banauon, at that time a mere brook meandering through shingle, but in the rainy season an impetuous stream more than a hundred feet broad; and in a couple of hours we reached the iron-works, an immense shed lying in the middle of the forest, with a couple of wings at each end, in which the manager, an Englishman, who had been wrecked some years before in Samar, lived with his wife, a pretty mestiza. If I laid down my handkerchief, my pencil, or any other object, the wife immediately locked them up to protect them from the kleptomania of her servants. These poor people, whose enterprise was not a very successful one, had to lead a wretched life. Two years before my visit a band of twenty-seven robbers burst into the place, sacked the house, and threw its mistress, who was alone with her maid at the time, out of the window. She fortunately alighted without receiving any serious hurt, but the maid, whom terror caused to jump out of the window also, died of the injuries she received. The robbers, who turned out to be miners and residents in Angat, were easily caught, and, when I was there, had already spent a couple of years in prison awaiting their trial.
[A negrito family.] I met a negrito family here who had friendly relations with the people in the iron-works, and were in the habit of exchanging the produce of the forest with them for provisions. The father of this family accompanied me on a hunting expedition. He was armed with a bow and a couple of arrows. The arrows had spear-shaped iron points a couple of inches long; one of them had been dipped into arrow-poison, a mixture that looked like black tar. The women had guitars (tabaua) similar to those used by the Mintras in the Malay peninsula. They were made of pieces of bamboo a foot long, to which strings of split chair-cane were fastened. 
[Unwelcome hospitality.] Upon my return, to avoid spending the night at the wretched convento where I had left my servant with my luggage, I took the advice of my friends at the iron-works and started late, in order to arrive at the priest's after ten o'clock at night; for I knew that the padre shut up his house at ten, and that I could therefore sleep, without offending him, beneath the roof of a wealthy mestizo, an acquaintance of theirs. About half-past ten I reached the latter's house, and sat down to table with the merry women of the family, who were just having their supper. Suddenly my friend the parson made his appearance from an inner room, where with a couple of Augustinian friars, he had been playing cards with the master of the house. He immediately began to compliment me upon my good fortune, "for had you been but one minute later," said he, "you certainly wouldn't have got into the convento."
[The Lagoon of Bay.] My second trip took me up the Pasig to the great Lagoon of Bay. I left Manila at night in a banca, a boat hollowed out of a tree-trunk, with a vaulted roof made of bamboo and so low that it was almost impossible to sit upright under it, which posture, indeed, the banca-builder appeared to have neglected to consider. A bamboo hurdle placed at the bottom of the boat protects the traveller from the water and serves him as a couch. Jurien de la Graviere  compares the banca to a cigar-box, in which the traveller is so tightly packed that he would have little chance of saving his life if it happened to upset. The crew was composed of four rowers and a helmsman; their daily pay was five reals apiece, in all nearly seven pesos, high wages for such lazy fellows in comparison with the price of provisions, for the rice that a hard-working man ate in a day seldom cost more than seven centavos (in the provinces often scarcely six), and the rest of his food (fish and vegetables), only one centavo. We passed several villages and tiendas on the banks in which food was exposed for sale. My crew, after trying to interrupt the journey under all sorts of pretences, left the boat as we came to a village, saying that they were going to fetch some sails; but they forgot to return. At last, with the assistance of the night watchman I succeeded in hauling them out of some of their friends' houses, where they had concealed themselves. After running aground several times upon the sandbanks, we entered the land and hill-locked Lagoon of Bay, and reached Jalajala early in the morning.
[The Pasig.] The Pasig forms a natural canal, about six leagues long, between the Bay of Manila and the Lagoon of Bay, a fresh water lake, thirty-five leagues in circumference, that washes the shores of three fertile provinces, Manila, Laguna and Cavite. Formerly large vessels full of cargo used to be able to sail right up to the borders of the lake; now they are prevented by sandbanks. Even flat-bottomed boats frequently run aground on the Napindan and Taguig banks.  Were the banks removed, and the stone bridge joining Manila to Binondo replaced by a swing bridge, or a canal made round it, the coasting vessels would be able to ship the produce of the lagoon provinces at the very foot of the fields in which they grow. The traffic would be very profitable, the waters would shrink, and the shallows along the shore might be turned into rice and sugar fields. A scheme of this kind was approved more than thirty years ago in Madrid, but it was never carried into execution. The sanding up of the river has, on the contrary, been increased by a quantity of fish reels, the erection of which has been favored by the Colonial Waterways Board because it reaped a small tax from them.
[A famous plantation.] Jalajala, an estate which occupies the eastern of the two peninsulas which run southward into the lake, is one of the first places visited by strangers. It owes this preference to its beautiful position and nearness to Manila, and to the fantastic description of it by a former owner, De la Gironniere. The soil of the peninsula is volcanic; its range of hills is very rugged, and the watercourses bring down annually a quantity of soil from the mountains, which increases the deposits at their base. The shore-line, overgrown with grass and prickly sensitive-plants quite eight feet high, makes capital pasture for carabaos. Behind it broad fields of rice and sugar extend themselves up to the base of the hills. Towards the north the estate is bounded by the thickly-wooded Sembrano, the highest mountain in the peninsula; on the remaining sides it is surrounded with water. With the exception of the flat shore, the whole place is hilly and overgrown with grass and clumps of trees, capital pasture for its numerous herds—a thousand carabaos, one thousand five hundred to two thousand bullocks, and from six to seven hundred nearly wild horses. As we were descending one of the hills, we were suddenly surrounded by half-a-dozen armed men, who took us for cattle-thieves, but who, to their disappointment, were obliged to forego their expected chance of a reward.
[Los Banos hot springs.] Beyond Jalajala, on the south coast of the Lagoon of Bay, lies the hamlet of Los Banos, so called from a hot spring at the foot of the Makiling volcano. Even prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, the natives used its waters as a remedy,  but they are now very little patronized. The shore of the lake is at this point, and indeed all round its circumference, so flat that it is impossible to land with dry feet from the shallowest canoe. It is quite covered with sand mussels. North-west of Los Banos there lies a small volcanic lake fringed with thick woods, called Dagatan (the enchanted lagoon of travellers), to distinguish it from Dagat, as the Tagals call the great Lagoon of Bay. I saw nothing of the crocodiles which are supposed to infest it, but we flushed several flocks of wild fowl, disturbed by our invasion of their solitude. From Los Banos I had intended to go to Lupang Puti (white earth), where, judging from the samples shown me, there is a deposit of fine white silicious earth, which is purified in Manila and used as paint. I did not reach the place, as the guide whom I had with difficulty obtained, pretended, after a couple of miles, to be dead beat. From the inquiries I made, however, I apprehend that it is a kind of solfatara. Several deposits of it appear to exist at the foot of the Makiling. 
[Talim island.] On my return I paid a visit to the Island of Talim, which, with the exception of a clearing occupied by a few miserable huts, is uninhabited and thickly overgrown with forest and undergrowth. In the center of the Island is the Susong-Dalaga (maiden's bosom), a dolerite hill with a beautifully formed crest. Upon the shore, on a bare rock, I found four eggs containing fully developed young crocodiles. When I broke the shells the little reptiles made off.
[M. de la Gironniere.] Although the south-west monsoons generally occur later in Jalajala than in Manila, it was already raining so hard that I decided to go to Calauan, on the southern shore of the lake, which is protected by Mount Makiling, and does not experience the effect of the rainy monsoons till later in the season. I met M. de la Gironniere in Calauan, the "gentilhomme Breton" who is so well known for telling the most terrible adventures. He had lately returned from Europe to establish a large sugar manufactory. His enterprise, however, was a failure. The house of the lively old gentleman, whose eccentricity had led him to adopt the dress and the frugal habits of the natives, was neither clean or well kept, although he had a couple of friends to assist him in the business, a Scotchman, and a young Frenchman who had lived in the most refined Parisian society.
[Llanura de Imuc.] There were several small lakes and a few empty volcanic basins on the estate. To the south-west, not very far from the house, and to the left of the road leading to San Pablo, lies the Llanura de Imuc, a valley of dolerite more than a hundred feet deep. Large blocks of basalt enable one to climb down into the valley, the bottom of which is covered with dense growths. The center of the basin is occupied by a neglected coffee plantation laid out by a former proprietor. The density of the vegetation prevented my taking more precise observations. There is another shallower volcanic crater to the north of it. Its soil was marshy and covered with cane and grass, but even in the rainy season it does not collect sufficient water to turn it into a lake. It might, therefore, be easily drained and cultivated. To the south-west of this basin, and to the right of the road to San Pablo, lies the [Tigui-mere.] Tigui-mere. From a plain of whitish-grey soil, covered with concentric shells as large as a nut, rises a circular embankment with gently-sloping sides, intersected only by a small cleft which serves as an entrance, and which shows, on its edges denuded of vegetation, the loose rapilli of which the embankment is formed. The sides of this natural amphitheatre tower more than a hundred feet above its flat base. A path runs east and west right through the center. The northern half is studded with cocopalm trees and cultivated plants; the southern portion is full of water nearly covered with green weeds and slime. The ground consists of black rapilli.
[Leaf imprints in lava.] From the Tigui-mere I returned to the hacienda a bank formed of volcanic lava two feet in thickness and covered with indistinct impressions of leaves. Their state of preservation did not allow me to distinguish their species, but they certainly belonged to some tropical genus, and are, according to Professor A. Braun, of the same kind as those now growing there.
There are two more small lakes half a league to the south-east. The road leading to them is composed of volcanic remains which cover the soil, and large blocks of lava lie in the bed of the stream.
[Maycap Lake.] The first of the two, the Maycap Lake, is entirely embanked with the exception of a small opening fitted with sluices to supply water to a canal; and from its northern side, which alone admits of an open view, the southern peak of San Cristobal may be seen, about 73 deg. to the north-east. Its banks, which are about eighty feet high, rise with a gentle slope in a westerly direction, till they join Mount Maiba, a hill about 500 feet high. The soil, like that of the embankments of the other volcanic lakes, consists of rapilli and lava, and is thickly wooded.
[Lake Palakpakan.] Close by is another lake, Palakpakan, of nearly the same circumference, and formed in a similar manner (of black sand and rapilli). Its banks are from thirty to one hundred feet high. From its north-western edge San Cristobal lifts its head 70 deg. to the northeast. Its waters are easily reached, and are much frequented by fishermen.
[Palm brandy.] About nine o'clock, a.m., I rode from Calauan to Pila, and thence in a northeasterly direction to Santa Cruz, over even, broad, and well-kept roads, through a palm-grove a mile long and a mile and a half broad, which extends down to the very edge of the lagoons. The products of these palm trees generally are not used for the production of oil but for the manufacture of brandy. Their fruit is not allowed to come to maturity; but the buds are slit open, and the sweet sap is collected as it drips from them. It is then allowed to ferment, and subjected to distillation.  As the sap is collected twice a day, and as the blossoms, situated at the top of the tree, are forty or fifty feet above the ground, bamboos are fastened horizontally, one above the other, from one tree to another, to facilitate the necessary ascent and descent. The sap collector stands on the lower cross-piece while he holds on to the upper.
[Bought by government.] The sale of palm-brandy was at the time of my visit the monopoly of the government, which retailed it in the Estanco (government sale rooms) with cigars, stamped paper, and religious indulgences. The manufacture was carried on by private individuals; but the whole of the brandy was of necessity disposed of to the administration, which, however, paid such a high price for it that the contractors made large profits.
[Profit in manufacture.] I afterwards met a Spaniard in Camarines who, according to his own account, must have made considerable and easy gains from these contracts. He had bought palm-trees at an average price of five reals apiece (they usually cost more, though they can be sometimes purchased for two reals). Thirty-five palms will furnish daily at least thirty-six quarts of tuba (sugar-containing sap), from which, after fermentation and distillation, six quarts of brandy of the prescribed strength can be manufactured. One man is sufficient to attend to them, and receives for his trouble half the proceeds. The administration pays six cuartos for a quart of brandy. My friend the contractor was in annual receipt, therefore, from every thirty-five of his trees, of 360 x 1/2 x 5 cuartos = $40.50. As the thirty-five trees only cost him $21.875, his invested capital brought him in about 200 per cent.
[Wine and liquor monopoly a failure.] The proceeds of this monopoly (wines and liquors) were rated at $1,622,810 in the colonial budget for 1861; but its collection was so difficult, and so disproportionately expensive, that it nearly swallowed up the whole profit. It caused espionage, robberies of all sorts, embezzlement, and bribery on a large scale. The retail of the brandy by officials, who are paid by a percentage on the consumption, did a good deal to injure the popular respect for the government. Moreover, the imposition of this improper tax on the most important industry of the country not only crippled the free trade in palms, but also the manufacture of raw sugar; for the government, to favor their own monopoly, had forbidden the sugar manufacturers to make rum from their molasses, which became in consequence so valueless that in Manila they gave it to their horses. The complaints of the manufacturers at last stirred up the administration to allow the manufacture of rum; but the palm-brandy monopoly remained intact. The Filipinos now drank nothing but rum, so that at last, in self-defence, the government entirely abandoned the monopoly (January, 1864). Since that, the rum manufacturers pay taxes according to the amount of their sale, but not upon the amount of their raw produce. In order to cover the deficit occasioned by the abandonment of the brandy monopoly, the government has made a small increase in the poll-tax. The practice of drinking brandy has naturally much increased; it is, however, a very old habit.  With this exception, the measure has had the most favorable consequences.
[Santa Cruz.] Santa Cruz is a lively, prosperous place (in 1865 it contained 11,385 inhabitants), through the center of which runs a river. As the day on which we passed through it was Sunday, the stream was full of bathers, amongst them several women, their luxuriant hair covered with broad-brimmed hats to shade them from the sun. From the ford the road takes a sharp turn and inclines first to the east and then to the south-east, till it reaches Magdalena, between which and Majaijai the country becomes hilly. Just outside the latter, a viaduct takes the road across a deep ravine full of magnificent ferns, which remind the traveller of the height—more than 600 feet—above the sea level to which he has attained. The spacious convento at Majaijai, built by the Jesuits, is celebrated for its splendid situation. The Lagoon of Bay is seen to extend far to the north-east; in the distance the Peninsula of Jalajala and the Island of Talim, from which rises the Susong-Dalaga volcano, terminate the vista. From the convento to the lake stretches an endless grove of coco-trees, while towards the south the slope of the distant high ground grows suddenly steeper, and forms an abruptly precipitous conical hill, intersected by deep ravines. This is the Banajao or Majaijai volcano, and beside it Mount San Cristobal rears its bell-shaped summit.
[Scenery along Lucban-Maubon road.] As everybody was occupied with the preparations for an ensuing religious festival, I betook myself, through Lucban on the eastern shore, to Mauban, situated amidst deep ravines and masses of lava at the foot of Mount Majaijai. The vegetation was of indescribable beauty, and the miserable road was enlivened with cheerful knots of pedestrians hastening to the festival. 
[Lucban.] I reached Lucban in three hours; it is a prosperous place of 13,000 inhabitants, to the north-east of Majaijai. A year after my visit it burnt to the ground. The agricultural produce of the district is not very important, owing to the mountainous nature of the country; but considerable industrial activity prevails there. The inhabitants weave fine straw hats from the fibre of the leaf of the buri palm-tree (corypha sp.), manufacture pandanus mats, and carry on a profitable trade at Mauban with the placer miners of North Camarines. The entire breadth of the road is covered with cement, and along its center flows, in an open channel, a sparkling rivulet.
[Java-like rice fields.] The road from Lucban to Mauban, which is situated on the bay of Lamon, opposite to the Island of Alabat, winds along the narrow watercourse of the Mapon river, through deep ravines with perpendicular cliffs of clay. I observed several terrace-formed rice-fields similar to those so prevalent in Java, an infrequent sight in the Philippines. Presently the path led us into the very thick of the forest. Nearly all the trees were covered with aroides and creeping ferns; amongst them I noticed the angiopteris, pandanus, and several large specimens of the fan palm.
[Mapon river.] Three leagues from Lucban the river flows under a rock supported on prismatically shaped pillars, and then runs through a bed of round pebbles, composed of volcanic stone and white lime, as hard as marble, in which impressions of shell-fish and coral can be traced. Further up the river the volcanic rubble disappears, and the containing strata then consist of the marble-like pebbles cemented together with calcareous spar. These strata alternate with banks of clay and coarse-grained soil, which contain scanty and badly preserved imprints of leaves and mussel-fish. Amongst them, however, I observed a flattened but still recognizable specimen of the fossil melania. The river-bed must be quite five hundred feet above the level of the sea.
[Bamboo raft ferry.] About a league beyond Mauban, as it was getting dusk, we crossed the river, then tolerably broad, on a wretched leaking bamboo raft, which sank at least six inches beneath the water under the weight of our horses, and ran helplessly aground in the mud on the opposite side.
[Visitors to festival.] The tribunal or common-house was crowded with people who had come to attend the festival which was to take place on the following day. The cabezas wore, in token of their dignity, a short jacket above their shirts. A quantity of brightly decorated tables laden with fruit and pastry stood against the walls, and in the middle of the principal room a dining-table was laid out for forty persons.
[Hospitality of tribunal.] A European who travels without a servant—mine had run away with some wages I had rashly paid him in advance—is put down as a beggar, and I was overwhelmed with impertinent questions on the subject, which, however, I left unanswered. As I hadn't had the supper I stood considerably in need of, I took the liberty of taking a few savory morsels from the meatpot, which I ate in the midst of a little knot of wondering spectators; I then laid myself down to sleep on the bench beside the table, to which a second set of diners were already sitting down. When I awoke on the following morning there were already so many people stirring that I had no opportunity of performing my toilet. I therefore betook myself in my dirty travelling dress to the residence of a Spaniard who had settled in the pueblo, and who received me in the most hospitable manner as soon as the description in my passport satisfied him that I was worthy of a confidence not inspired by my appearance.
[Trade in molaze.] My friendly host carried on no trifling business. Two English ships were at that moment in the harbor, which he was about to send to China laden with molave, a species of wood akin to teak.
[Butucan waterfall.] On my return I visited the fine waterfall of Butucan, between Mauban and Lucban, a little apart from the high road. A powerful stream flows between two high banks of rocky soil thickly covered with vegetation, and, leaping from a ledge of volcanic rock suddenly plunges into a ravine, said to be three hundred and sixty feet in depth, along the bottom of which it is hurried away. The channel, however, is so narrow, and the vegetation so dense, that an observer looking at it from above can not follow its course. This waterfall has a great similarity to that which falls from the Semeru in Java. Here, as there, a volcanic stream flowing over vast rocky deposits forms a horizontal watercourse, which in its turn is overshadowed with immense masses of rock. The water easily forces its way between these till it reaches the solid lava, when it leaves its high, narrow, and thickly-wooded banks, and plunges into the deep chasm it has itself worn away. The pouring rain unfortunately prevented me from sketching this fine fall. It was raining when I reached the convento of Majaijai, and it was still raining when I left it three days later, nor was there any hope of improvement in the weather for another month to come. "The wet season lasts for eight or nine months in Majaijai, and during the whole period scarcely a day passes without the rain falling in torrents."—Estado geograph.
[Majaijai.] To ascend the volcano was under such circumstances impracticable. According to some notes written by the Majaijai priest, an ascent and survey of Mount Banajao was made on the 22nd of April, 1858, by Senors Roldan and Montero, two able Spanish naval officers, specially charged with the revision of the marine chart of the archipelago. From its summit they took observations of Manila cathedral, of Mayon, another volcano in Albay, and of the Island of Polillo. They estimated the altitude of Banajao to be seven thousand and twenty Spanish feet, and the depth of its crater to be seven hundred. The crater formerly contained a lake, but the last eruption made a chasm in its southern side through which the water flowed away. 
[Calauan.] I reached Calauan in the pouring rain, wading through the soft spongy clay upon wretched, half-starved ponies, and found I must put off my water journey to Manila till the following day, as there was no boat on the lake at this point. The next morning there were no horses to be found; and it was not till the afternoon that I procured a cart and a couple of carabaos to take me to Santa Cruz, whence in the evening the market-vessel started for Manila. One carabao was harnessed in front; the other was fastened behind the cart in order that I might have a change of animals when the first became tired. Carabao number one wouldn't draw, and number two acted as a drag—rather useless apparatus on a level road—so I changed them. As soon as number two felt the load it laid down. A few blows persuaded it to pick itself up, when it deliberately walked to the nearest pool and dropped into it. It was with the greatest trouble that we unharnessed the cart and pushed it back on to the road, while our two considerate beasts took a mud bath. At last we reloaded the baggage, the carabaos were reharnessed in the original positions, and the driver, leaning his whole weight upon the nose-rope of the leading beast, pulled with might and main. To my great delight the animal condescended to slowly advance with the cart and its contents. [Pila.] At Pila I managed to get a better team, with which late in the evening, in the midst of a pouring rain, I reached a little hamlet opposite Santa Cruz. The market-vessel had left; our attempts to get a boat to take us across to the village only led to barefaced attempts at extortion, so I entered one of the largest of the hamlet's houses, which was occupied by a widow and her daughter. After some delay my request for a night's lodging was granted. I sent for some oil, to give me a little light, and something to eat. The women brought in some of their relations, who helped to prepare the food and stopped in the house to protect its owners. The next morning I crossed the river, teeming with joyous bathers, to Santa Cruz, and hired a boat there to take me across the lake to Pasig, and from thence to Manila. A contrary wind, however, forced us to land on the promontory of Jalajala, and there wait for the calm that accompanies the dawn. [Earthquake evidences.] Betwixt the extreme southern point of the land and the houses I saw, in several places, banks of mussels projecting at least fifteen feet above the surface of the water, similar to those which are so frequently found on the sea-coast;—a proof that earthquakes have taken place in this neighborhood.
[To Albay by schooner.] Towards the end of August I started from Manila for Albay in a schooner which had brought a cargo of hemp and was returning in ballast. It was fine when we set sail; but on the following day the signs of a coming storm increased so rapidly that the captain resolved to return and seek protection in the small but secure harbor of Mariveles, a creek on the southern shore of Bataan, the province forming the western boundary of Manila bay. We reached it about two o'clock in the night after cruising about for fourteen hours before the entrance; and we were obliged to remain here at anchor for a fortnight, as it rained and stormed continuously for that period.
[Mariveles.] The weather obliged me to limit my excursions to the immediate neighborhood of Mariveles. Unfortunately it was not till the close of our stay that I learnt that there was a colony of negritos in the mountains; and it was not till just before my departure that I got a chance of seeing and sketching a couple of them, male and female. The inhabitants of Mariveles have not a very good reputation. The place is only visited by ships which run in there in bad weather, when their idle crews spend the time in drinking and gambling. Some of the young girls were of striking beauty and of quite a light color; often being in reality of mixed race, though they passed as of pure Tagal blood. This is a circumstance I have observed in many seaports, and in the neighborhood of Manila; but, in the districts which are almost entirely unvisited by the Spaniards, the natives are much darker and of purer race.
[Storm-bound shipping.] The number of ships which were seeking protection from the weather in this port amounted to ten, of which three were schooners. Every morning regularly a small pontin  used to attempt to set sail; but it scarcely got a look at the open sea before it returned, when it was saluted with the jeers and laughter of the others. It was hunger that made them so bold. The crew, who had taken some of their own produce to Manila, had spent the proceeds of their venture, and had started on their return voyage scantily provided with provisions, with the hope and intention of soon reaching their home, which they could have done with any favorable wind. Such cases frequently occur. A few natives unite to charter a small vessel, and load it with the produce of their own fields, which they set off to sell in Manila.
[The straits.] The straits between the Islands resemble beautiful wide rivers with charming spots upon the banks inhabited by small colonies; and the sailors generally find the weather gets squally towards evening, and anchor till the morning breaks.
[Filipino hospitality.] The hospitable coast supplies them with fish, crabs, plenty of mussels, and frequently unprotected coconuts. If it is inhabited, so much the better. Filipino hospitality is ample, and much more comprehensive than that practised in Europe. The crews are accommodated in the different huts. After a repast shared in common, and washed down by copious draughts of palm-wine, mats are streched on the floor; the lamps—large shells, fitted with rush wicks—are extinguished, and the occupants of the hut fall asleep together. Once, as I was sailing into the bay of Manila after a five day's cruise, we overtook a craft which had sailed from the same port as we had with a cargo of coconut oil for Manila, and which had spent six months upon its trip. It is by no means uncommon for a crew which makes a long stay in the capital to squander the whole proceeds of their cargo, if they have not done it before reaching town.
[Coasting Luzon.] At last one evening, when the storm had quite passed away, we sailed out of Mariveles. A small, volcanic, pillar-shaped rock, bearing a striking resemblance to the Island of the Cyclops, off the coast of Sicily, lies in front of the harbor—like there, a sharp pyramid and a small, flat island. We sailed along the coast of Cavite till we reached Point Santiago, the southwestern extremity of Luzon, and then turned to the east, through the fine straits that lie between Luzon to the north and the Bisayan islands to the south. As the sun rose, a beautiful spectacle presented itself. To the north was the peak of the Taal volcano, towering above the flat plains of Batangas; and to the south the thickly-wooded, but rock-bound coast of Mindoro, the iron line of which was broken by the harbor of Porto Galera, protected from the fury of the waves by a small islet lying immediately before it. The waters around us were thickly studded with vessels which had taken refuge from the storm in the Bisayan ports, and were now returning to Manila.
[Importance of straits.] These straits, which extend from the south-east to the northwest, are the great commercial highway of the Archipelago, and remain navigable during the whole year, being protected from the fury of the north-easterly winds by the sheltering peninsula of Luzon, which projects to the south-east, and by Samar, which extends in a parallel direction; while the Bisayan islands shield them from the blasts that blow from the south-west. The Islands of Mindoro, Panay, Negros, Cebu and Bohol, which Nature has placed in close succession to each other, form the southern borders of the straits; and the narrow cross channels between them form as many outlets to the Sea of Mindoro, which is bounded on the west by Palawan, on the east by Mindanao, and on the south by the Sulu group. The eastern waters of the straits wash the coasts of Samar and Leyte, and penetrate through three small channels only to the great ocean; the narrow straits of San Bernardino, of San Juanico, and of Surigao. Several considerable, and innumerable smaller islets, lie within the area of these cursorily explained outlines.
[Batangas coast.] A couple of bays on the south coast of Batangas offer a road-stead, though but little real protection, to passing vessels, which in stormy weather make for Porto Galera, in the Island of Mindoro, which lies directly opposite. A river, a league and a half in length, joins Taal, the principal port of the province, to the great inland sea of Taal, or Bombon. This stream was formerly navigable; but it has now become so sanded up that it is passable only at flood tides, and then only by very small vessels.
[Batangas exports.] The province of Batangas supplies Manila with its best cattle, and exports sugar and coffee.
A hilly range bounds the horizon on the Luzon side; the striking outlines of which enable one to conjecture its volcanic origin. Most of the smaller islands to the south appear to consist of superimposed mountainous ranges, terminating seaward in precipitous cliffs. The lofty and symmetrical peak of Mount Mayon is the highest point in the panoramic landscape. Towards evening we sighted Mount Bulusan, in the south-eastern extremity of Luzon; and presently we turned northwards, and sailed up the Straits of San Bernardino, which separate Luzon from Samar.
[Bulusan like Vesuvius.] The Bulusan volcano, "which appears to have been for a long time extinct, but which again began to erupt in 1852,"  is surprisingly like Vesuvius in outline. It has, like its prototype, a couple of peaks. The western one, a bell-shaped summit, is the eruption cone. The eastern apex is a tall, rugged mound, probably the remains of a huge circular crater. As in Vesuvius, the present crater is in the center of the extinct one. The intervals between them are considerably larger and more uneven than the Atrio del Cavallo of the Italian volcano.
[San Bernardino current.] The current is so powerful in the Straits of San Bernardino that we were obliged to anchor twice to avoid being carried back again. To our left we had continually in view the magnificent Bulusan volcano, with a hamlet of the same name nestling at the foot of its eastern slope in a grove of coco-trees, close to the sea. Struggling with difficulty against the force of the current, we succeeded, with the assistance of light and fickle winds, in reaching Legaspi, the port of Albay, on the following evening. Our skipper, a Spaniard, had determined to accomplish the trip as rapidly as possible.
[A native captain.] On my return voyage, however, I fell into the hands of a native captain; and, as my cruise under his auspices presented many peculiarities, I may quote a few passages relating to it from my diary.... The skipper intended to have taken a stock of vegetables for my use, but he had forgotten them. He therefore landed on a small island, and presently made his reappearance with a huge palm cabbage, which, in the absence of its owner, he had picked from a tree he cut down for the purpose.... On another occasion the crew made a descent upon a hamlet on the north-western coast of Leyte to purchase provisions. Instead of laying in a stock for the voyage at Tacloban, the sailors preferred doing so at some smaller village on the shores of the straits, where food is cheaper, and where their landing gave them a pretext to run about the country. The straits of San Juanico, never more than a mile, and often only eight hundred feet broad, are about twenty miles in length: yet it often takes a vessel a week to sail up them; for contrary winds and an adverse current force it to anchor frequently and to lie to for whole nights in the narrower places. Towards evening our captain thought that the sky appeared very threatening, so he made for the bay of Navo, of Masbate. [An intermittent voyage.] There he anchored, and a part of the crew went on shore. The next day was a Sunday; the captain thought "the sky still appeared very threatening;" and besides he wanted to make some purchases. So we anchored again off Magdalena, where we passed the night. On Monday a favorable wind took us, at a quicker rate, past Marinduque and the rocky islet of Elefante, which lies in front of it. Elefante appears to be an extinct volcano; it looks somewhat like the Iriga, but is not so lofty. It is covered with capital pasture, and its ravines are dotted with clumps of trees. Nearly a thousand head of half-wild cattle were grazing on it. They cost four dollars a-piece; and their freight to Manila is as much more, where they sell for sixteen dollars. They are badly tended, and many are stolen by the passing sailors. My friend the captain was full of regret that the favorable wind gave him no opportunity of landing; perhaps I was the real obstacle. "They were splendid beasts! How easy it would be to put a couple on board! They could scarcely be said to have any real owners; the nominal proprietors were quite unaware how many they possessed, and the herd was continually multiplying without any addition from its masters. A man lands with a little money in his pocket. If he meets a herdsman, he gives him a dollar, and the poor creature thinks himself a lucky fellow. If not, so much the better. He can do the business himself; a barrel of shot or a sling suffices to settle the matter."
[Plunder.] As we sailed along we saw coming towards us another vessel, the Luisa, which suddenly executed a very extraordinary tack; and in a minute or two its crew sent up a loud shout of joy, having succeeded in stealing a fishbox which the fishermen of Marinduque had sunk in the sea. They had lowered a hook, and been clever enough to grapple the rope of the floating buoy. Our captain was beside himself with envy of their prize.
[Legaspi.] Legaspi is the principal port of the province of Albay. Its road-stead, however, is very unsafe, and, being exposed to the north-easterly storms, is perfectly useless during the winter. The north-east wind is the prevailing one on this coast; the south-west breeze only blows in June and July. The heaviest storms occur between October and January. They generally set in with a gentle westerly wind, accompanied with rain. The gale presently veers round to the north or the south, and attains the height of its fury when it reaches the north-east or the south-east. After the storm a calm generally reigns, succeeded by the usual wind of the prevailing monsoon. The lightly-built elastic houses of the country are capitally suited to withstand these storms; but roofs and defective houses are frequently carried away. The traffic between Manila and Legaspi is at its height between January and October; but during the autumn months all communication by water ceases. The letter-post, which arrives pretty regularly every week, is then the only link between the two places. At this season heavy packages can be sent only by a circuitous and expensive route along the south coast, and thence by water to Manila. Much more favorably situated for navigation is the port of [Sorsogon.] Sorsogon, the mouth of which opens to the west, and is protected by the Island of Bagalao, which lies in front of it. Besides its security as a harbor, it has the advantage of a rapid and unbroken communication with the capital of the archipelago, while vessels sailing from Legaspi, even at the most favorable time of the year, are obliged to go round the eastern peninsula of Luzon, and meet the principal current of the Straits of San Bernardino, frequently a very difficult undertaking; and, moreover, small vessels obliged to anchor there are in great danger of being captured by pirates. The country about Sorsogon, however, is not so fertile as the neighborhood of Legaspi.
[A worthy official.] I took letters of introduction with me to both the Spanish authorities of the province; who received me in the most amiable way, and were of the greatest use to me during the whole of my stay in the vicinity. I had also the good fortune to fall in with a model alcalde, a man of good family and of most charming manners; in short, a genuine caballero. To show the popular appreciation of the honesty of his character, it was said of him in Samar that he had entered the province with nothing but a bundle of papers, and had left it as lightly equipped.
[Daraga.] My Spanish friends enabled me to rent a house in Daraga,  a well-to-do town of twenty thousand inhabitants at the foot of the Mayon, a league and a half from Legaspi. The summit of this volcano was considered inaccessible until two young Scotchmen, Paton and Stewart by name, demonstrated the contrary.  Since then several natives have ascended the mountain, but no Europeans.
[Ascent of Mayon.] I set out on September 25th, and passed the night, by the advice of Senor Munos, in a hut one thousand feet above the level of the sea, in order to begin the ascent the next morning with unimpaired vigor. But a number of idlers who insisted on following me, and who kept up a tremendous noise all night, frustrated the purpose of this friendly advice; and I started about five in the morning but little refreshed. The fiery glow I had noticed about the crater disappeared with the dawn. The first few hundred feet of the ascent were covered with a tall grass quite six feet high; and then came a slope of a thousand feet or so of short grass succeeded by a quantity of moss; but even this soon disappeared, and the whole of the upper part of the mountain proved entirely barren. We reached the summit about one o'clock. It was covered with fissures which gave out sulphurous gases and steam in such profusion that we were obliged to stop our mouths and nostrils with our handkerchiefs to prevent ourselves from being suffocated. We came to a halt at the edge of a broad and deep chasm, from which issued a particularly dense vapor. Apparently we were on the brink of a crater, but the thick fumes of the disagreeable vapor made it impossible for us to guess at the breadth of the fissure. The absolute top of the volcano consisted of a ridge, nearly ten feet thick, of solid masses of stone covered with a crust of lava bleached by the action of the escaping gas. Several irregular blocks of stone lying about us showed that the peak had once been a little higher. When, now and again, the gusts of wind made rifts in the vapor, we perceived on the northern corner of the plateau several rocky columns at least a hundred feet high, which had hitherto withstood both storm and eruption. I afterwards had an opportunity of observing the summit from Daraga with a capital telescope on a very clear day, when I noticed that the northern side of the crater was considerably higher than its southern edge.
[The descent.] Our descent took some time. We had still two-thirds of it beneath us when night overtook us. In the hope of reaching the hut where we had left our provisions, we wandered about till eleven o'clock, hungry and weary, and at last were obliged to wait for daylight. This misfortune was owing not to our want of proper precaution, but to the unreliability of the carriers. Two of them, whom we had taken with us to carry water and refreshments, had disappeared at the very first; and a third, "a very trustworthy man," whom we had left to take care of our things at the hut, and who had been ordered to meet us at dusk with torches, had bolted, as I afterwards discovered, back to Daraga before noon. My servant, too, who was carrying a woolen blanket and an umbrella for me, suddenly vanished in the darkness as soon as it began to rain, and though I repeatedly called him, never turned up again till the next morning. We passed the wet night upon the bare rocks, where, as our very thin clothes were perfectly wet through, we chilled till our teeth chattered. As soon, however, as the sun rose we got so warm that we soon recovered our tempers. Towards nine o'clock we reached the hut and got something to eat after twenty-nine hours' fast.
[A suspicious medal.] In the Trabajos y Hechos Nolables de la Soc. Econom. de los Amigos del Pais, for September 4th, 1823, it is said that "Don Antonio Siguenza paid a visit to the volcano of Albay on March 11th," and that the Society "ordered a medal to be struck in commemoration of the event, and in honor of the aforesaid Siguenza and his companions." Everybody in Albay, however, assured me that the two Scotchmen were the first to reach the top of the mountain. It is true that in the above notice the ascent of the volcano is not directly mentioned; but the fact of the medal naturally leads us to suppose that nothing less can be referred to. Arenas, in his memoir, says: "Mayon was surveyed by Captain Siguenza. From the crater to the base, which is nearly at the level of the sea, he found that it measured sixteen hundred and eighty-two Spanish feet or four sixty-eight and two-third meters." A little further on, he adds, that he had read in the records of the Society that they had had a gold medal struck in honor of Siguenza, who had made some investigations about the volcano's crater in 1823. He, therefore, appears to have had some doubt about Siguenza's actual ascent.
[An early friar attempt.] According to the Franciscan records a couple of monks attempted the ascent in 1592, in order to cure the natives of their superstitious belief about the mountain. One of them never returned; but the other, although he did not reach the summit, being stopped by three deep abysses, made a hundred converts to Christianity by the mere relation of his adventures. He died in the same year, in consequence, it is recorded, of the many variations of temperature to which he was exposed in his ascent of the volcano.
[Estimates of height] Some books say that the mountain is of considerable height; but the Estado Geografico of the Franciscans for 1855, where one could scarcely expect to find such a thoughtless repetition of so gross a typographical error, says that the measurements of Siguenza give the mountain a height of sixteen hundred and eighty-two feet. According to my own barometrical reading, the height of the summit above the level of the sea was twenty-three hundred and seventy-four meters, or eighty-five hundred and fifty-nine Spanish feet.
[An accident and a month's rest.] I sprained my foot so badly in ascending Mayon that I was obliged to keep the house for a month. Under the circumstances, I was not sorry to find myself settled in a roomy and comfortable dwelling. My house was built upon the banks of a small stream, and stood in the middle of a garden in which coffee, cacao, oranges, papayas, and bananas grew luxuriantly, in spite of the tall weeds which surrounded them. Several over-ripe berries had fallen to the ground, and I had them collected, roasted, mixed with an equal quantity of sugar, and made into chocolate; an art in which the natives greatly excel. With the Spaniards chocolate takes the place of coffee and tea, and even the mestizos and the well-to-do natives drink a great deal of it.
[Cacao] The cacao-tree comes from Central America. It flourishes there between the 23rd parallel north and the 20th south latitude; but it is only at its best in the hottest and dampest climates. In temperate climates, where the thermometer marks less than 23 deg. C., it produces no fruit.
[High quality.] It was first imported into the Philippines from Acapulco; either, according to Camarines, by a pilot called Pedro Brabo de Lagunas, in 1670; or, according to Samar, by some Jesuits, during Salcedo's government, between 1663 and 1668. Since then it has spread over the greater part of the Island; and, although it is not cultivated with any excessive care, its fruit is of excellent quality. The cacao of Albay, if its cheapness be taken into consideration, may be considered at least equal to that of Caracas, which is so highly-prized in Europe, and which, on account of its high price, generally is largely mixed with inferior kinds.  The bushes are usually found in small gardens, close to the houses; but so great is the native laziness that frequently the berries are allowed to decay, although the local cacao sells for a higher price than the imported. At Cebu and Negros a little more attention is paid to its cultivation; [Scanty production.] but it does not suffice to supply the wants of the colony, which imports the deficiency from Ternate and Mindanao. The best cacao of the Philippines is produced in the small Island of Maripipi, which lies to the north-west of Leyte; and it is difficult to obtain, the entire crop generally being long bespoke. It costs about one dollar per liter, whereas the Albay cacao costs from two to two and a half dollars per "ganta" (three liters).
[Culture.] The natives generally cover the kernels, just as they are beginning to sprout, with a little earth, and, placing them in a spirally-rolled leaf, hang them up beneath the roof of their dwellings. They grow very rapidly, and, to prevent their being choked by weeds, are planted out at very short intervals. This method of treatment is probably the reason that the cacao-trees in the Philippines never attain a greater height than eight or ten feet, while in their native soil they frequently reach thirty, and sometimes even forty feet. The tree begins to bear fruit in its third or fourth year, and in its fifth or sixth it reaches maturity, when it usually yields a "ganta" of cacao, which, as I have mentioned, is worth from two to two and a half dollars, and always finds a purchaser. 
[Neglect.] The profits arising from a large plantation would, therefore, be considerable; yet it is very rare to meet with one. I heard it said that the Economical Society had offered a considerable reward to any one who could exhibit a plantation of ten thousand berry-bearing trees; but in the Society's report I found no mention of this reward.
[Damage by storms.] The great obstacles in the way of large plantations are the heavy storms which recur almost regularly every year, and often destroy an entire plantation in a single day. In 1856 a hurricane visited the Island just before the harvest, and completely tore up several large plantations by the roots; a catastrophe that naturally has caused much discouragement to the cultivators.  One consequence of this state of things was that the free importation of cacao was permitted, and people were enabled to purchase Guayaqual cacao at fifteen dollars per quintal while that grown at home cost double the money.
[Diseases and pests.] The plant is sometimes attacked by a disease, the origin of which is unknown, when it suffers severely from certain noxious insects.  It is also attacked by rats and other predatory vermin; the former sometimes falling upon it in such numbers that they destroy the entire harvest in a single night. Travellers in America say that a well-kept cacao plantation is a very picturesque sight. In the Philippines, however, or at any rate in East Luzon, the closely-packed, lifeless-looking, moss-covered trees present a dreary spectacle. Their existence is a brief one. Their oval leaves, sometimes nearly a foot long, droop singly from the twigs, and form no luxuriant masses of foliage. Their blossoms are very insignificant; they are of a reddish-yellow, no larger than the flowers of the lime, and grow separately on long weedy stalks. The fruit ripens in six months. When it is matured, it is of either a red or a yellow tint, and is somewhat like a very rough gherkin. Only two varieties appear to be cultivated in the Philippines.  The pulp of the fruit is white, tender, and of an agreeable acid taste, and contains from eighteen to twenty-four kernels, arranged in five rows. These kernels are as large as almonds, and, like them, consist of a couple of husks and a small core. This is the cacao bean; which, roasted and finely ground, produces cacao, and with the addition of sugar, and generally of spice, makes chocolate. Till the last few years, every household in the Philippines made its own chocolate, of nothing but cacao and sugar. The natives who eat chocolate often add roasted rice to it. Nowadays there is a manufactory in Manila, which makes chocolate in the European way. The inhabitants of the eastern provinces are very fond of adding roasted pili nuts to their chocolate. 
[Chocolate.] Europeans first learnt to make a drink from cacao in Mexico, where the preparation was called chocolatl.  Even so far back as the days of Cortes, who was a tremendous chocolate drinker, the cacao-tree was extensively cultivated. The Aztecs used the beans as money; and Montezuma used to receive part of his tribute in this peculiar coin. It was only the wealthy among the ancient Mexicans who ate pure cacao; the poor, on account of the value of the beans as coins, used to mix maize and mandioca meal with them. Even in our own day the inhabitants of Central America make use of the beans as small coins, as they have no copper money, nor smaller silver coins than the half-real. Both in Central America and in Orinoco there yet are many unpenetrated forests which are almost entirely composed of wild cacao-trees. I believe the natives gather some of their fruit, but it is almost worthless. By itself it has much less flavor than the cultivated kinds. Certainly it is not picked and dried at the proper season, and it gets spoilt in its long transit through the damp woods.
[An uncertain venture.] Since the abolition of slavery, the crops in America have been diminishing year by year, and until a short time ago, when the French laid out several large plantations in Central America, were of but trifling value. According to F. Engel, a flourishing cacao plantation required less outlay and trouble, and yields more profit than any other tropical plant; yet its harvests, which do not yield anything for the first five or six years, are very uncertain, owing to the numerous insects which attack the plants. In short, cacao plantations are only suited to large capitalists, or to very small cultivators who grow the trees in their own gardens. Moreover, as we have said, since the abolition of slavery most of the plantations have fallen into decay, for the freed slaves are entirely wanting in industry.
[Use in Europe.] The original chocolate was not generally relished in Europe. When, however, at a later period, it was mixed with sugar, it met with more approbation. The exaggerated praise of its admirers raised a bitter opposition amongst the opponents of the new drink; and the priests raised conscientious scruples against the use of so nourishing an article of food on fast days. The quarrel lasted till the seventeenth century, by which time cacao had become an everyday necessity in Spain. It was first introduced into Spain in 1520; but chocolate, on account of the monopoly of the Conquistadores, was for a long time secretly prepared on the other side of the ocean. In 1580, however, it was in common use in Spain, though it was so entirely unknown in England that, in 1579, an English captain burnt a captured cargo of it as useless. It reached Italy in 1606, and was introduced into France by Anne of Austria. The first chocolate-house in London was opened in 1657, and in 1700 Germany at last followed suit. 
[Coffee.] The history of coffee in the Philippines is very similar to that of cacao. The plant thrives wonderfully, and its berry has so strongly marked a flavor that the worst Manila coffee commands as high a price as the best Java. In spite of this, however, the amount of coffee produced in the Philippines is very insignificant, and, until lately, scarcely deserved mention. According to the report of an Englishman in 1828, the coffee-plant was almost unknown forty years before, and was represented only by a few specimens in the Botanical Gardens at Manila. It soon, however, increased and multiplied, thanks to the moderation of a small predatory animal (paradoxurus musanga), which only nibbled the ripe fruit, and left the hard kernels (the coffee beans) untouched, as indigestible. The Economical Society bestirred itself in its turn by offering rewards to encourage the laying out of large coffee plantations. In 1837 it granted to M. de la Gironniere a premium of $1,000, for exhibiting a coffee plantation of sixty thousand plants, which were yielding their second harvest; and four premiums to others in the following year. But as soon as the rewards were obtained the plantations were once more allowed to fall into neglect. From this it is pretty evident that the enterprise, in the face of the then market prices and the artificially high rates of freight, did not afford a sufficient profit.
[Exports.] In 1856 the exports of coffee were not more than seven thousand piculs; in 1865 they had increased to thirty-seven thousand, five hundred and eighty-eight; and in 1871, to fifty-three thousand, three hundred and seventy. This increase, however, affords no criterion by which to estimate the increase in the number of plantations, for these make no returns for the first few years after being laid out. In short, larger exports may be confidently expected. But even greatly increased exports could not be taken as correct measures of the colony's resources. Not till European capital calls large plantations into existence in the most suitable localities will the Philippines obtain their proper rank in the coffee-producing districts of the world.
[Highest grades.] The best coffee comes from the provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Cavite; the worst from Mindanao. The latter, in consequence of careless treatment, is very impure, and generally contains a quantity of bad beans. The coffee beans of Mindanao are of a yellowish-white color and flabby; those of Laguna are smaller, but much firmer in texture.
[French preference.] Manila coffee is very highly esteemed by connoisseurs, and is very expensive, though it is by no means so nice looking as that of Ceylon and other more carefully prepared kinds. It is a remarkable fact that in 1865 France, which imported only $21,000 worth of hemp from the Philippines, imported more than $200,000 worth of Manila coffee, a third of the entire coffee produce of the Islands.  Manila coffee is not much prized in London, and does not fetch much more than good Ceylon ($15 per cwt.).  This, however, is no reproach to the coffee, as every one acquainted with an Englishman's appreciation of coffee will allow.
[Prices.] California, an excellent customer, always ready to give a fair price for a good article, will in time become one of its principal consumers.  In 1868, coffee in Manila itself cost an average of $16 per picul.  In Java, the authorities pay the natives, who are compelled to cultivate it, about $3.66 per picul.
[Philippine exports.] Although the amount of coffee exported from the Philippines is trifling in comparison with the producing powers of the colony, it compares favorably with the exports from other countries.
[Javan and Ceylon crops.] In my Sketches of Travel, I compared the decrease of the coffee produced in Java under the forced system of cultivation with the increase of that voluntarily grown in Ceylon, and gave the Javanese produce for 1858 as sixty-seven thousand tons, and the Cingalese as thirty-five thousand tons. Since that time the relative decrease and increase have continued; and in 1866 the Dutch Indies produced only fifty-six thousand tons, and Ceylon thirty-six thousand tons. 
[Amateur scientists.] During my enforced stay in Daraga the natives brought me mussels and snails for sale; and several of them wished to enter my service, as they felt "a particular vocation for Natural History." At last my kitchen was always full of them. They sallied forth every day to collect insects, and as a rule were not particularly fortunate in their search; but this was of no consequence; in fact, it served to give them a fresh appetite for their meals. Some of the neighboring Spaniards paid me almost daily visits; and several of the native and mestizo dignitaries from a distance were good enough to call upon me, not so much for the purpose of seeing my humble self as of inspecting my hat, the fame of which had spread over the whole province. It was constructed in the usual judicious mushroom shape, covered with nito,  and its pinnacle was adorned with a powerful oil lamp, furnished with a closely fitting lid, like that of a dark lantern, so that it could be carried in the pocket. This last was particularly useful when riding about on a dark night.
[Nito cigar cases.] In the neighboring pueblo cigar-cases were made out of this nito. They are not of much use as an article of commerce, and usually are only made to order. To obtain a dozen a would-be purchaser must apply to as many individuals, who, at the shortest, will condescend to finish one in a few months. The stalk of the fern, which is about as thick as a lucifer match, is split into four strips. The workman then takes a strip in his left hand, and, with his thumb on the back and his forefinger on the edge, draws the strips up and down against the knife blade until the soft pithy parts are cut away, and what remains has become fine enough for the next process. The cases are made on pointed cylindrical pieces of wood almost a couple of feet long. A pin is stuck into the center of the end of the cylinder, and the workman commences by fastening the strips of fern stalk to it. The size of the case corresponds to the diameter of the roller, and a small wooden disk is placed in the bottom of the case to keep it steady while the sides are being plaited.
[A Filipino theater.] When my ankle began to get better, my first excursion was to Legaspi, where some Filipinos were giving a theatrical performance. A Spanish political refugee directed the entertainment. On each side of the stage, roofed in with palm leaves, ran covered galleries for the dignitaries of the place; the uncovered space between these was set apart for the common people. The performers had chosen a play taken from Persian history. The language was Spanish, and the dresses were, to say the least, eccentric. The stage was erected hard by a public street, which itself formed part of the auditorium, and the noise was so great that I could only catch a word here and there. The actors stalked on, chattering their parts, which not one of them understood, and moving their arms up and down; and when they reached the edge of the stage, they tacked and went back again like ships sailing against the wind. Their countenances were entirely devoid of expression, and they spoke like automatons. If I had understood the words, the contrast between their meaning and the machine-like movements of the actors would probably have been droll enough; but, as it was, the noise, the heat, and the smoke were so great that we soon left the place.
[An indifferent performance.] Both the theatrical performance and the whole festival bore the impress of laziness, indifference, and mindless mimicry. When I compared the frank cheerfulness I had seen radiating from every countenance at the religious holidays of Europe with the expressionless and immobile faces of the natives, I found it difficult to understand how the latter were persuaded to waste so much time and money upon a matter they seemed so thoroughly indifferent to.
[Interest in festival.] Travellers have remarked the same want of gaiety amongst the Indians of America; and some of them ascribe it to the small development of the nervous system prevalent among these peoples, to which cause also they attribute their wonderful courage in bearing pain. But Tylor observes that the Indian's countenance is so different from ours that it takes us several years to rightly interpret its expression. There probably is something in both these explanations. And, although I observed no lively expression of amusement among my native friends at Legaspi, I noticed that they took the greatest possible pleasure in decorating their village, and that the procession which formed part of the festival had extraordinary charms for them. Every individual was dressed in his very best; and the honor of carrying a banner inspired those who attained it with the greatest pride, and raised an amazing amount of envy in the breasts of the remainder. Visitors poured in from all the surrounding hamlets, and erected triumphal arches which they had brought with them ready-made and which bore some complimentary inscription. I am obliged to confess that some of the holiday-makers were very drunk. The inhabitants of the Philippines have a great love for strong drink; even the young girls occasionally get intoxicated. When night came on, the strangers were hospitably lodged in the dwellings of the village. On such occasions native hospitality shows itself in a very favorable light. The door of every house stands open, and even balls take place in some of the larger hamlets. The Spanish and mestizo cavaliers, however, condescend to dance only with mestiza partners, and very seldom invite a pretty native girl to join them. The natives very rarely dance together; but in Samar I was present on one occasion at a by no means ungraceful native dance where "improvised" verses were sung. The male dancer compared his partner with a rose, and she answered he should be careful in touching it as a rose had thorns. This would have been thought a charming compliment in the mouth of an Andalusian.