The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes
by Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.
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An examination of the following table will confirm the accuracy of these views:—

[Export of "Manila hemp."]

Export of Abaca (In Piculs).

To 1861 1864 1866 1868 1870 1871

Great Britain 198,954 226,258 96,000 125,540 131,180 143,498 North America, Atlantic Ports 158,610 249,106 280,000 294,728 327,728 285,112 California 6,600 9,426 — 14,200 15,900 22,500 Europe 901 1,134 — 200 244 640 Australia 16 5,194 — 21,244 11,434 6,716 Singapore 2,648 1,932 — 3,646 1,202 2,992 China 5,531 302 — — 882 2,294

Total 273,260 493,352 406,682 460,588 488,570 463,752

Commercial Report Prussian Consular Report Belgian Consular Report English Consular Report Market Report, T.H. & Co.

[Large local consumption.] The consumption in the country is not contained in the above schedule, and is difficult to ascertain; but it must certainly be very considerable, as the natives throughout entire provinces are clothed in guinara, the weaving of which for the family requirements generally is done at home.

[Sisal-hemp.] Sisal, also sisal-hemp, or, as it is sometimes known, Mexican grass, has for some years past been used in the trade in increasing quantities as a substitute for abaca, which it somewhat resembles in appearance, though wanting that fine gloss which the latter possesses. It is somewhat weaker, and costs from L5 to L10 less per ton; it is only used for ships' rigging. The refuse from it has been found an extremely useful adjunct to the materials ordinarily used in the manufacture of paper. The Technologist for July, 1865, calls attention to the origin of this substitute, in a detailed essay differing essentially from the representations contained in the "U. S. Agricultural Report" published at Washington in 1870; and the growing importance of the article, and the ignorance prevailing abroad as to its extraction, may render a short account of it acceptable. The description shows the superior fineness of the abaca fiber, but not its greater strength. [229]

[Varieties of sisal.] Sisal-hemp, which is named after the export harbor of Sisal (in the north-western part of the peninsula), is by far the most important product of Yucatan; and this rocky, sun-burnt country seems peculiarly adapted to the growth of the fiber. In Yucatan the fiber is known as jenequem, as indeed the plant is obtained from it. Of the latter there are seven sorts or varieties for purposes of cultivation; only two, the first and seventh, are also to be found in a wild state. First, Chelem, apparently identical with Agave angustifolia; this ranks first. Second, Yaxci (pronounced Yachki; from yax, green, and tri, agave), the second in order; this is used only for fine weaving. Third, Sacci (pronounced Sakki; sack, white), the most important and productive, supplying almost exclusively the fiber for exportation; each plant yields annually twenty-five leaves, weighing twenty-five pounds, from which is obtained one pound of clear fiber. Fourth, Chucumci, similar to No. 3, but coarser. Fifth, Babci; the fiber very fair, but the leaves rather small, therefore not very productive. Sixth, Citamci (pronounced Kitamki; kitam, hog); neither good nor productive. Seventh, Cajun or Cajum, probably Fourcroya cubensis; leaves small, from four to five inches long.

[Machine-spinning.] The cultivation of sisal has only in recent times been prosecuted vigorously; and the extraction of the fiber from the leaves, and the subsequent spinning for ships' rigging, are already done by steam-machinery. This occupation is especially practiced by the Maya Indians, a memorial of the Toltecs, who brought it with them upon their emigration from Mexico, where it was in vogue long before the arrival of the Spaniards.

[Profit.] The sisal cultivation yields an annual profit of 95 per cent. A mecate, equal to five hundred seventy-six square yards (varas), contains sixty-four plants, giving sixty-four pounds of clear fiber, of the value of $3.84; which, after deducting $1.71, the cost of obtaining it, leaves $2.13 remaining. The harvesting commences from four to five years after the first laying out of the plantation, and continues annually for about fifty or sixty years.

[Banana substitute unsatisfactory.] In tropical countries there is scarcely a hut to be seen without banana trees surrounding it; and the idea presented itself to many to utilize the fiber of these plants, at that time entirely neglected, which might be done by the mere labor of obtaining it; besides which, the little labor required for their proper cultivation is quickly and amply repaid by their abundant fruitfulness. [230]

This idea, however, under the existing circumstances, would certainly not be advantageous in the Philippines, as it does not pay to obtain bast from the genuine abaca plant as soon as it has borne fruit. The fiber of the edible banana might very well be used as material for paper-making, though obtaining it would cost more than the genuine bandala.

[Fiber-extracting machinery.] In the Report of the Council of the Society of Arts, London, May 11, 1860, attention was called to a machine invented by F. Burke, of Montserrat, for obtaining fiber from banana and other endogenous plants. While all the earlier machines worked the fiber parallelwise, this one operated obliquely on it; the consequence of which was that it was turned out particularly clear. With this machine, from seven to nine per cent. of fibrous substance may be obtained from the banana. The Tropical Fiber Company have sent these machines to Demerara, also to Java and other places, with the design of spinning the fiber of the edible banana, and also to utilize some portions of the plant as materials in the manufacture of paper. Proofs have already been brought forward of fiber obtained in this manner in Java, the value of which to the spinner has been reckoned at from L20 to L25. It does not appear, however, that these promising experiments have led to any important results; at least, the consular reports which have come to hand contain no information on the subject. In the obtaining of bandala in the Philippines this machine has not yet been used; nor has it even been seen, though the English consul, in his latest report, complains that all the hitherto ingeniously constructed machines have proved virtually useless.

The bast of the edible banana continues still to be used in the Philippines, notwithstanding that the plants, instead of being grown, as in many parts of America, in large well-tended gardens, are here scattered around the huts; but the forwarding of the raw material, the local transport, and the high freightage will always render this material too expensive for the European market (considering always its very ordinary quality)—L10 per ton at the very least; while "Sparto grass" (Lygaeum spartum, Loeffl.), [Paper-making materials.] which was imported some few years since in considerable quantities for the purpose of paper-making, costs in London only L5 per ton. [231] The jute (Corchurus casularis) coffee-sacks supply another cheap paper material. These serve in the fabrication of strong brown packing paper, as the fiber will not stand bleaching. According to P. Symmonds, the United States in recent years have largely used bamboo. The rind of the Adansonia digitata also yields an extremely good material; in particular, paper made entirely from New Zealand flax deserves consideration, being, by virtue of its superior toughness, eminently suited for "bill paper."

[Preferability of discarded cloth.] It must not be overlooked that, in the manufacture of paper, worn linen and cotton rags are the very best materials that can be employed, and make the best paper. Moreover, they are generally to be had for the trouble of collecting them, after they have once covered the cost of their production in the form of clothing materials; when, through being frayed by repeated washings, they undergo a preparation which particularly adapts them to the purpose of paper-making.

[Increasing use of wood and straw.] The more paper-making progresses, the more are ligneous fibers brought forward, particularly wood and straw, which produce really good pastes; all the raw materials being imported from a distance. That England takes so much sparto is easily explained by the fact that she has very little straw of her own, for most of the grain consumed by her is received from abroad in a granulated condition.


[Tobacco revenue.] Of all the productions of the country tobacco is the most important, so far (at least) as concerns the Government, which have the cultivation of this plant, its manipulation, and sale, the subjects of an extensive and strictly guarded monopoly, and derives a very considerable portion of the public revenue therefrom. [232] As to the objections raised against this revenue on the score of its being opposed to justice and morality, many other sources of revenue in the colonial budget might be condemned (such as the poll-tax, gaming and opium licenses, the brandy trade, and the sale of indulgences); yet none is so invidious and pernicious as the tobacco monopoly.

[Injustice of the monopoly.] Often in the course of this narrative of my travels I have had occasion to commend the clemency of the Spanish Government. In glaring contrast therewith, however, stands the management of the tobacco regulations. They appropriated the fields of the peasantry without the slightest indemnification—fields which had been brought under cultivation for their necessary means of sustenance; forced them, under penalty of bodily punishment, to raise, on the confiscated property, an article which required an immense amount of trouble and attention, and which yielded a very uncertain crop; and they then valued the harvested leaves arbitrarily and without any appeal, and, in the most favorable case, paid for them at a nominal price fixed by themselves. To be paid at all, indeed, appears to have been a favor, for it has not been done in full now for several years in succession. Spain regularly remains indebted to the unlucky peasants in the amount of the miserable pittance allowed, from one year's end to another. The Government ordered the officials to exact a higher return from the impoverished population of the tobacco districts; and even rewarded informers who, after pointing out fields already owned, but which were considered suitable to the cultivation of tobacco, were installed into possession of the proclaimed lands in the place of the original owners.

For proofs of these accusations, one need only peruse a few paragraphs contained in the following stringent regulations, entitled "General Instructions," [233] and, further, a few extracts from the official dispatches of Intendant-General Agius to the Colonial Minister:— [234]

[Resume of regulations] Cap. 25, Sec. 329. The compulsory system of cultivation in Cagayan, New Vizcaya, Gapan, Igorots, and Abra to remain in force.

Sec. 331. The Director-General of the Government is authorized to extend compulsory labor to the other provinces, or to abolish it where already introduced. These instructions may be altered wholly or in part as occasion requires.

Sec. 332. Prices may be either increased or lowered.

Sec. 337. Claims or actions concerning the possession of tobacco lands pending before the usual tribunal shall not prevent such lands from being used for the purposes of tobacco cultivation, the present proprietor being under strict obligation to continue the cultivation either in person or by substitute. (If he omits to do so, the magistrate or judge takes upon himself to appoint such substitute.)

Sec. 351. The collectors have received denuncies, i.e. information, that land adapted to tobacco growing is lying fallow, and that it is private property. In case such land is really suitable to the purposes of tobacco cultivation, the owners thereof are hereby summoned to cultivate the same with tobacco in preference to anything else. At the expiration of a certain space of time the land in question is to be handed over to the informer. Be it known, however, that, notwithstanding these enactments, the possessory title is not lost to the owner, but he is compelled to relinquish all rights and usufruct for three years.

Cap. 27, Sec. 357. An important duty of the collector is to insure the greatest possible extension of the tobacco cultivation upon all suitable lands, but in particular upon those which are specially convenient and fertile. Lands which, although suitable for tobacco growing, were previously planted with rice or corn, shall, as far as practicable, be replaced by forest clearings, in order, as far as possible, to prevent famine and to bring the interests of the natives into harmony with those of the authorities.

Sec. 351. In order that the work which the tobacco cultivation requires may not be neglected by the natives, and that they may perform the field work necessary for their sustenance, it is ordered that every two persons working together shall, between them cultivate eight thousand square varas, that is, two and one-half acres of tobacco land.

Sec. 362. Should this arrangement fail to be carried out either through age, sickness, or death, it shall be left to the priest of the district to determine what quantity of work can be accomplished by the little children, having regard to their strength and number.

Sec. 369. Every collector who consigns from his district 1,000 fardos more than in former years, shall receive for the overplus a double gratuity, but this only where the proportion of first-class leaves has not decreased.

Sec. 370. The same gratuity will be bestowed when there is no diminution in bulk, and one-third of the leaves is of first-class quality.

The following sections regulate the action of the local authorities:—

Sec. 379. Every governor must present annually a list, revised by the priest of the district, of all the inhabitants in his district of both sexes, and of those of their children who are old enough to help in the fields.

Sec. 430. The officers shall forward the emigrants on to Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya, and will be entrusted with $5 for that purpose, which must be repaid by each individual, as they cannot be allowed to remain indebted in their province.

Sec. 436. Further it is ordered by the Buen Gobierno (good government) that no Filipino shall be liable for a sum exceeding $5, incurred either as a loan or a simple debt. Thus the claim of a higher sum can not impede emigration.

Sec. 437. The Hacienda (Public Treasury) shall pay the passage money and the cost of maintenance from Ilocos.

Sec. 438. They are to be provided with the means of procuring cattle, tools, etc., until the first harvest (although the Indian is only liable for $5).

Sec. 439. Such advances are, it is true, personal and individual; but, in the case of death or flight of the debtor, the whole village is to be liable for the amount due.

[Tobacco from Mexico.] Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum, L.) was introduced into the Philippines soon after the arrival of the Spaniards by the missionaries, who brought the seed with them from Mexico. [235] The soil and climate being favorable to its production, and the pleasure derived from it being speedily discovered by the natives, naturally assisted in its rapid adoption. Next to the Cuban tobacco and a few sorts of Turkish [236]it is admitted to be the best; and in the colony it is asserted by competent judges that it would soon surpass all others, if the existing regulations were abolished and free trade established. There can be no doubt in the minds of impartial observers that the quality and quantity of the produce might be considerably increased by such a change; on the other hand, many of the prejudiced officials certainly maintain the direct contrary. The real question is, to what extent these expectations may be realized in the fulfilment of such a measure; of course, bearing in mind that the judgment is swayed by a strong desire for the abolition of a system which interferes at present with their prospects of gain. But the fact is that, even now, the native grown tobacco, notwithstanding all the defects inseparable from an illicit trade, is equal to that produced by the [High grade of Philippine product.] Government officials in their own factories, and is valued at the same rate with many of the Havana brands; and the Government cigars of the Philippines are preferred to all others throughout Eastern Asia. Indeed, rich merchants, to whom a difference of price is no object, as a rule take the Manila cigars before Havanas.

[Manila tobacco handicapped.] According to Agius ("Memoria," 1871), in the European market the Manila tobacco was admitted to be without any rival, with the sole exception of the Vuelta abajo of Cuba; and most certainly in the Asiatic and Oceanic ports its superior quality was undisputed, as the Havana tobacco loses its flavor on the long voyage to these countries; but now, from year to year, it is surely losing its reputation. If, then, the Manila cigars have not hitherto succeeded in making themselves acceptable in Europe on account of their inferiority, the blame is attributable simply to the system of compulsory labor, and the chronic insolvency of the Insular Treasury, whilst the produce of other tobacco countries has steadily progressed in quality in consequence of free competition. The fame of the Manila cigars may also have suffered in some slight measure from the wide-spread, though perfectly erroneous, idea that they contained opium.

[Hampered by government restrictions.] How greatly the produce might be increased by means of free trade is shown under other circumstances by the example of Cuba. At the time when the Government there monopolized the tobacco trade, the crops were only partly sufficient to cover the home consumption; whereas, at the present time, Cuba supplies all the markets of the world. [237] The decision of Captain-General De la Gandara upon this question is in the highest degree worthy of notice. In a MS. Report to the Colonial Minister, March, 1858, concerning a measure for rendering the regulations of the tobacco monopoly still more stringent, he says: "If the tobacco cultivation is placed without restriction into the hands of private traders, we shall most probably, in a few years, be in a position to command nearly all the markets in the world." Most of the islands produce tobacco. According to the quality of the produce, the tobacco provinces rank in the following order: First, Cagayan and Isabela; Second, Igorots; Third, Island of Mindanao; Fourth, Bisayas; Fifth, Nueva Ecija.

[Origin of monopoly.] From the Government Order, dated November 20, 1625, it is evident that even at that early period the sale of betel nut, palm spirit (toddy), tobacco, etc., was a Government monopoly: but it does not seem to have been very strictly carried out. The tobacco monopoly, as it stands at present, the whole trade of which from the sowing of the seedling plants to the sale of the manufactured article is exclusively in the hands of the Government, was first introduced by Captain-General Jose Basco y Vargas. And a Government Order, under date of January 9, 1780 (confirmed by Departmental Regulations, December 13, 1781), further enacted that the tobacco regulations should be extended to the Philippine Islands, in like manner as in all Spanish possessions in this and the other hemisphere (de uno y otto mundo).

[Governor Basco's innovations.] Before the administration of this very jealous Governor, for a period of two hundred years the colony received annual contributions from New Spain (Situado de Nueva Espana). In order to relieve the Spanish Exchequer, from this charge Basco introduced (at that time national economic ideas prevailed of making the natural resources of a State supply its immediate wants) a plan upon which, fifty years later, Java modelled its "Culture System." In the Philippines, however, the conditions for this system were less favorable. In addition to the very slight submissiveness of the population, there were two great obstacles in the opposition of the priests and the want of trustworthy officials. Of all the provincial trades brought into existence by the energy of Basco, the indigo cultivation is the only one that remains in the hands of private individuals, the tobacco trade still being a Government monopoly. [238] Basco first of all confined the monopoly to the provinces immediately contiguous to the capital, in all of which the cultivation of tobacco was forbidden under penalty of severe punishment, except by persons duly authorized and in the service of the Government. [239] In the other provinces the cultivation was to a certain extent permitted; but the supply remaining after deduction of what was consumed in each province was to be sold to the Government only.

[Speculation with public funds.] In the Bisayas the magistrates purchased the tobacco for the Government and paid for it at the rate previously fixed by the Government factories at Manila; and they were allowed to employ the surplus money of the Government treasury chest for this purpose. A worse system than this could scarcely be devised. Officials, thinking only of their own private advantage, suffered no competition in their provinces, employed their official power to oppress the producer to the utmost extent, and thereby naturally checked the production; and the Government treasury chest consequently suffered frequent losses through bankruptcies, inasmuch as the magistrates, who drew a salary of $600 and paid a license of from $100 to $300 for the right of trading, in order to make money quickly, engaged in the most hazardous speculations. In 1814 this stupid arrangement was first put an end to; and forthwith the tobacco supplies from the Bisayas increased, through the competition of the private dealers, who then, for the first time, had the power of purchase; and from 1839 the planters were empowered to obtain higher prices than those afforded by the greedy monopolizing magistrates. At present, the following general regulations are in force, subject, however, to continual variation in details.

[Changes bring improvement.] By a Departmental Order, September 5, 1865, the cultivation of tobacco was permitted in all the provinces, though the produce was allowed to be sold only to the Government at the price regulated by them. The wholesale purchases are made in Luzon and the adjacent islands in fardos, [240] by "colleccion," that is, direct through the finance officials, who have the management of the plants from the sowing; but in the Bisayas by acopio; that is, the Government officials buy up the tobacco tendered by the growers or speculators by the cwt.

[Different usages in Bisayas and Mindanao.] In the Bisayas and in Mindanao everybody is allowed to manufacture cigars for his own particular use, though trade therein is strictly prohibited; and advances to the tobacco growers are also made there; while in Luzon and the neighboring islands the Government provides seed and seedling plants. Here, however, no land which is adapted to the cultivation of tobacco is allowed to be used for any other purpose of agriculture.

[Crude system of grading.] As the Financial Administration is unable to classify the tobacco at its true value, as might be done were free competition permitted, they have adopted the expedient of determining the price by the size of the leaves; the care necessary to be bestowed upon the training of the plants in order to produce leaves of the required size being at least a guarantee of a certain amount of proper attention and handling, even if it be productive of no other direct good. [241]

[Burden knowingly increased.] It is well known at Madrid how the tobacco monopoly, by oppressing the wretched population, interferes with the prosperity of the colony; yet, to the present day, the Government measures have been so arranged as to exact a still larger gain from this very impolitic source of revenue.

["Killing the goose that lays the golden egg."] A Government Order of January, 1866, directed the tobacco cultivation in the Philippines to be extended as much as possible, in order to satisfy the requirements of the colony, the mother country, and also the export trade; and in the memorial already quoted, "reforms" are proposed by the Captain-General, in the spirit of the goose with golden eggs. By grafting new monopolies upon those already existing, he believes that the tobacco produce can be increased from 182,102 cwt. (average of the years 1860 to 1857) to 500,000, and even 800,000 cwt. Meantime, with a view to obtaining increased prices, the Government resolved to export the tobacco themselves to the usual markets for sale; and in the year 1868 this resolution was really carried out. It was sent to London, where it secured so favorable a market that it was at once decreed that no tobacco in Manila should thenceforth be sold at less than $25 per cwt. [242] This decree, however, referred only to the first three qualities, the quantity of which decreased in a relative measure with the increased pressure upon the population. Even in the table annexed to the record of La Gandara this is very clearly shown. Whilst the total produce for 1867 stood at 176,018 cwt. (not much under the average of the years 1860 to 1857, viz., 182,102 cwt.), the tobacco of the first class had decreased in quantity since 1862 from over 13,000 to less than 5,000 cwt.

[Gift to Spain of unusable tobacco.] The fourth, fifth, and sixth classes, the greater part of which would before have been burnt, but which now form no inconsiderable portion of the total crop, are in the open markets positively unsaleable, and can be utilized only in the form of a bonus to Spain, which annually receives, under the title of atenciones a la peninsula, upwards of 100,000 cwt. If the colony were not compelled to pay half the freight of these gifts, Spain would certainly ask to be relieved of these "marks of attention." Seeing that, according to the decision of the chief of the Government, the greater portion of this tobacco is of such inferior quality that it can find no purchaser at any price, it is impossible that its value should cover either the cost of carriage or the customs duty. Moreover, this tobacco tribute is a great burden on the colonial budget; which, in spite of all deficits, is charged with the expenses attending the collection of the tobacco, its packing, its cost of local transport, and half the expense of its carriage to Europe.

[De La Gandara's proposed reforms.] Dated in March, 1871,—the beginning of a Golden Age, if De La Gandara's plans had been carried out and his expectations realized,—there exists an excellent statement from the Intendant-General addressed to the Minister of Colonies pointing out plainly to the chief of the Government the disadvantages arising from this mode of administration, and urging the immediate repeal of the monopoly. In the next place proof was adduced, supported by official vouchers, that the profits derived from the tobacco monopoly were much smaller than usual. The total average receipts of the tobacco administration for the five years 1855 to 1869, according to official accounts, amounted to $5,367,262; for the years 1866 to 1870, only $5,240,935. The expenses cannot be accurately estimated, inasmuch as there are no strict accounts obtainable; if, however, the respective expenses charged in the colonial budget are added together, they amount to $3,717,322 of which $1,812,250 is for purchase of raw tobacco.

[Slight real profit from monopoly.] Besides these expenses pertaining exclusively to the tobacco administration there are still many other different items to be taken into account; yet the cost incurred in this branch of the service would be saved, if not altogether, at least largely, if the State surrendered the tobacco monopoly. The total of the disbursements must certainly, at the very lowest, be estimated at $4,000,000; so, therefore, the State receives only a net profit of $1,357,000; but even this is not to be reckoned on in the future, for if the Government does not speedily cease carrying on this trade, they will be forced into a very considerable and unavoidable expense. To begin with, they must erect new factories and warehouses; better machinery must be bought; wages will have to be considerably increased; and, above all, means must be devised to pay off the enormous sum of $1,600,000 in which the Government is indebted to the peasants for the crops of 1869 and 1870, and to assure cash payments for future harvests. "This is the only possible mode of preventing the decay of the tobacco cultivation in the different provinces, as well as relieving the misery of the wretched inhabitants."

[Suffering and law-breaking thru the monopoly.] Later Agius proved how trifling in reality the arrears were on account of which the Government was abandoning the future of the colony, and showed the misfortunes, of which I shall mention, these briefly, only a few, resulting from the monopoly. He represented that the people of the tobacco district, who were the richest and most contented of all in the Archipelago, found themselves plunged into the deepest distress after the increase of the Government dues. They were, in fact, far more cruelly treated than the slaves in Cuba, who, from self-interested motives, are well-nourished and taken care of; whereas in this case, the produce of compulsory labor has to be delivered to the State at an arbitrarily determined price; and even this price is paid only when the condition of the treasury, which is invariably in difficulties, permits. Frequently their very means of subsistence failed them, in consequence of their being forbidden to carry on the cultivation; and the unfortunate people, having no other resources for the relief of their pressing necessities, were compelled to alienate the debtor's bond, which purchased the fruits of their enforced toil but had been left unpaid. Thus, for an inconsiderable deficit of about $1,330,000, the whole population of one of the richest provinces is thrown into abject misery; a deep-rooted hatred naturally arises between the people and their rulers; and incessant war ensues between the authorities and their subjects. Besides which, an extremely dangerous class of smugglers have recently arisen, who even now do not confine themselves to mere smuggling, but who, on the very first opportunity presented by the prevailing discontent, will band themselves together in one solid body. The official administrators, too, are charged with gross bribery and corruption; which, whether true or not, occasions great scandal, and engenders increasing disrespect and distrust of the colonial administration as well as of the Spanish people generally. [243]

[Growing opposition to the monopoly.] The preceding memorial has been not only written, but also printed; and it seems to indicate that gradually in Spain, and also in wider circles, people are becoming convinced of the untenableness of the tobacco monopoly; yet, in spite of this powerful review, it is considered doubtful by competent judges whether it will be given up so long as there are any apparent or appreciable returns derived therefrom. These acknowledged evils have long been known to the Colonial Government; but, from the frequent changes of ministers, and the increasing want of money, the Government is compelled, so long as they are in office, to use all possible means of obtaining profits, and to abstain from carrying out these urgent reforms lest their own immediate downfall should be involved therein. Let us, however, cherish the hope that increased demand will cause a rise in the prices; a few particularly good crops, and other propitious circumstances, would relieve at once the Insular Treasury from its difficulties; and then the tobacco monopoly might be cheerfully surrendered. One circumstance favorable to the economical management of the State that would be produced by the surrender of the tobacco monopoly would be the abolition of the numerous army of officials which its administration requires. This might, however, operate reversely in Spain. The number of place-hunters created must be very welcome to the ministers in power, who thus have the opportunity of providing their creatures with profitable places, or of shipping off inconvenient persons to the Antipodes from the mother-country, free of cost. The colony, be it known, has not only to pay the salaries, but also to bear the cost of their outward and homeward voyages. Any way, the custom is so liberally patronized that occasionally new places have to be created in order to make room for the newly-arrived nominees. [244]

[Wholesale rate highter than retail government.] At the time of my visit, the royal factories could not turn out a supply of cigars commensurate with the requirements of commerce; and this brought about a peculiar condition of things; the wholesale dealer, who purchased cigars in very considerable quantities at the government auctions, paying higher than the retail rates at which he could buy them singly in the estancia. In order, therefore, to prevent the merchants drawing their stocks from the estancias, it was determined that only a certain quantity should be purchased, which limit no merchant dared exceed. A very intricate system of control, assisted by espionage, had to be employed in seeing that no one, through different agents and different estancias, collected more than the authorised supply; and violation of this rule, when discovered, was punished by confiscation of the offender's stock. Everybody was free to purchase cigars in the estancia, but nobody was permitted to sell a chest of cigars to an acquaintance at cost price. Several Spaniards with whom I have spoken concerning these strange regulations maintained them to be perfectly just, as otherwise all the cigars would be carried off by foreigners, and they would not be able themselves in their own colony to smoke a decent cigar.

[Money juggling.] There was, as I afterwards learnt, a still more urgent reason for the existence of these decrees. The government valued their own gold at sixteen dollars per ounce, while in commerce it fetched less, and the premium on silver had, at one time, risen to thirty-three per cent. Moreover, on account of the insufficient quantity of copper money for minor currency, the small change frequently gained a premium on the silver dollar, so much so that by every purchaser not less than half a dollar was realized. In exchanging the dollar from five to fifteen per cent discount was charged; it was profitable, therefore, to purchase cigars in the estancias with the gold ounce, and then to retail them in smaller quantities nominally at the rate of the estancias. Both premiums together might in an extreme case amount to as much as forty-three per cent. [245]

[Directions for cultivating tobacco] Not being able to give a description of the cultivation of tobacco from personal knowledge and experience, I refer the reader to the following short extract from the Cartilla Agricola:—

Directions for preparing and laying out the seed beds.—A suitable piece of land is to be enclosed quadrilaterally by boundaries, ploughed two or three times, cleared of all weeds and roots, made somewhat sloping, and surrounded by a shallow ditch, the bed of which is to be divided by drains about two feet wide. The soil of the same must be very fine, must be ground almost as fine as powder, otherwise it will not mix freely and thoroughly with the extremely fine tobacco seed. The seed is to be washed, and then suspended in cloths during the day, in order to allow the water to run off; after which it is to be mixed with a similar quantity of ashes, and strewn carefully over the bed. The subsequent successful results depend entirely upon the careful performance of this work. From the time the seed first begins to sprout, the beds must be kept very clean, in dry weather sprinkled daily, and protected from birds and animals by brambles strewn over, and by means of light mats from storms and heavy rains. After two months the plants will be between five and six inches high, and generally have from four to six leaves; they must then be replanted. This occurs, supposing the seed-beds to have been prepared in September, about the beginning or the middle of November. A second sowing takes place on the 15th of October, as much as a precaution against possible failure, as for obtaining plants for the lowlands.

Concerning the land most advantageous to the tobacco and its cultivation. Replanting of the seedlings.—Land must be chosen of middling grain; somewhat difficult, calciferous soil is particularly recommended, when it is richly fertilized with the remains of decayed plants, and not less than two feet deep; and the deeper the roots are inserted the higher will the plant grow. Of all the land adapted to the tobacco cultivation, that in Cagayan is the best, as from the overflowing of the large streams, which occurs every year, it is laid under water, and annually receives a new stratum of mud, which renders the soil particularly productive. Plantations prepared upon such soil differ very materially from those less favored and situated on a higher level. In the former the plants shoot up quickly as soon as the roots strike; in the latter they grow slowly and only reach a middling height. Again in the fertile soil the plants produce quantities of large, strong, juicy leaves, giving promise of a splendid harvest. In the other case the plants remain considerably smaller and grow sparsely. Sometimes, however, even the lowlands are flooded in January and February, and also in March, when the tobacco has already been transplanted, and grown to some little height. In that event everything is irreparably lost, particularly if the flood should occur at a time when it is too late to lay out new plantations. High-lying land also must, therefore, be cultivated, in the hope that by very careful attention it may yield a similar return. In October these fields must be ploughed three or four times, and harrowed twice or thrice. On account of the floods, the lowlands cannot be ploughed until the end of December, or the middle of January; when the work is light and simple. The strongest plants in the seed-beds are chosen, and set in the prepared grounds at a distance of three feet from each other, care being taken that the earth clinging to the roots is not shaken off.

Of the care necessary to be bestowed upon the plants.—In the east a little screen, formed by two clods, is to be erected, with a view to protecting the plant from the morning sun, and retaining the dew for a longer time. The weeds to be carefully exterminated, and the wild shoots removed. A grub which occasionally appears in great numbers is particularly dangerous. Rain is very injurious immediately before the ripening, when the plants are no longer in a condition to secrete the gummy substance so essential to the tobacco, which, being soluble in water, would be drawn off by the action of the rain. Tobacco which has been exposed to bad weather is always deficient in juice and flavor, and is full of white spots, a certain sign of its bad quality. The injury is all the greater the nearer the tobacco is to its ripening period; the leaves hanging down to the ground then decay, and must be removed. If the subsoil is not deep enough, a carefully tended plant will turn yellow, and nearly wither away. In wet seasons this does not occur so generally, as the roots in insufficient depth are enabled to find enough moisture.

Cutting and manipulation of the leaves in the drying shed.—The topmost leaves ripen first; they are then of a dark yellow color, and inflexible. They must be cut off as they ripen, collected into bundles, and brought to the shed in covered carts. In wet or cloudy weather, when the nightly dews have not been thoroughly evaporated by the sun, they must not be cut. In the shed the leaves are to hang upon cords or split Spanish cane, with sufficient room between them for ventilation and drying. The dried leaves are then laid in piles, which must not be too big, and frequently turned over. Extreme care must be taken that they do not become overheated and ferment too strongly. This operation, which is of the utmost importance to the quality of the tobacco, demands great attention and skill, and must be continued until nothing but an aromatic smell of tobacco can be noticed coming from the leaves; but the necessary skill for this manipulation is only to be acquired by long practice, and not from any written instructions.


[Importance of Chinese.] An important portion of the population remains to be discussed, viz. the Chinese, who are destined to play a remarkable part, inasmuch as the development of the land-cultivation demanded by the increasing trade and commercial intercourse can be affected only by Chinese industry and perseverance. Manila has always been a favorite place for Chinese immigrants; and neither the hostility of the people, nor oppressing and prohibitory decrees for a long time by the Government, not even the repeated massacres, have been able to prevent their coming. The position of the Islands, south-east of two of the most important of the Chinese provinces, must necessarily have brought about a trade between the two countries very early, as ships can make the voyage in either direction with a moderate wind, as well in the south-west as the north-east monsoon. [Early Chinese Associations.] In a few old writers may even be found the assertion that the Philippine Islands were at one time subject to the dominion of China; and Father Gaubil (Lettres Edifiantes) mentions that Jaung-lo (of the Ming dynasty) maintained a fleet consisting of 30,000 men, which at different times proceeded to Manila. The presence of their ships as early as the arrival of Magellan in the extreme east of the archipelago, as well as the China plates and earthenware vessels discovered in the excavations, plainly show that the trade with China had extended far earlier to the most distant islands of the archipelago. It formed the chief support of the young Spanish colony, and, after the rise of the Encomiendas, was nearly the only source of its prosperity. It was feared that the junks would offer their cargoes to the Dutch if any obstacle was put in the way of their coming to Manila. The colony certainly could not maintain its position without the "Sangleys," [246] who came annually in great numbers in the junks from China, and spread all over the country and in the towns as [Industrial and commercial activity.] shopkeepers, artisans, gardeners, and fishermen; besides which, they were the only skillful and industrious workers, as the Filipinos under the priestly domination had forgotten altogether many trades in which they had engaged in former times. I take these facts from Morga.

[Unsuccessful attempts at restriction.] In spite of all this, the Spaniards have, from the very commencement, endeavored rigorously to limit the number of the Chinese; who were then, as they are now, envied and hated by the natives for their industry, frugality, and cunning, by which means they soon became rich. They were an abomination, moreover, in the eyes of the priests as being irreclaimable heathens, whose example prevented the natives from making progress in the direction of Christianity; and the government feared them on account of the strong bond of union existing between them, and as being subjects of so powerful a nation, whose close proximity threatened the small body of Spaniards with destruction. [247] Fortunately for the latter, the Ming dynasty, which at that time was hastening to its downfall, did not think of conquest; but wickedly disposed powers which sprang into existence upon their downfall brought the colony into extreme danger.

[Limahong and the Mandarins' visit.] In the attack of the noted pirate, Limahong, in 1574, they escaped destruction only by a miracle; and soon new dangers threatened them afresh. In 1603 a few mandarins came to Manila, under the pretence of ascertaining whether the ground about Cavite was really of gold. They were supposed to be spies, and it was concluded, from their peculiar mission, that an attack upon the colony was intended by the Chinese.

[Early massacre of Chinese.] The archbishop and the priests incited the distrust which was felt against the numerous Chinese who were settled in Manila. Mutual hate and suspicion arose; both parties feared one another and prepared for hostilities. The Chinese commenced the attack; but the united forces of the Spaniards, being supported by the Japanese and the Filipinos, twenty-three thousand, according to other reports twenty-five thousand, of the Chinese were either killed or driven into the desert. When the news of this massacre reached China, a letter from the Royal Commissioners was sent to the Governor of Manila. That noteworthy document shows in so striking a manner how hollow the great government was at that time that I have given a literal translation of it at the end of this chapter.

[Chinese laborers limited.] After the extermination of the Chinese, food and all Chinese other necessaries of life were difficult to obtain on account of the utter unreliability of the natives for work; but by 1605 the number of Chinese [248] had again so increased that a decree was issued limiting them to six thousand, "these to be employed in the cultivation of the country;" while at the same time their rapid increase was taken advantage of by the captain-general for his own interest, as he exacted eight dollars from each Chinaman for permission to remain. In 1539 the Chinese population had risen to thirty thousand, according to other information, to forty thousand, when they revolted and were reduced to seven thousand. "The natives, who generally were so listless and indifferent, showed the utmost eagerness in assisting in the [Another massacre.] massacre of the Chinese, but more from hatred of this industrious people than from any feeling of friendship towards the Spaniards." [249]

[The pirate Kog-seng.] The void occasioned by this massacre was soon filled up again by Chinese immigrants; and in 1662 the colony was once more menaced with a new and great danger, by the Chinese pirate Kog-seng, who had under his command between eighty and one hundred thousand men, and who already had dispossessed the Dutch of the Island of Formosa. He demanded the absolute submission of the Philippines; his sudden death, however, saved the colony, and occasioned a fresh outbreak of fury against the Chinese settlers in Manila, a great number of whom were butchered in their own "quarter" (ghetto). [250] Some dispersed and hid themselves; a few in their terror plunged into the water or hanged themselves; and a great number fled in small boats to Formosa. [251]

[Another expulsion.] In 1709 the jealousy against the Chinese once more had reached such a height that they were accused of rebellion, and particularly of monopolizing the trades, and, with the exception of the most serviceable of the artisans and such of them as were employed by the Government, they were once again expelled. Spanish writers praise the salutariness of these measures; alleging that "under the pretence of agriculture the Chinese carry on trade; they are cunning and careful, making money and sending it to China, so that they defraud the Philippines annually of an enormous amount." Sonnerat, however, complains that art, trade, and commerce had not recovered from these severe blows; though, he adds, fortunately the Chinese, in spite of prohibitory decrees, are returning through the corrupt connivance of the governor and officials.

[Thrifty traders.] To the present day they are blamed as being monopolists, particularly by the creoles; and certainly, by means of their steady industry and natural commercial aptitude, they have appropriated nearly all the retail trade to themselves. The sale of European imported goods is entirely in their hands; and the wholesale purchase of the produce of the country for export is divided between the natives, creoles, and the Chinese, the latter taking about one-half. Before this time only the natives and creoles were permitted to own ships for the purpose of forwarding the produce to Manila.

In 1757 the jealousy of the Spaniards broke out again in the form of a new order from Madrid, directing the expulsion of the Chinese; and in 1759 the decrees of banishment, which were repeatedly evaded, were carried into effect: but, as the private interests of the officials did not happen to coincide with those of the creole traders, the consequence was that "the Chinese soon streamed back again in incredible numbers," and made common cause with the English upon their invasion in 1762. [252] [Anda's and 1819 massacres.] Thereupon, Sr. Anda commanded "that all the Chinese in the Philippine Islands should be hanged," which order was very generally carried out. [253] The last great Chinese massacre took place in 1819, when the aliens were suspected of having brought about the cholera by poisoning the wells. The greater part of the Europeans in Manila also fell victims to the fury of the populace, but the Spaniards generally were spared. The prejudice of the Spaniards, especially of the creoles, had always been directed against the Chinese tradesmen, who interfered unpleasantly with the fleecing of the natives; and against this class in particular were the laws of limitation aimed. They would willingly have let them develop the country by farming but the hostility of the natives generally prevented this.

[Expulsion of merchants from Manila.] A decree, issued in 1804, commanded all Chinese shopkeepers to leave Manila within eight days, only those who were married being allowed to keep shops; and their residence in the provinces was permitted only upon the condition that they confined themselves entirely to agriculture. Magistrates who allowed these to travel in their districts were fined $200; the deputy-governor $25; and the wretched Chinese were punished with from two to three years' confinement in irons.

In 1839 the penalties against the Chinese were somewhat mitigated, but those against the magistrates were still maintained on account of their venality. In 1843 Chinese ships were placed upon terms of equality with those of other foreign countries (Leg. Ult., II., 476). In 1850 Captain-General Urbiztondo endeavored to introduce Chinese colonial farming, and with this object promised a reduction of the taxes to all agricultural immigrants. Many Chinese availed themselves of this opportunity in order to escape the heavy poll-tax; but in general they soon betook themselves to trading once more.

[Oppressive taxation.] Of late years the Chinese have not suffered from the terrible massacres which used formerly to overtake them; neither have they suffered banishment; the officials being content to suppress their activity by means of heavy and oppressive taxes. For instance, at the end of 1867 the Chinese shopkeepers were annually taxed $50 for permission to send their goods to the weekly market; this was in addition to a tax of from $12 to $100 on their occupations; and at the same time they were commanded thenceforth to keep their books in Spanish (English Consular Report, 1859).

[Excellent element in population.] The Chinese remain true to their customs and mode of living in the Philippines, as they do everywhere else. When they outwardly embrace Christianity, it is done merely to facilitate marriage, or from some motive conducive to their worldly advantage; and occasionally they renounce it, together with their wives in Manila, when about to return home to China. Very many of them, however, beget families, are excellent householders, and their children in time form the most enterprising, industrious, and wealthy portion of the resident population.

[Formidable competitors.] Invigorated by the severe struggle for existence which they have experienced in their over-populated country, the Chinese appear to preserve their capacity for labor perfectly unimpaired by any climate. No nation can equal them in contentedness, industry, perseverance, cunning, skill, and adroitness in trades and mercantile matters. When once they gain a footing, they generally appropriate the best part of the trade to themselves. In all parts of external India they have dislodged from every field of employment not only their native but, progressively, even their European competitors. Not less qualified and successful are they in the pursuance of agriculture than in trade. The emigration from the too thickly peopled empire of China has scarcely begun. As yet it is but a small stream, but it will by-and-by pour over all the tropical countries of the East in one mighty torrent, completely destroying all such minor obstacles as jealous interference and impotent precaution might interpose.

[Sphere of futureinflunce.] Over every section of remote India, in the South Sea, in the Indian Archipelago, in the states of South America, the Chinese seem destined, in time, either to supplant every other element, or to found a mixed race upon which to stamp their individuality. In the Western States of the Union their number is rapidly on the increase; and the factories in California are worked entirely by them, achieving results that cannot be accomplished by European labor.

[Mongolian vs. Caucasion in America.] One of the most interesting of the many questions of large comprehensiveness which connect themselves with the penetration of the Mongolian race into America, which up till now it had been the fashion to regard as the inheritance of the Caucasians, is the relative capacity of labor possessed by both these two great races, who in the Western States of America have for the first time measured their mutual strength in friendly rivalry. Both are there represented in their most energetic individuality; [254] and every nerve will be strained in carrying on the struggle, inasmuch as no other country pays for labor at so high a rate.

[Efficiency and reliability of Chinese labor.] The conditions, however, are not quite equal, as the law places certain obstacles in the way of the Chinese. The courts do not protect them sufficiently from insult, which at times is aggravated into malicious manslaughter through the ill-usage of the mob, who hate them bitterly as being reserved, uncompanionable workers. Nevertheless, the Chinese immigrants take their stand firmly. The western division of the Pacific Railway has been chiefly built by the Chinese, who, according to the testimony of the engineers, surpass workmen of all other nationalities in diligence, sobriety, and good conduct. What they lack in physical power they make up for in perseverance and working intelligently together. The unique and nearly incredible performance that took place on April 28, 1859, when ten miles of railway track were laid in eleven working hours along a division of land which had in no way been prepared beforehand, was accomplished by Chinese workmen; and indeed only by them could it have been practicable. [255]

[Chinese cleverness and industry.] Of course, the superiority of the European in respect Chinese of the highest intellectual faculties is not for a moment to be doubted; but, in all branches of commercial life in which cleverness and perservering industry are necessary to success, the Chinese certainly appear entitled to the award. To us it appears that the influx of Chinese must certainly sooner or later kindle a struggle between capital and labor, in order to set a limit upon demands perceptibly growing beyond moderation.

[Chinese problem in America.] The increasing Chinese immigration already intrudes upon the attention of American statesmen questions of the utmost social and political importance. What influence will this entirely new and strange element exercise over the conformation of American relations? Will the Chinese found a State in the States, or go into the Union on terms of political equality with the other citizens, and form a new race by alliance with the Caucasian element? These problems, which can only be touched upon here in a transitory form, have been dealt with in a masterly manner by Pumpelly, in his work Across America and Asia, published in London in 1870.

Letter of the Commissary-General of Chinchew to Don Pedro De Acuna, Governor of the Philippines

To the powerful Captain-General of Luzon:

"Having been given to understand that the Chinese who proceeded to the kingdom of Luzon in order to buy and sell had been murdered by the Spaniards, I have investigated the motives for these massacres, and begged the Emperor to exercise justice upon those who had engaged in these abominable offences, with a view to security in the future.

"In former years, before my arrival here as royal commissioner, a Chinese merchant named Tioneg, together with three mandarins, went with the permission of the Emperor of China from Luzon to Cavite, for the purpose of prospecting for gold and silver; which appears to have been an excuse, for he found neither gold nor silver; I thereupon prayed the Emperor to punish this imposter Tioneg, thereby making patent the strict justice which is exercised in China.

"It was during the administration of the ex-Viceroy and Eunuchs that Tioneg and his companion, named Yanglion, uttered the untruth already stated; and subsequently I begged the Emperor to transmit all the papers bearing upon the matter, together with the minutes of Tioneg's accusation; when I myself examined the before-mentioned papers, and knew that everything that the accused Tioneg had said was utterly untrue.

"I wrote to the Emperor and stated that, on account of the untruth which Tioneg had been guilty of, the Castilians entertained the suspicion that he wished to make war upon them, and that they, under this idea, had murdered more than thirty thousand Chinese in Luzon. The Emperor, complying with my request, punished the accused Yanglion, though he omitted to put him to death; neither was Tioneg beheaded or confined in a cage. The Chinese people who had settled in Luzon were in no way to blame. I and others discussed this with the Emperor in order to ascertain what his pleasure was in this matter, as well as in another, namely, the arrival of two English ships on the coast of Chinchew (Fukien or Amoy district)—a very dangerous circumstance for China; and to obtain His Imperial Majesty's decision as to both these most serious matters.

"We also wrote to the Emperor that he should direct the punishment of both these Chinese; and, in acknowledging our communication, he replied to us, in respect to the English ships which had arrived in China, that in case they had come for the purpose of plundering, they should be immediately commanded to depart thence for Luzon; and, with regard to the Luzon difficulty, that the Castilians should be advised to give no credence to rogues and liars from China; and both the Chinese who had discovered the harbor to the English should be executed forthwith; and that in all other matters upon which we had written to him, our will should be his. Upon receipt of this message by us—the Viceroy, the Eunuch, and myself—we hereby send this our message to the Governor of Luzon, that his Excellency may know the greatness of the Emperor of China and of his Empire, for he is so powerful that he commands all upon which the sun and moon shine, and also that the Governor of Luzon may learn with what great wisdom this mighty empire is governed, and which power no one for many years has attempted to insult, although the Japanese have sought to disturb the tranquillity of Korea, which belongs to the Government of China. They did not succeed, but on the contrary were driven out, and Korea has remained in perfect security and peace, which those in Luzon well know by report.

"Years ago, after we learnt that so many Chinese perished in Luzon on account of Tioneg's lies, many of us mandarins met together, and resolved to leave it to the consideration of the Emperor to take vengeance for so great a massacre; and we said as follows:—The country of Luzon is a wretched one, and of very little importance. It was at one time only the abode of devils and serpents; and only because (within the last few years) so large a number of Chinese went thither for the purpose of trading with the Castilians has it improved to such an extent; in which improvement the accused Sangleyes materially assisted by hard labor, the walls being raised by them, houses built, and gardens laid out, and other matters accomplished of the greatest use to the Castilians; and now the question is, why has no consideration been paid for these services, and these good offices acknowledged with thanks, without cruelly murdering so many people? And although we wrote to the King twice or thrice concerning the circumstances, he answered us that he was indignant about the before-mentioned occurrences, and said for three reasons it is not advisable to execute vengeance, nor to war against Luzon. The first is that for a long time till now the Castilians have been friends of the Chinese; the second, that no one can predict whether the Castilians or the Chinese would be victorious; and the third and last reason is, because those whom the Castilians have killed were wicked people, ungrateful to China, their native country, their elders, and their parents, as they have not returned to China now for very many years. These people, said the Emperor, he valued but little for the foregoing reasons; and he commanded the Viceroy, the Eunuch, and myself, to send this letter through those messengers, so that all in Luzon may know that the Emperor of China has a generous heart, great forbearance, and much mercy, in not declaring war against Luzon; and his justice is indeed manifest, as he has already punished the liar Tioneg. Now, as the Spaniards are wise and intelligent, how does it happen that they are not sorry for having massacred so many people, feeling no repentance thereat, and also are not kinder to those of the Chinese who are still left? Then when the Castilians show a feeling of good-will, and the Chinese and Sangleyes who left after the dispute return, and the indebted money is repaid, and the property which was taken from the Sangleyes restored, then friendship will again exist between this empire and that, and every year trading-ships shall come and go; but if not, then the Emperor will allow no trading, but on the contrary will at once command a thousand ships of war to be built, manned with soldiers and relations of the slain, and will, with the assistance of other peoples and kingdoms who pay tribute to China, wage relentless war, without quarter to any one; and upon its conclusion will present the kingdom of Luzon to those who do homage to China.

"This letter is written by the Visitor-General on the 12th of the second month."

A contemporary letter of the Ruler of Japan forms a somewhat notable contrast:—

Letter of Daifusama, Ruler of Japan

"To the Governor Don Pedro de Acuna, in the year 1605:

"I have received two letters from your Excellency, as also all the donations and presents described in the inventory. Amongst them was the wine made from grapes, which I enjoyed very much. In former years your Excellency requested that six ships might come here, and recently four, which request I have always complied with.

"But my great displeasure has been excited by the fact that of the four ships upon whose behalf your Excellency interposed, one from Antonio made the journey without my permission. This was a circumstance of great audacity, and a mark of disrespect to me. Does your Excellency wish to send that ship to Japan without my permission?

"Independently of this, your Excellency and others have many times discussed with me concerning the antecedents and interests of Japan, and many other matters, your requests respecting which I cannot comply with. This territory is called Xincoco, which means 'consecrated to Idols,' which have been honored with the highest reverence from the days of our ancestor until now, and whose actions I alone can neither undo nor destroy. Wherefore, it is in no way fitting that your laws should be promulgated and spread over Japan; and if, in consequence of these misunderstandings, your Excellency's friendship with the empire of Japan should cease, and with me likewise, it must be so, for I must do that which I think is right, and nothing which is contrary to my own pleasure.

"Finally, I have heard it frequently said, as a reproach, that many Japanese—wicked, corrupt men—go to your kingdom, remaining there many years, and then return to Japan. This complaint excites my anger, and therefore I must request your Excellency henceforth not to allow such persons to return in the ships which trade here. Concerning the remaining matters, I trust your Excellency will hereafter employ your judgment and circumspection in such a manner as to avoid incurring my displeasure for the future."


[Spain's discovery and occupation.] The Philippines were discovered by Magellan on the 16th of March, 1521—St. Lazarus' day. [256] But it was not until 1564, [257] after many previous efforts had miscarried, that Legaspi, who left New Spain with five ships, took possession of the Archipelago in the name of Philip II. The discoverer had christened the islands after the sanctified Lazarus. This name, however, never grew into general use; [Numerous names.] the Spaniards persistently calling them the Western Islands—Islas del Poniente; and the Portuguese, Islas del Oriente. Legaspi gave them their present name [258] in honor of Philip II, who, in his turn, conferred upon them the again extinct name of New Castile. [259] Legaspi first of all annexed Cebu, and then Panay; and six years later, in 1571, he first sub dued Manila, which was at that time a village surrounded by palisades, and commenced forthwith the construction of a fortified town. The subjection of the remaining territory was effected so quickly that, upon the death of Legaspi (in August, 1572), all the western parts were in possession of the Spaniards. [Mindanao and Sulu independent.] Numerous wild tribes in the interior, however, the Mahomedan states of Mindanao and the Sulu group, for example, have to this day preserved their independence. The character of the people, as well as their political disposition, favored the occupancy. There was no mighty power, no old dynasty, no influential priestly domination to overcome, no traditions of national pride to suppress. The natives were either heathens, or recently proselytized superficially to Islamism, and lived under numerous petty chiefs, who ruled them despotically, made war upon one another, and were easily subdued. Such a community was called Barangay; and it forms to this day, though in a considerably modified form, the foundation of the constitutional laws. [Spanish improvemnts.] The Spaniards limited the power of the petty chiefs, upheld slavery, and abolished hereditary nobility and dignity, substituting in its place an aristocracy created by themselves for services rendered to the State; but they carried out all these changes very gradually and cautiously. [260] The old usages and laws, so long as they did not interfere with the natural course of government, remained untouched and were operative by legal sanction; and even in criminal matters their validity was equal to those emanating from the Spanish courts. To this day the chiefs of Barangay, with the exception of those bearing the title of "Don," have no privileges save exemption from the poll-tax and socage service. [Unthinking policy of greed.] They are virtually tax-collectors, excepting that they are not paid for such service, and their private means are made responsible for any deficit. The prudence of such a measure might well be doubted, without regard to the fact that it tempts the chiefs to embezzlement and extortion; and it must alienate a class of natives who would otherwise be a support to the Government.

[High character of early administrators.] Since the measures adopted in alleviation of the conquest and occupancy succeeded in so remarkable a manner, the governors and their subordinates of those days, at a time when Spain was powerful and chivalrous, naturally appear to have been distinguished for wisdom and high spirit. Legaspi possessed both qualities in a marked degree. Hardy adventurers were tempted there, as in America, by privileges and inducements which power afforded them; as well as by the hope, which, fortunately for the country, was never realized, of its being rich in auriferous deposits. In Luzon, for instance, Hernando Riquel stated that there were many goldmines in several places which were seen by the Spaniards; "the ore is so rich that I will not write any more about it, as I might possibly come under a suspicion of exaggerating; but I swear by Christ that there is more gold on this island than there is iron in all Biscay." [Conquerors on commission.] They received no pay from the kingdom; but a formal right was given them to profit by any territory which was brought into subjection by them. Some of these expeditions in search of conquest were enterprises undertaken for private gain, others for the benefit of the governor; and such service was rewarded by him with grants of lands, carrying an annuity, offices, and other benefits (encomiendas, oficios y aprovechamientos). The grants were at first made for three generations (in New Spain for four), but were very soon limited to two; when De los Rios pointed this out as being a measure very prejudicial to the Crown, "since they were little prepared to serve his Majesty, as their grand-children had fallen into the most extreme poverty." After the death of the feoffee the grant reverted to the State; and the governor thereupon disposed of it anew.

[The feudal "encomiendas."] The whole country at the outset was completely divided into these livings, the defraying of which formed by far the largest portion of the expenses of the kingdom. Investitures of a similar nature existed, more or less, in a territory of considerable extent, the inhabitants of which had to pay tribute to the feoffee; and this tribute had to be raised out of agricultural produce, the value of which was fixed by the feudal lord at a very low rate, but sold by him to the Chinese at a considerable profit. The feudal lords, moreover, were not satisfied with these receipts, but held the natives in a state of slavery, until forbidden by a Bull of Pope Gregory XIV, dated April 18, 1591. Kafir and negro slaves, whom the Portuguese imported by way of India, were, however, still permitted.

[Extortions of encomenderos.] The original holders of feudal tenures amassed considerable booty therefrom. Zuniga relates that as early as the time of Lavezares, who was provisional governor between 1572 and 1575, he visited the Bisayas and checked the covetousness of the encomenderos, so that at least during his rule they relaxed their system of extortion. Towards the end of Sande's government (1575-80) a furious quarrel broke out between the priests and the encomenderos; the first preached against the oppression of the latter, and memorialized Philip II thereon. The king commanded that the natives should be protected, as the extortionate greed of the feudal chiefs had exceeded all bounds; and the natives were then at liberty to pay their tribute either in money or in kind. The result of this well-intentioned regulation appears to have produced a greater assiduity both in agriculture and trade, "as the natives preferred to work without coercion, not on account of extreme want." [Salcedo "most illustrious of the conquerors."] And here I may briefly refer to the achievements of Juan de Salcedo, the most illustrious of all the conquerors. Supported by his grandfather, Legaspi, with forty-five Spanish soldiers, he fitted out an expedition at his own expense, embarked at Manila, in May, 1572, examined all parts of the west coast of the island, landed in all the bays which were accessible to his light-draught ships, and was well received by the natives at most of the places. He generally found great opposition in penetrating into the interior; yet he succeeded in subduing many of the inland tribes; and when he reached Cape Bojeador, the north-west point of Luzon, the extensive territory which at present forms the provinces of Zambales, Pangasinan, and Ilocos Notre and Sur, acknowledged the Spanish rule. The exhaustion of his soldiers obliged Salcedo to return. In Vigan, the present capital of Ilocos Sur, he constructed a fort, and left therein for its protection his lieutenant and twenty-five men, while he himself returned, accompanied only by seventeen soldiers, in three small vessels. In this manner he reached the Cagayan River, and proceeded up it until forced by the great number of hostile natives to retreat to the sea. Pursuing the voyage to the east coast, he came down in course of time to Paracale, where he embarked in a boat for Manila, was capsized, and rescued from drowning by some passing natives.

["The Cortes of the Philippines."] In the meantime Legaspi had died, and Lavezares was provisionally carrying on the government. Salcedo heard of this with vexation at being passed over; but, when he recovered from his jealousy, he was entrusted with the subjugation of Camarines, which he accomplished in a short time. In 1574 he returned to Ilocos, in order to distribute annuities among his soldiers, and to receive his own share. While still employed upon the building of Vigan, he discovered the fleet of the notorious Chinese pirate, Limahong, who, bent upon taking possession of the colony, was then passing that part of the coast with sixty-two ships and a large number of soldiers. He hastened at once, with all the help which he could summon together in the neighborhood, to Manila, where he was nominated to the command of the troops, in the place of the already deposed master of the forces; and he drove the Chinese from the town, which they had destroyed. They then withdrew to Pangasinan, and Salcedo burnt their fleet; which exploit was achieved with very great difficulty. In 1576 this Cortes of the Philippines died. [261]

[Commercial importance of early Manila.] Apart from the priests, the first-comers consisted only of officials, soldiers, and sailors; and to them, naturally, fell all the high profits of the China trade. Manila was their chief market, and it also attracted a great portion of the external Indian trade, which the Portuguese had frightened away from Malacca by their excessive cruelty. The Portuguese, it is true, still remained in Macao and the Moluccas: but they wanted those remittances which were almost exclusively sought after by the Chinese, viz., the silver which Manila received from New Spain.

[Spain and Portugal united.] In 1580 Portugal, together with all its colonies, was handed over to the Spanish Crown; and the period extending from this event to the decay of Portugal (1580-1640) witnessed the Philippines at the height of their power and prosperity.

[Manila as capital of a vast empire.] The Governor of Manila ruled over a part of Mindanao, Sulu, the Moluccas, Formosa, and the original Portuguese possessions in Malacca and India. "All that lies between Cape Singapore and Japan is subject to Luzon; their ships cross the ocean to China and New Spain, and drive so magnificent a trade that, if it were only free, it would be the most extraordinary that the world could show. It is incredible what glory these islands confer upon Spain. The Governor of the Philippines treats with the Kings of Cambodia, Japan, China. The first is his ally, the last his friend; and the same with Japan. He declares war or peace, without waiting for the command from distant Spain." [262] [Dutch opposition.] But the Dutch had now begun the struggle, which they managed to carry on against Philip II in every corner of the world; and even in 1510 De Los Rios complained that he found the country very much altered through the progress and advance made by the Dutch; also that the Moros of Mindanao and Sulu, feeling that they were supported by Holland, were continually in a state of discontent.

[Decline of colony.] The downfall of Portugal occasioned the loss of her colonies once more. Spanish policy, the government of the priests, and the jealousy of the Spanish merchants and traders especially, did everything that remained to be done to prevent the development of agriculture and commerce—perhaps, on the whole, fortunately, for the natives.

[Philippine history unimportant and unsatisfactory.] The subsequent history of the Philippines is, in all its particulars, quite as unsatisfactory and uninteresting as that of all the other Spanish-American possessions. Ineffectual expeditions against pirates, and continual disputes between the clerical and secular authorities, form the principal incidents. [263]

[Undesirable emigrants from Spain.] After the first excitement of religious belief and military renown had subsided, the minds of those who went later to these outlying possessions, consisting generally as they did of the very dregs of the nation, were seized with an intense feeling of selfishness; and frauds and speculations were the natural sequence. The Spanish writers are full of descriptions of the wretched state of society then existing, which it is unnecessary to repeat here.

[English occupation.] The colony had scarcely been molested by external enemies, with the exception of pirates. In the earliest time the Dutch had engaged occasionally in attacks on the Bisayas. But in 1762 (during the war of the Bourbon succession) an English fleet suddenly appeared before Manila, and took the surprised town without any difficulty. The Chinese allied themselves with the English. A great insurrection broke out among the Filipinos, and the colony, under the provisional government of a feeble archbishop, was for a time in great danger. It was reserved for other dignitaries of the Church and Anda, an energetic patriot, to inflame the natives against the foreigners; and the opposition incited by the zealousness of the priests grew to such an extent that the English, who were confined in the town, were actually glad to be able to retreat. In the following year the news arrived from Europe of the conclusion of peace; but in the interval this insurrection, brought about by the invasion, had rapidly and considerably extended; and it was not suppressed until 1765, when the work was accomplished by creating enmity among the different tribes. [264] But this was not done without a loss to the province of Ilocos of two hundred sixty-nine thousand two hundred and seventy persons—half of the population, as represented by Zuniga.

[Many minor uprisings from local grievances.] Severity and want of tact on the part of the Government and their instruments, as well as bigoted dissensions have caused many revolts of the natives; yet none, it is true, of any great danger to the Spanish rule. The discontent has always been confined to a single district, as the natives do not form a united nation; neither the bond of a common speech nor a general interest binding the different tribes together. The state communications and laws among them scarcely reach beyond the borders of the villages and their dependencies.

[Danger from mestizos and creoles.] A consideration of far more importance to the distant metropolis than the condition of the constantly excited natives, who are politically divided among themselves, and really have no steady object in view, is the attitude of the mestizos and creoles, whose discontent increases in proportion to their numbers and prosperity. The military revolt which broke out in 1823, the leaders of which were two creoles, might easily have terminated fatally for Spain. The latest of all the risings of the mestizos seems to have been the most dangerous, not only to the Spanish power, but to all the European population. [265]

[Cavite 1872 mutiny.] On the 20th of January, 1872, between eight and nine in the evening, the artillery, marines, and the garrison of the arsenal revolted in Cavite, the naval base of the Philippines, and murdered their officers; and a lieutenant who endeavored to carry the intelligence to Manila fell into the hands of a crowd of natives. The news therefore did not reach the capital until the next morning, when all the available troops were at once dispatched, and, after a heavy preliminary struggle, they succeeded the following day in storming the citadel. A dreadful slaughter of the rebels ensued. Not a soul escaped. Among them was not a single European; but there were many mestizos, of whom several were priests and lawyers. Though perhaps the first accounts, written under the influence of terror, may have exaggerated many particulars, yet both official and private letters agree in describing the conspiracy as being long contemplated, widely spread, and well planned. The whole fleet and a large number of troops were absent at the time, engaged in the expedition against Sulu. A portion of the garrison of Manila were to rise at the same time as the revolt in Cavite, and thousands of natives were to precipitate themselves on the caras blancas (pale faces), and murder them. The failure of the conspiracy was, it appears, only attributable to a fortunate accident—to the circumstance, namely, that a body of the rebels mistook some rocket fired upon the occasion of a Church festival for the agreed signal, and commenced the attack too soon. [266]

[Summing up.] Let me be permitted, in conclusion, to bring together a few observations which have been scattered through the text, touching the relations of the Philippines with foreign countries, and briefly speculate thereon.

[Credit due Spain.] Credit is certainly due to Spain for having bettered the condition of a people who, though comparatively speaking highly civilized, yet being continually distracted by petty wars, had sunk into a disordered and uncultivated state. The inhabitants of these beautiful islands, upon the whole, may well be considered to have lived as comfortably during the last hundred years, protected from all external enemies and governed by mild laws, as those of any other tropical country under native or European sway,—owing, in some measure, to the frequently discussed peculiar circumstances which protect the interests of the natives.

[Friars an important factor.] The friars, also, have certainly had an essential part in the production of the results.

[Their defects have worked out for good.] Sprung from the lowest orders, inured to hardship and want, and on terms of the closest intimacy with the natives, they were peculiarly fitted to introduce them to a practical conformity with the new religion and code of morality. Later on, also, when they possessed rich livings, and their devout and zealous interest in the welfare of the masses relaxed in proportion as their incomes increased, they materially assisted in bringing about the circumstances already described, with their favorable and unfavorable aspects. Further, possessing neither family nor good education, they were disposed to associate themselves intimately with the natives and their requirements; and their arrogant opposition to the temporal power generally arose through their connection with the natives. With the altered condition of things, however, all this has disappeared. The colony can no longer be kept secluded from the world. Every facility afforded for commercial intercourse is a blow to the old system, and a great step made in the direction of broad and liberal reforms. The more foreign capital and foreign ideas and customs are introduced, increasing the prosperity, enlightenment, and self-respect of the population, the more impatiently will the existing evils be endured.

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