A Woman's Impression of the Philippines
Mary Helen Fee

Part 1 out of 4

Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Distributed Proofreaders Team.
From page images made available by the University of Michigan.

A Woman's Impressions of the Philippines


Mary H. Fee


My Schoolmate and Life-Long Friend

Martha Parry Gish

This Book

Is Affectionately Dedicated


I. The Voyage Begins 11
II. From San Francisco to Honolulu 21
III. Our Ten Days' Sightseeing 26
IV. From Honolulu to Manila 38
V. Our First Few Days in the City 45
VI. From Manila To Capiz 60
VII. My First Experiences As a Teacher of
Filipinos 73
VII. An Analysis of Filipino Character 86
IX. My Early Experiences in Housekeeping 107
X. Filipino Youths and Maidens 119
XI. Social and Industrial Condition of the
Filipinos 130
XII. Progress in Politics and Improvement of the
Currency 150
XIII. Typhoons and Earthquakes 168
XIV. War Alarms and the Suffering Poor 179
XV. The Filipino's Christmas Festivities and
His Religion 192
XVI. My Gold-hunting Expedition 206
XVII. An Unpleasant Vacation 217
XVIII. The Aristocracy, the Poor, snd American Women 232
XIX. Weddings in Town and Country 250
XX. Sickbeds and Funerals 262
XXI. Sports and Amusements 270
XXII. Children's Games--The Conquest of Fires 280


Filipino School Children _Frontispiece_
The Pali, near Honolulu 28
West Indian Rain-tree, or Monkey-pod Tree 34
The Volcano of Mayon 40
View of Corregidor 42
Swarming Craft on the Pasig River, Manila 46
"The Rat-pony and the Two-wheeled Nightmare" 48
The Luneta, Manila 52
The Bend in the River at Capiz 62
Street Scene in Romblon 64
Church, Plaza, and Public Buildings, Capiz 80
The Home of an American Schoolteacher 90
A Characteristic Group of Filipino Students 100
Filipino School Children 110
A Filipino Mother and Family 120
A Company of Constabulary Police 132
Group of Officials in front of Presidente's (Mayor's)
Residence 142
A High-class Provincial Family, Capiz 148
Pasig Church 154
The Isabella Gate, Manila 162
Calle Real, Manila 174
Procession and Float in Streets of Capiz, in Honor of Filipino
Patriot and Martyr, Jose Rizal 184
A Rich Cargo of Fruit on the Way to Market 194
A Family Group and Home in the Settled Interior 200
Filipino Children "Going Swimming" in the Rio Cagayan 212
Mortuary Chapel in Paco Cemetery, Manila 220
The "Ovens" in Paco Cemetery, Manila 228
Peasant Women of the Cagayan Valley 236
A Wedding Party Leaving the Church 252
A Funeral on Romblon Island 264
Bicol School Children One Generation Removed from Savagery 272
Sunset over Manila Bay 282


The Voyage Begins

I Find the Transport Ship _Buford_ and My Stateroom--Old Maids
and Young Maids Bound for the Orient--The Deceitful Sea--Making New
Friends and Acquaintances.

On a hot July day the army transport _Buford_ lay at the Folsom
Dock, San Francisco, the Stars and Stripes drooping from her stern,
her Blue Peter and a cloud of smoke announcing a speedy departure,
and a larger United States flag at her fore-mast signifying that she
was bound for an American port. I observed these details as I hurried
down the dock accompanied by a small negro and a dressing-bag, but
I was not at that time sufficiently educated to read them. I thought
only that the _Buford_ seemed very large (she is not large, however),
that she was beautifully white and clean; and that I was delighted
to be going away to foreign lands upon so fine a ship.

Having recognized with relief a pile of luggage going aboard--luggage
which I had carefully pasted with red, white, and blue labels crossed
by the letters "U.S.A.T.S." and _Buford_--I dismissed the negro,
grasped the dressing-bag with fervor, and mounted the gangway. To me
the occasion was momentous. I was going to see the world, and I was
one of an army of enthusiasts enlisted to instruct our little brown
brother, and to pass the torch of Occidental knowledge several degrees
east of the international date-line.

I asked the first person I met, who happened to be the third officer,
where I should go and what I should do. He told me to report at
the quartermaster's office at the end of the promenade deck. A
white-haired, taciturn gentleman in the uniform of a major, U.S.A.,
was occupying this apartment, together with a roly-poly clerk in a blue
uniform which seemed to be something between naval and military. When I
mentioned my name and showed my order for transportation, the senior
officer grunted inarticulately, and waved me in the direction of
his clerk, glaring at me meanwhile with an expression which combined
singularly the dissimilar effects of a gimlet and a plane. The rotund
junior contented himself with glancing suspiciously at the order and
sternly at me. As if reassured, however, by my plausible countenance,
he flipped over the pages of a ledger, told me the number of my
stateroom, and hunted up a packet of letters, which he delivered
with an acid reproof to me for not having reported before, saying
that the letters had been accumulating for ten days.

It is true that the _Buford_ had been scheduled to sail on the first
day of the month; but I had arrived a day or two before that date, only
to learn that the sailing date had been postponed to the tenth. I had
made many weary trips to the army headquarters in Montgomery Street,
asking for mail--and labels--with no results. Nobody had suggested
that the mail would be delivered aboard ship, and I had not had
sense enough to guess it. I did not make any explanations to the
quartermaster and his clerk, however, because an intuition warned
me not to add tangible evidence to a general belief in civilian
stupidity. I merely swallowed my snubbing meekly and walked off.

I ambled about, clinging to the dressing-bag and looking for some one
resembling a steward. At the foot of the ladder leading to the bridge
I encountered two young girls descending therefrom with evidences of
embarrassed mirth. They were Radcliffe girls, whose evil genius had
led them to the bridge and to an indignant request to explain their
presence there. They explained to no purpose, and, in response to a
plaintive inquiry where to go, were severely told, "We don't know,
but go down from here immediately." So they came down, crimson but
giggling, and saw me (they said) roaming about with an expression at
once wistful and complacent.

I found a steward and my stateroom at last, and a brown-haired,
brown-eyed young woman in it who was also a pedagogue. We introduced
ourselves, disposed of our parcels, and began to discuss the
possibilities of the voyage. She was optimistically certain that
she was not going to be seasick. I was pessimistically certain that
I was. And she was wrong, and I was right. We were both gloriously,
enthusiastically, madly seasick.

When we returned to the deck, it was crowded with passengers, the
mail was coming aboard, and all sorts of bugle-calls were sounding,
for we were carrying "casuals." It was a matter of wonder that so
many persons should have gathered to bid adieu to a passenger list
recruited from all parts of the Union. The dock was black with people,
and our deck was densely crowded. Khaki-clad soldiers leaned over the
side to shout to more khaki on the dock. An aged, poorly dressed woman
was crying bitterly, with her arms about the neck of a handsome boy,
one of our cabin passengers; and all about, the signs of intense
feeling showed that the voyage marked no light interval of separation.

I stood at the forward rail of the promenade deck, and fell into
conversation with a gentleman whom I had met in San Francisco and
who was a fellow passenger. We agreed in being glad that none of our
relatives were there to see us off; but, though we made much ado
to seem matter-of-fact and quite strong-minded about expatriating
ourselves, I noticed that he cleared his throat a great deal, and my
chin annoyed me by a desire to tremble.

The gongs warned visitors ashore, and, just as all the whistles of San
Francisco were blowing the noon hour, we backed away from the dock,
and turned our head to sea. As the little line of green water between
ship and dock widened to a streamlet and then to a river, the first
qualm concerning the wisdom of the expedition struck its chilly way
to my heart. Probably most of the passengers were experiencing the
same doubts; and the captain suspected the fact, for he gave us fire
drill just to distract our attention and to settle our nerves.

The luncheon gong sounded immediately after his efficacious diversion,
and the military people who were to eat in the first section--the
_Buford's_ dining-room was small--went down to lunch. The junior
lieutenants, and the civil engineers and schoolteachers, who made up
her civilian list, took their last look at San Francisco. We swung
past Alcatraz Island and heard the army bugles blowing there. The
irregular outline of the city with its sky-scrapers printed itself
against a background of dazzling blue, with here and there a tufty
cloud. The day was symbolic of the spirit which sent young America
across the Pacific--hope, brilliant hope, with just a cloud of doubt.

We passed the Golden Gate just as our own luncheon gong sounded, and
the _Buford_ was rolling to the heave of the outside sea as we sat
down to our meal. At our own particular table we were eight--eight
nice old (and young) maid schoolteachers. Some of us were plump and
some were wofully thin. One was built on heroic lines of bone, and
those sinners from Radcliffe were pretty.

Toward the end of luncheon the _Buford_ began to roll and pitch
and otherwise behave herself "most unbecoming," and my room-mate,
declining to finish her luncheon, fled to the deck, where the air
was fresher. Feeling no qualms myself, and secretly triumphing in her
disillusion, I followed with her golf cape and rug, of which she had
been too engrossed to think. My San Francisco acquaintance coming to
my assistance, we established her in a steamer chair and sat down,
one on each side, to cheer her up,--and badly she needed it, for her
courage was fast deserting her.

The sea was running heavily, and the wind was cold; I had not thought
there could be such cold in July. The distance was obscured by a
silvery haze which was not thick enough to be called a fog, but
which lent a wintry aspect to sea and sky--a likeness increased by
the miniature snow-field on each side of the bow as the water flung
up and melted away in pools like bluish-white snow ice.

As the _Buford_ waded into the swell, wave after wave dashed over the
forward deck, drenching a few miserable soldiers there, who preferred
to soak and freeze rather than to go inside and be seasick. Sometimes
the spray leaped hissing up on the promenade deck, and our weather
side was dripping, as I found when I went over there. I also slipped
and fell down, but as that side of the ship was deserted, nobody saw
me--to my gratification. I petted a bruised shin a few minutes and
went back to the lee side a wiser woman.

About three o'clock, when Miss R----'s face was assuming a fine,
corpse-like green tint, I began to have a hesitating and unhappy
sensation in the pit of the stomach, a suggestion of doubt as to the
wisdom of leaving the solid, reliable land, and trusting myself to the
fickle and deceitful sea. In a few moments these disquieting hints had
grown to a positive clamor, and my head and heels were feeling very
much as do those of gentlemen who have been dining out with "terrapin
and seraphim" and their liquid accompaniments. At this time Miss R----
gave out utterly and went below, but I was filled with the idea that
seasickness can be overcome by an effort of will, and stayed on,
making an effort to "demonstrate," as the Christian Scientists say,
and trying to look as if nothing were the matter. The San Francisco man
remained by me, persistent in an apparently disinterested attempt to
entertain me; but I was not deluded, for I recognized in his devotion
the fiendish joy of the un-seasick watching the unconfessed tortures
of those who are.

It was five o'clock when I gasped with a last effort of facetious
misery, "And yet they say people come to sea for their health," and
went below. The Farralones Islands, great pinky-gray needles of bleak
rock, were sticking up somewhere in the silvery haze on our starboard
side, and I loathed the Farralones Islands, and the clean white ship,
and myself most of all for embarking upon an idiotic voyage.

Arrived in the stateroom, it was with little less than horror that I
saw Miss R---- in the lower berth--my berth. Such are the brutalizing
influences of seasickness that I immediately reminded her that hers
was above. She dragged herself out, and, in a very ecstasy of selfish
misery, I discarded my garments and burrowed into the warmth of my
bed. Never had blankets seemed more comfortable, for, between the
wind and the seasickness, I was chilled through and through.

I fell asleep through sheer exhaustion, and wakened some time after
in darkness. The waves were hissing and slapping at the porthole;
the second steward was cursing expertly in the linen closet, which
happened to be opposite our stateroom; and somewhere people in good
health were consuming viands, for cooking odors and the rattle of
dishes came to us. A door in the corridor opened, and the sound of
a cornet was wafted back from the forward deck. Somebody was playing
"The Holy City." Steps went by. A voice with an English accent said,
"By Jove, you can't get away from that tune," and, in one of those
instants of stillness which fall in the midst of confusion, I heard
a gurgling moan.

I snapped on the light and turned--at what cost only the seasick
can appreciate--to behold Miss R---- sitting on the floor with her
back to the wall. She was still shrouded in her golf cape and hood,
and contemplated her boots--which were on her feet, sticking straight
out before her--as if they were a source of mental as well as bodily
inconvenience. At intervals she rolled her head and gave utterance
to that shuddering moan.

Wretched as I was, I could not help gasping, "Are you enjoying your
sea trip?" and she replied sepulchraily, "It isn't what it's cracked
up to be." We could say no more. That time we groaned in unison.

She must have gathered strength of mind and body in the night, however,
for she was in her berth next morning when the stewardess came in
to know what we wanted for breakfast. We did not want anything, as
we quickly made reply. The wind went down that day; the next day was
warm and clear, with a sea like sapphire, and we dragged ourselves to
the deck. Recovery set in quickly enough then, so that we began to
"think scornful" of seasickness. Fortunately the good ship _Buford_
ploughed her way across the Pacific without meeting another swell,
and our pride was not humbled again. We ate quite sparingly for
a meal or two, and had fits of abstraction, gazing at the ceiling
when extra-odorous dishes were placed in front of us. The Radcliffe
girls said that they had passed a strenuous night, engaged in wild
manoeuvres to obtain possession of the monkey wrench and feloniously to
secrete the same. Their collegiate training had included instruction
on the hygienic virtues of fresh air, which made no allowance for a
sea trip; and their views as to the practical application of these
principles came sadly into conflict with the ideas of their bedroom
steward. There were frantic searchings for a monkey wrench all that
night, while the article lay snugly bestowed between the mattresses of
a maiden who looked as if she might be thinking of the angels. Also
their porthole was open in defiance of orders, and much water came
into their stateroom. But they did not care, for it brought fresh
air with it.

The first two or three days of the voyage were spent in taking stock
of our fellow passengers and in finding our friends. We were about
seventy-five cabin passengers in all,--a small family, it is true. The
ship was coaled through to Manila, the first stop being Guam. So we
made acquaintance here and there, settling ourselves for no paltry
five or six days' run, but for a whole month at sea. We all came
on deck and took our fourteen laps--or less--around the promenade
deck before breakfast. The first two or three nights, with a sort of
congregational impulse, we drifted forward under the promenade awnings,
and sang to the accompaniment of the cornetist on the troop deck. The
soldiers sang too, and many an American negro melody, together with "On
the Road to Mandalay" and other modern favorites, floated melodiously
into the starlit silence of the Pacific. Our huge windsail flapped
or bellied as the breeze fell or rose; the waves thumped familiarly
against the sides; the masthead lantern burned clear as a star;
and the real stars swung up and down as the bowsprit curtsied to
each wave. In the intervals between songs a hush would fall upon us,
and the sea noises were like effects in a theatre.

In a few days, however, our shyness and strangeness wore off. We no
longer sang with the soldiers, but segregated ourselves into congenial
groups; and under the electric lights the promenade deck looked,
for all the world, like the piazza of a summer hotel.


From San Francisco to Honolulu

We Change Our Course and Arrive at Honolulu--The City Viewed from
the Sea--Its Mixed Population--We Are Detained Ten Days For Engine

When we were a week out from San Francisco and were eight hundred or
a thousand miles north of the Hawaiian Islands, the _Buford_ stopped
one evening just at sunset, and for at least twenty minutes slopped
about in the gentle swell. There is a curious sense of dulness when the
engines cease droning and throbbing; and the passengers, who had just
come up from dinner, were affected by the unusual silence. We hung over
the rail, talking in subdued tones and noting the beauty of the sunset.

Behind us the sea lay purple and dark, with the same sad, sweet
loneliness that a prairie has in the dusk; but between us and the sun
it resembled a molten mass, heaving with sinister power. Our bowsprit
pointed straight at the fiery ball hanging on the sky rim, above which
a pyramidal heaping of clouds aped the forms of temples set on rocky
heights. And from that fantastic mingling of gold and pink and yellow
the sky melted into azure streaked with pearl, and faded at the zenith
into what was no color but night--the infinity of space unlighted.

When the engines started up, the gorgeous picture swung around until
it stood on what is technically called the starboard beam, whereupon
one of the engineers called my attention to the fact that we had
changed our course. Since we were then headed due south, he added,
we must be bound for Honolulu.

Everybody was pleased, though there was some little anxiety to know the
cause of this disregard of orders and of our turning a thousand miles
out of our course. In an ordinary merchant ship doubtless somebody
would have been found with the temerity to ask the captain or some
other officer what was the matter, but nobody was fool enough to do
that on an army transport. The "ranking" officer aboard was rather
intimate with the quartermaster captain, and we hoped something might
be found out through him; but if the quartermaster made any confidences
to the officer, that worthy kept them to himself. We women went to
bed with visions of fire in the hold, or of "tail shafts" ready to
break and race. The night passed tranquilly, however, and the next
morning there was no perceptible anxiety about the officers. As the
_Buford's_ record runs were about two hundred and sixty miles a day,
the remembrance that something was wrong had almost faded before
Honolulu was in sight.

We arrived at Honolulu during the night, and, the steward afterwards
said, spent the second half of it "prancing" up and down outside the
bar, waiting for the dawn. A suspicion that the staid _Buford_ could
prance anywhere would have brought me out of bed. I did rise once
on my elbow in response to an excited whisper from the upper berth,
in time to see a dazzle of electric lights swing into view through
the porthole and vanish as the vessel dipped.

I dressed in time to catch the last of the sunrise, but when I went on
deck, found that nearly half the passengers had been more enterprising
than I. We were at anchor in the outer harbor, and Honolulu lay before
us in all the enchantment of a first tropical vision. A mountain of
pinky-brown volcanic soil--they call it Diamond Head--ran out into
the sea on the right, and, between it and another hill which looks
like an extinct crater and is called the Punch Bowl, a beach curved
inward in a shining line of surf and sand. Back of this line lay some
two or three miles of foreshore, covered with palm-trees and glossy
tropical vegetation, from which peeped out the roofs and towers of the
residence portion of the city. There were mountains behind the town,
jagged sierra-like peaks with clefts and gorges between. They were
terraced half-way up the sides and were covered with the light green
of crops and the deeper green of forests. Tatters of mist draped
them here and there, while clouds lowered in half a dozen spots,
and we could see the smoky lines of as many showers in brisk operation.

On our left the shipping lay clustered about the wharfs, sending
its tracery of masts into the clear sky; and all around glowed the
beauty of a shallow harbor, coral-fringed. From the sapphire of the
water in our immediate vicinity, the sea ranged to azure and apple
green, touched by a ray of sunlight into a flashing mirror here,
heaping into snow wreaths of surf there; and against this play of
color loomed the swart bulk of the Pacific Mail steamer _Coptic_,
flying her quarantine flag.

We watched the doctor's launch go out to her, saw the flag fall
and the belch of smoke as she started shoreward, while the launch
came on to us. In a little while we too were creeping toward the
docks. Naked Kanaka boys swam out to dive for pennies. The buildings
on the shore took shape. The crowd on the dock shaped itself into a
body of normal-looking beings, interspersed with ladies in kimonos
who were carrying babies on their backs (the Japanese population of
Honolulu is very large), and with other dark-skinned ladies in Mother
Hubbards decorated with flower wreaths. There were also numerous
gentlemen of a Comanche-like physiognomy, who wore ordinary dress,
but were distinguished by flower wreaths in lieu of hat bands. Here
and there Chinese women loafed about, wearing trousers of a kind of
black oilcloth, and leading Chinese babies dressed in more colors than
Joseph's coat--grass-green, black, azure, and rose. In the background
several army wagons were filled with officers in uniform and with
white-clad American women.

We schoolteachers lost no time when the boat was once tied up at the
dock, for it was given out that some trifling repairs were to be made
to the boat's engines and that we should sail the next day. We sailed,
in point of fact, just ten days later, for the engines had to be taken
down to be repaired. As the notice of departure within twenty-four
hours was pasted up every day afresh, it held our enthusiasm for
sight-seeing at a feverish pitch.


Our Ten Days' Sightseeing

The Fish Market--We Are Treated to Poi--We Visit the Stores--Hawaiian
Curiosities--The Southern Cross--Our Trip to the Dreadful Pali--The
Rescue--The Flowers and Trees of Honolulu--The Mango Tree and Its

My first impressions of Honolulu were disappointing. I had been, in my
childhood, a fascinated peruser of Mark Twain's "Roughing It," and his
picture of Honolulu--or rather my picture formed from his description
of it--demanded something novel in foliage and architecture, and
a great acreage of tropical vegetation. What we really found was
a modern American city with straight streets, close-clipped lawns,
and frame houses of various styles of architecture leaning chiefly
to the gingerbread, and with a business centre very much like that
of a Western town. Only after three or four days did the charm and
individuality of Honolulu make themselves felt.

To leave the dock, we had to pass through the fish market, which looked
like any other fish market, but seemed to smell worse. When we looked
at the fish, however, we almost forgot the odors, for they were as many
tinted as a rainbow. Coral red, silver, blue, blue shot with purple,
they seemed to tell of sun-kissed haunts under wind-ruffled surfaces
or of dusky caves within the underworld of branching coral. It is
hard to be sentimental about fish, but for the space of two minutes
and a half we quite mooned over the beauty fish of Honolulu.

Leaving the market, we came upon a _ley_ woman who wanted to throw
a heavy wreath of scented flowers about the neck of each of us at a
consideration of twenty cents per capita. She was a fat old woman who
used many alluring gestures and grinned coquettishly; but we were
adamant to her pleadings, and seeing a street car jingling toward
us--one of the bobtailed mule variety--we left her to try her wiles on
a fresh group from our boat, and hailed the street car. As we entered,
one passenger remarked audibly to another, "I see another transport
is in," which speech lowered my spirits fifty degrees. I hate to be
so obvious.

Under that nightmare of threatened departure we went flying
from place to place. In the first store which we entered we were
treated to _poi_--a dish always offered to the stranger as a mark
of hospitality--and partook of it in the national manner; that is,
we stuck our forefingers in the _poi_, and each then sucked her
own digit. _Poi_ is made from taro root, and tastes mouldy. It is
exceedingly nasty--nobody would want two dips.

The stores were just like those of the United States, and the
only commercial novelties which we discovered were chains made of
exquisitely tinted shells, which came from somewhere down in the South
Seas, and other chains made of coral and of a berry which is hard and
red and looks like coral. At the Bishop Museum, however, we found
an interesting collection of Malaysian curios and products--birds,
beasts, fishes, weapons, dress, and domestic utensils. Among the
dress exhibits were cloaks made of yellow feathers, quite priceless
(I forget how many thousand birds were killed to make each cloak);
and among the household utensils were wooden bowls inlaid with human
teeth. It was a humorous conceit on the part of former Hawaiian kings
thus to compliment a defunct enemy.

There was a dance that night at the Hawaiian Hotel in honor of
our passengers, most of whom attended, leaving me almost a solitary
passenger aboard. Those happy sinners from Radcliffe went off in their
best frocks. I lay in a steamer chair on the afterdeck, scanning
the heavens for the Southern Cross. I counted, as nearly as I can
remember, about eight arrangements of stars that might have been
said to resemble crosses. Not one of them was it, however. Later,
I made acquaintance with the Cross, and I must say it has been much
overrated by adjective-burdened literature. It does not blaze, and
it is lop-sided, and it is not magnificent in the least. It consists
of five stars in the form of an irregular diamond, and it is not half
so cross-like as the so-called False Cross.

Next morning the military band came down and gave us an hour's concert
on the promenade deck. We sat about under the awnings with our novels
or our sewing or our attention. At the end they played the "Star
Spangled Banner," and we all stood up, the soldiers at attention,
hat on breast. One of the passengers refused to take off his hat,
so that we had something to gossip about for another hour.

In the afternoon we took a ride up Pacific Heights on the trolley
car. Pacific Heights is a residence suburb where the houses are like
those on the Peak at Hong Kong, clinging wherever they can get room on
the steep sides of the mountain. The view of the city and of the blue
harbor dotted with ships was beautiful. In the evening we went to a
band concert in Emma Square, and on the third day made our memorable
trip to the Pali.

We had been hearing of the Pali ever since we landed. It is a
cliff approached by a gorge, whence one of those unpronounceable
and unspellable kings once drove his enemies headlong into the
sea. We could not miss a scene so provocative of sensations as this,
so several of us teachers and an army nurse or two packed ourselves
into a wagonette for the journey. We started bright and early, or
as near bright and early as is possible when one eats in the second
section and the first section sits down to breakfast at eight o'clock.

Our driver was a shrewd, kindly, gray-haired old Yankee, cherishing
a true American contempt for all peoples from Asia or the south
of Europe. He was conversational when we first started, but his
evident desire to do the honors of Honolulu handsomely was chilled
by a suggestion from one of the saints that, when we should arrive
in the suburbs, he would let down the check-reins. The horses were
sturdy brutes, not at all cruelly checked; but the saint could not
rise superior to habit. Unfortunately she made the request with
that blandly patronizing tone which in time becomes second nature
to kindergartners. Its insinuating blandness ruffled our Jehu, who
opined that his horses were all right, and that he could look after
their comfort without any assistance. He did not say anything about old
maids, but the air was surcharged with his unexpressed convictions, so
that all of our cohort who were over thirty-five were reduced to a kind
of abject contrition for having been born, and for having continued to
live after it was assured that we were destined to remain incomplete.

We drove through the beautiful Nuuana Avenue with its velvet lawns,
and magnificent trees, and then wound up the steep valley between the
terraced gardens of the mountain-sides. Not a hundred yards away a
shower drove by and hung a silver curtain like the gauze one which is
used to help out scenic effects in a theatre; and presently another
swept over us and drenched us to the skin. Half a dozen times in the
upward journey we were well soaked, but we dried out again as soon
as the hot sun peeped forth. We did not mind, but tucked our hats
under the seats and took our drenchings in good part.

At last we arrived at a point where the road turned abruptly around
a sharp peak, the approach to which led through a gorge formed by a
second mountain on the left. We could tell that there was a precipice
beyond, because we could see the remains of a fence which had been
recently broken on the left, or outside, part of the road. The driver
stopped some twenty-five or thirty yards outside the gorge, saying
that he could approach no nearer, as the velocity of the wind in the
cleft made it dangerous. Our subsequent experiences led me to doubt
his motive in not drawing nearer, and to accredit to him a hateful
spirit of revenge.

We alighted in another of those operatic showers, and made our way
to the gorge, laughing and dashing the rain drops from our faces. We
were not conscious of any particular force of wind, but no sooner
were we within those towering walls of rock than a demon power began
to tear us into pieces and to urge us in the direction of the broken
fence. The first gust terrified us, and with universal feminine assent
we clutched at our skirts and screamed.

The next blast sent combs and hairpins flying, drove our wet hair
about our faces, and forced us to release our garments, which behaved
most shockingly. I saw a kind of recess in the cliffs to the right
under an overhanging shelf of rock, and, though it was approached
by a mud puddle, made straight for it and in temporary quiet let go
my threshing skirts and braided my hair. I could see our driver in
the distance, pretending to look after his harness, and indulging in
hyaena mirth at the figures we cut. Then, to make matters worse, there
came a shout from the hidden road to the right, and, three abreast, a
party of young civil engineers from our ship charged round the corner.

Most of our party sat down in their tracks, and a stifled but heartfelt
moan escaped from more than one. I waded three inches deeper into the
mud puddle and flattened myself against a wall of oozy rock with an
utterly unfeminine disregard of consequences.

The men were of a thoroughly good sort, however, and, ignoring our
plight, insisted on helping us round the corner. They said that,
once we were out of the gorge and on the other face of the mountain,
the strong draught ceased. So each woman took a frenzied grasp of her
skirts, and, with an able-bodied man steadying her on each side, made
the run and brought up safe on the other side. There did not seem to
be much to see--nothing but the precipitous face of the cliff towering
above us, the road cut out of it, winding steeply down to the right,
and the shoulder of the left-hand peak running up into a cloud-swept
sky. Below us was a floor of mist, swaying to unfelt airs, heaving,
gray, and sad.

Just about this time a Chinaman arrived--one of the beast-of-burden
sort--with two immense baskets swung across his shoulders on a bamboo
pole. He made three ineffectual efforts to get round the point, but
had to fall on his knees each time, as the wind threatened to sweep him
too near the cliff. So the philanthropic youths went to his assistance
as they had come to ours, and piloted him safely round the bend. We
became so much interested in this operation and in the Chinaman's
efforts to express his thanks that we quite forgot our disappointment
at the Pali's unkind behavior. A sudden gleam of sunshine recalled
us. The clouds which had been dripping down upon us were rent apart
to reveal a long streamer of blue, and to give passage to a shaft
of sunlight which drove resistlessly through the mist floor. The fog
parted shudderingly, silently, and for a moment we looked down into a
beautiful valley, green and with a thousand other tints and shades,
and set in a great inward curve, beyond which the sea raced up in
frothy billows to the clean white sands. Far beneath us as it was,
we could detect the flashes on wet foliage; indeed, I could think of
nothing but a cup of emerald rimmed with sapphire and studded with
brilliants. For an all too brief space it quivered and shimmered
under the sunburst, and then the mist floor closed relentlessly,
the heavens grayed again, and another downpour set in.

We waited long, but the Pali declined to be wooed into sight again, nor
am I certain that we were the losers thereby. The whole effect was so
brief and vivid that our pleasure in it was greatly intensified. Longer
vision might have brought out details which we missed, but it would
have converted into the memory of a beautiful scene that which has
remained a peep into fairyland.

Our return through the gorge was accompanied by all the original
drawbacks. Our driver had released the check-reins of the horses,
but he ostentatiously checked them up again as we appeared. He had
entirely recovered his good humor, and contemplated our dishevelled
appearance with secret glee.

The Pali has its good features, but it must be admitted there are
drawbacks. Among the military people aboard there was a lady of
uncertain age, and of a mistaken conception of what was becoming to
her fading charms. She was gaunt, and leathery of skin, and she wore
"baby necks" and elbow sleeves, and affected childish simplicity
and perennial youth. On our first night out of Honolulu I happened
to come around the corner of the promenade deck in time to observe
one of the men passengers contemplating this lady, who stood at some
distance from him, attired in a rather _decollete_ frock. The man's
attitude was a modified edition of that of the Colossus of Rhodes: He
steadied a cigarette between his lips with the third and fourth fingers
of his left hand, while his right hand was thrust into his trousers
pocket. A peculiar expression lingered on his countenance--kind of
struggle between a painful memory and a judicial estimate. He was so
absorbed in his musings that he did not notice me, and he spoke aloud.

"I knew she was thin," he said, "but even with her low-necked dresses,
I did not think that it was as bad as it is."

I beat a retreat without attracting his attention, but I understood
him, for I had seen him on the back seat of an army ambulance in the
clutches of the perennially youthful lady, starting for the Pali.

We left Honolulu with the modified regret which always must be
entertained when other lands are beckoning. The native custom of
adorning departing friends with wreaths of flowers was followed,
and some of our army belles were almost weighed down with circlets of
blossoms cast over their heads by admiring officers of Honolulu. Once
clear of the dock and out of eye range, they shamelessly cast these
tokens away, and the deck stewards gathered up the perfumed heaps and
threw them overboard. The favorite flowers used in these _ley_, or
wreaths, were the creamy white blossoms with the golden centre from
which the perfume frangipani is extracted. This flower is known in
the Philippines as _calachuchi_. There were also some of the yellow,
bell-shaped flowers called "campanilo," and a variety of the hibiscus
which we learned to call "coral hibiscus," but which in the Philippines
is known as _arana_, or spider.

The flowers of Honolulu and Manila seem very much alike. In neither
place is there a wide variety of garden flowers, but there is an
abundance of flowering shrubs and trees.

One quite common plant is the bougainvillaea, which climbs over
trellises or trees, and covers them with its mass of magenta
blossoms. The scarlet hibiscus, either single or double, and the
so-called coral hibiscus grow profusely and attain the size of a
large lilac bush. There is another bush which produces clusters of
tiny, star-like flowers in either white or pink. It is called in the
Philippines "santan," but I do not know its name in Honolulu.

Catholic missionaries were instrumental in introducing into the
Hawaiian Islands a tree of hardy and beautiful foliage which has
thrived and now covers a great part of the mountain slopes. This is
the algoroda tree, the drooping foliage of which is suggestive of a
weeping willow. Then there is the beautiful West Indian rain-tree,
which the Honolulu people call the monkey-pod tree, and which in
the Philippines is miscalled _acacia_. Its broad branches extend
outward in graceful curves, the foliage is thick but not crowded,
and it is an ideal shade tree, apart from the charm of its blossoms
of purplish pink.

The fire-tree and the mango are two others which are a joy to all true
lovers of trees. The fire-tree is deciduous, and loses its leaves in
December, In April or May, before the leaves come back, it bursts into
bloom in great bunches of scarlet about the size of the flower mass
of the catalpa tree. The bark is white, and as the tree attains the
size of a large maple, the sight of this enormous bouquet is something
to be remembered. When the leaves come back, the foliage is thick,
and the general appearance of the tree is like that of a locust.

Among tropical trees, however, the most beautiful is the mango. Its
shape is that of a sharply domed bowl. The leaves are glossy and
thickly clustered. It is distinguishable at a long distance by its
dignity and grace. But the mass of its foliage is a drawback, inasmuch
as few trunks can sustain the weight; and one sees everywhere the great
trunk prostrate, the roots clinging to the soil, and the upper branches
doing their best to overcome the disadvantages of a recumbent position.

We ate our first mangoes in Honolulu, and were highly disgusted with
them, assenting without murmur to the statement that the liking of
mangoes is an acquired taste. I had a doubt, to which I did not give
utterance, of ever acquiring the taste, but may as well admit that
I did acquire it in time. The only American fruit resembling a mango
in appearance is the western pawpaw. The mango is considerably larger
than the pawpaw, and not identical in shape, though very like it in
smooth, golden outer covering. When the mango is ripe, its meat is
yellow and pulpy and quite fibrous near the stone, to which it adheres
as does a clingstone peach. It tastes like a combination of apple,
peach, pear, and apricot with a final merger of turpentine. At first
the turpentine flavor so far dominates all others that the consumer
is moved to throw his fruit into the nearest ditch; but in time it
diminishes, and one comes to agree with the tropical races in the
opinion that the mango is the king of all fruits.


From Honolulu to Manila

Voyaging over the Tropical Seas--We Touch at Guam, or Guahan, One
of the Ladrone Islands--Our First Sight of the Philippines--Manila,
"A Mass of Towers, Domes, and White-painted Iron Roofs Peeping Out
of Green"--Dispersion of the Passengers.

From Honolulu to Guam we crept straight across in the equatorial
current, blistering hot by day, a white heat haze dimming the horizon,
and an oily sea, not blue, but purple, running in swells so long and
gentle that one could perceive them only by watching the rail change
its angle. Once we saw a whale spout; several times sharks followed
us, attracted by the morning's output of garbage; and at intervals
flying fish sallied out in sprays of silver. Once or twice we passed
through schools of skate, which, when they came under our lee, had
a curiously dazzling and phosphorescent appearance. One of the civil
engineers aboard called them phosphorescent skate, but I had my doubts,
for I noticed that bits of paper cast overboard would assume the same
opalescent tints when three or four feet down in the water.

We had also the full moon, leaving a great shining pathway in our
wake at night, and flooding us with unreal splendor. The pale stars
swung up and down as the _Buford_ slipped over each wave, and little
ripples of breeze cooled the weather side of the ship. By this time
we were a thoroughly assorted company. The afterdeck was yielded
to flirtatious married ladies whose husbands were awaiting them in
Manila, while we sobersides and the family groups gathered under
the awnings. We sang no more; but the indefatigable cornetist on
the troop deck still entertained his fellows, while occasionally
a second steward stole out with a mandolin, and struggled with the
intermezzo from "Cavalleria." We did not run out of talk, however,
and the days went by all too swiftly.

Of Guam I can only say that it struck me as the most desolate spot
I had ever seen. It stays in my memory as a long peninsula, or
spit of land, running out into the sea, with a ten or twelve-foot
bank above, fringed with ragged cocoanut trees. Back of this the
land rose gradually into low hills. There was a road leading to the
town some eight miles inland, and four-mule ambulances dashed up and
down this. We had to anchor three miles off shore on account of coral
reefs. We had commissary stores to land, and our navigator captain lost
his temper, because the only available lighter in Guam was smashed by a
falling bundle of pig iron the first thing. For a while the outlook for
fresh provisions in Guam was a sorry one, for our captain vowed by all
his saints that he would up anchor and away at four o'clock. The glass
indicated a change of weather, and he was unwilling to risk his ship
in the labyrinth of coral reefs that encircles the island. Fortunately
a German tramp whaler dropped into harbor at this point for water,
and some boats were obtained from her--though I could never see why,
for we had plenty of our own. The unloading process went on briskly,
and toward noon the U.S. gunboat _Yorktown_ came in to pay a call; thus
there were actually three vessels at one time in the harbor of Guam.

Such a repletion of visitors had never been known there. The four-mule
wagons seemed crazed with excitement. The enthusiasm even spread to the
natives, who hung about in dug-outs, offering to sell us cocoanuts,
pineapples, and green corn. Our captain kept his word, for at four
o'clock we swung about and left Guam behind us. Our passenger list
was richer by several political prisoners who had been in exile and
were returning to their native land--whether for trial or for freedom,
I have no knowledge.

Some five or six days later, it was rumored that we should pick up the
light on the southeast coast of Luzon about midnight, and most of us
stayed up to see it. We also indulged in the celebration without which
few passenger ships can complete a long voyage. We had a paper and
it was read, after which ceremonial the ship's officers invited us to
partake of sandwiches and lemonade in the dining-room. The refreshments
were considerably better than the paper, which was neither wise nor
witty, but abounded in those commonplace personalities to which the
imagination of amateur editors usually soars.

About 2 A.M., when yawns were growing harder and harder to conceal,
the light made its appearance. I counted three flashes and went below.

Next morning, we were hugging the coast of Albay abreast the volcano
of Mayon, said to be the most perfect volcanic cone in the world. It
seems to rise straight from the sea; with its perfectly sloping sides
and a summit wreathed in delicate vapors, it is worthy of the pride
with which it is regarded by the Filipinos.

Then we entered the Strait of San Bernardino, between Luzon and Samar,
and passed for a day through a region of isles. The sea was glassy
save when a school of porpoises tore it apart in their pursuit of
the flying fish. On its deep sapphire the islands seemed to float,
sometimes a mere pinnacle of rock, sometimes a cone-shaped peak
timbered down to the beach where the surf fell over. Toward evening,
when the breeze freshened slightly, we seemed almost to brush the
sides of some of these islets, and they invited us with sparkling
pools and coves, with beaches over which the sea wimpled, and with
grassy hillsides running out into promontories above cliffs of volcanic
rock. Thatched villages nestled in the clefts of the larger islands,
or a fleet of paraos might be drawn up in a curving bay. And, yonder
in the golden west, shimmering, dancing, in rosy-tinted splendor, more
islands beckoned us to the final glory of a matchless day--clouds
heaped on clouds, outlined in thin threads of gold, and drawing,
in broad shafts of smoky flame, the vapors of an opal sea. At that
time I had not seen the famous Inland Sea of Japan, but I have since
passed through it twice, and feel that in beauty the Strait of San
Bernardino has little to yield to her far-famed neighbor.

Next day we crept up the coast of Batangas, and when I came on deck the
second morning they told me that the island on our left was Corregidor,
and that Manila was three hours' sail ahead. It was of no use going
into a trance and coming up in imagination with Dewey, because he
did not come our way. The entrance to Manila Bay is rather narrow,
and Corregidor lies a little to one side in it like a stone blocking
a doorway. The passage on the left entering the bay is called Boca
Chica, or Little Mouth; that to the right is called Boca Grande, or
Big Mouth. Dewey entered by the Boca Chica, and we were in Boca Grande.

By and by a cluster of roofs, church towers, docks, and arsenals
took form against the sea. A little later we could discern the hulks
of the Spanish fleet scattered in the water, and several of our own
fighting craft at anchor. This was Cavite. There, too, around a great
curve of eight or nine miles, lay Manila, a mass of towers, domes,
and white-painted iron roofs peeping out of green. Behind loomed
the background of mountains, without which no Filipino landscape is
ever complete.

By eleven o'clock we had dropped anchor and the long voyage was
over. Counting our ten days in Honolulu, we lacked but three of the
forty days and forty nights in which the Lord fasted in the wilds. It
would be injustice to the _Buford's_ well-filled larder, however,
to intimate that we fasted. Our food was good, barring the ice cream,
which the chef had a weakness for flavoring with rose water.

The first launch that came out after the doctor's brought a messenger
from the Educational Department with orders to us teachers to
remain aboard till next day, when a special launch would be sent
for us. So all day we watched our friends go down over the side,
and waved farewells to them, and made engagements to meet on the
Luneta. The launches and lighters and _cascos_ swarmed round us, the
cargo derricks groaned and screeched, the soldiers gathered up knapsack
and canteen and marched solemnly down the ladder. Vessels steamed past
us or anchored near us, while we hung over the rail, gazing at Manila,
so near and yet so far. After dinner we betook ourselves to the empty
afterdeck and stared down the long promenade--alas! resembling the
piazza of a very empty hotel!--and peopled it with the ghosts of
those who late had sat there. They had gone out of our lives after
a few brief days of idleness, but they would take up, as we should,
the work of building a nation in a strange land and out of a reluctant
people. Some were fated to die of wounds, and some were stricken with
the pestilence. Most of them are still living, moving from army post
to army post. Some are still toiling in the remotenesses of mountain
villages; others are dashing about Manila in the midst of its feverish
society. Some have gone to swell the American colonies in Asiatic
coast towns. A few have shaken the dust of the Philippines forever
from their feet, and are seeking fame in the home land and wooing
fortune in the traffic of great cities or in peaceful rural life. Some,
perhaps, may read these lines, and, reading, pause to give a tender
thought to the land which most Americans revile while they are in it,
but which they sentimentally regret when they have left it.

Eight long years have slipped by since that night, and in that time a
passing-bell has tolled for the Philippines which we found then. Who
shall say for many a year whether the change be for better or for
worse? But the change has come, and for the sake of a glamour which
overlay the quaint and moribund civilization of the Philippines of
that day I have chronicled in this volume my singularly unadventurous

The afterdeck was empty, and the promenade was the haunt of ghosts,
but across the circle of gloom we could see a long oval of arc lights
with thousands of little glow-worms beneath, which we knew were not
glow-worms at all, but carriage lamps dashing round the band stand;
and as if he divined our sentimental musings, the second steward took
heart and not only played but sang his favorite air from "Cavalleria."


Our First Few Days in the City

The Pasig River, With Its Swarm of House-boats--Through Manila into
the Walled City--Our First Meal--A Walk and a Drive in Manila--The
Admirable Policemen--We Superintend the Preparation of Quarters for
Additional Teachers--That Artful Radcliffe Girl.

Our guide from the Educational Department appeared about eleven
o'clock the next day, which happened to be Sunday. We and our trunks
were bundled into a launch, and we left the _Buford_ forever.

We were familiar with the magazine illustrations of the Pasig long
before our pedagogic invasion of Manila, but we were unprepared for
the additional charm lent to these familiar views by the play of
color. The shipping was as we had imagined it--large black and gray
coasters in the Hong-Kong and inter-island trade, a host of dirty
little _vapors_ (steamers) of light tonnage, and the innumerable
_cascos_ and _bancas_. The bancas are dug-out canoes, each paddled
by a single oarsman. The casco is a lumbering hull covered over in
the centre with a mat of plaited bamboo, which makes a cave-like
cabin and a living room for the owner's family. Children are born,
grow up, become engaged, marry, give birth to more children--in short,
spend their lives on these boats with a dog, a goat, and ten or twelve
lusty game-cocks for society.

The cascos lie along the bank of the river ten deep; every time a
coasting steamer wants to get out, she runs afoul of them in some way,
and there is a pretty mess. It always seems to turn out happily,
but the excitement is great while it lasts, and it is apparently
never dulled by repetition.

We swept up the Pasig with Fort Santiago and the ancient city wall on
the right; and, on the left, warehouses, or _bodegas_, a customhouse
with a gilded dome, and everywhere the faded creams and pinks of
painted wooden buildings. Some of the roofs were of corrugated iron,
but more were of old red Chinese tiles, with ferns and other waving
green things sprouting in the cracks. The wall was completely hidden
with vegetation.

We landed at the customhouse, left our trunks for inspection, and
entered gig-like vehicles which were drawn by diminutive ponies and
were called _carromatas_. Two of us were a tight fit, and, as I am
stout, I was afraid to lean back lest I should drag the pony upon his
hind legs, and our entrance into Manila should become an unseemly
one. The carromata wheels were iron-tired, and jolted--well, like
Manila street carromatas of that day. Since then a modification of the
carromata and of another vehicle called _calesin_ has been evolved. The
modern conveyance has rubber tires and a better angle of adjustment,
and the rat-like pony will dash about with it all day in good spirits.

We rattled up a street which I have since learned is called San
Fernando, and which looks like the famous Chinatown of San Francisco,
only more so. We passed over a canal spanned by a quaint stone
bridge, arriving in front of the Binondo Church just as the noon
hour struck. Instantly there burst out such a clamor of bells as we
had never before heard--big bells and little bells, brass bells and
broken bells--and brass bands lurking in unknown spots seemed to be
assisting. I do not know whether the Filipinos were originally fond
of noise or whether the Spaniards taught them to be so. At any rate,
they both love it equally well now, and whenever the chance falls, the
bells and the bands are ranged in opposition, yet bent to a common end.

The Bridge of Spain is approached from the Binondo side by almost the
only steep grade to be found in Manila. I was leaning as far forward
as I could, figuring upon the possible strain to be withstood by the
frayed rope end which lay between us and a backward somersault, when
my ears were assailed by an uncanny sound, half grunt, half moan. For
an instant I thought it was the wretched pony moved to protest by
the grade and my oppressive weight. But the pony was breasting the
steep most gallantly, all things considered. The miserable sound was
repeated a second later, just as our little four-footed friend struck
the level, and I discovered that it was my driver's appeal to his
steed. It is a sound to move the pity of more than a horse; until you
are thoroughly accustomed to it it leaves you under the apprehension
that the _cochero_ has been stricken with the plague. This habit of
grunting at horses seems to be disappearing at the present time, the
haughty customs of livery carromatas perhaps being responsible. Also
English is spreading. Apart from swear words, which appear to fill
a long-felt want for something emphatic, there are at least three
phrases which every Filipino who has to do with horses seems to have
made a part of his vocabulary. They are "Back!" "Whoa, boy!" and
"Git up!" Your cochero may groan at your horse or whine at it, but
when the need arises he can draw upon that much of English.

We jolted over the Bridge of Spain and through a masked gate into
the walled city, with the wall on our left, and the high bricked
boundaries of churches and _conventos_ on the right, till we arrived
at a low, square frame structure, with the words "Escuela Municipal"
above its portals. In Spanish times it was the training-school for
girls, and here temporary accommodation had been provided for us. We
crossed a hall and a court where ferns and palms were growing, and
were ushered into a room containing a number of four-poster beds. We
were to obtain our food at a neighboring restaurant, whither we soon
set out under guidance. The street was narrow, and all the houses
had projecting second floors which overhung the sidewalk. Box-like
shops on the ground floor were filled with cheap, unattractive-looking
European wares, with here and there a restaurant displaying its viands,
and attracting flies. We recognized the bananas and occasionally a
pineapple, but the other fruits were new to us--_lanzones_ in white,
fuzzy clusters like giant grapes; the _chico_, a little brown fruit
that tastes like baked apple flavored with caramel; and the _atis_,
which most natives prise as a delicacy, but which few Americans ever
learn to like.

We had been introduced to the alligator pear, the papaya, and the
mango at Honolulu, but we were still expecting strange and wonderful
gastronomic treats in our first Philippine meal.

We entered a stone-flagged lower hall where several shrouded carriages
would have betrayed the use to which it was put had not a stable odor
first betrayed it. Thence we passed up a staircase, broad and shallow,
which at the top entered a long, high-ceiled room, evidently a salon
in days past. It had fallen to baser uses, however, and now served as
dining-room. One side gave on the court, and another on an _azotea_
where were tropical plants and a monkey. It was a bare, cheerless
apartment, hot in the unshaded light of a tropical noonday. The tables
were not alluring. The waiters were American negroes. A Filipino youth,
dressed in a white suit, and wearing his black hair in a pompadour,
was beating out "rag time" at a cracked old piano.

"Easy is the descent into Avernus!" But there was consolation in
the monkey and the azotea, though we could neither pet the one nor
walk on the other. However, we were the sort of people not easily
disconcerted by trifles, and we sat down still expectant.

The vegetables were canned, the milk was canned, the butter was canned,
and the inference was plain that it had made the trip from Holland in
a sailing vessel going around Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope. As
for the fruits, there was but one fruit, a little acid banana full
of tiny black seeds. With guava jelly it was served for dessert. Our
landlord, an enterprising American, had been so far influenced by
local custom that he had come to regard these two delicacies as a never
inappropriate dessert. So long as we continued to "chow" with him, so
long appeared the acid, flavorless banana and the gummy, sticky jelly.

In justice to Manila it must be said, however, that such conditions
have long since been outlived. Good food and well-served American
tables are plentiful enough in Manila to-day. The cold-storage depots
provide meats and butter at prices as good as those of the home land,
if not better. Manila is no longer congested with the population,
both native and American, which centred there in war times. There
is not the variety of fruits to be found in the United States, but
there is no lack of wholesome, appetizing food.

We returned to the Escuela Municipal, and, after a nap, dressed
and went out for a walk. The narrow streets with overhanging second
stories; the open windows with gayly dressed girls leaning out to talk
with amorous swains on the pavement below; the swarming vehicles with
coachmen shouting "Ta-beh"; and the _frailes_ (friars)--tall, thin,
bearded frailes in brown garments and sandals, or rosy, clean-shaven,
plump frailes in flapping white robes--all made a novel scene to our
untravelled eyes. Mounting a flight of moss-grown steps, we found
ourselves on top of the wall, whence we could look across the moat
to the beautiful avenue, called, on the maps of Manila, the Paseo
de Las Aguadas, but familiarly known as the Bagumbayan. West India
rain-trees spread their broad branches over it, and all Manila
seemed to be walking, riding, or driving upon it. It was the hour
when everybody turns his face Luneta-ward. Seized with the longing,
we too sent for a carriage.

Our coachman wore no uniform, but was resplendent in a fresh-laundered
white muslin shirt which he wore outside his drill trousers. He
carried us through the walled city and out by a masked gate to a
drive called the Malecon, a broad, smooth roadway lined with cocoanut
palms. On the bay side the waters dashed against the sea wall just as
Lake Michigan does on the Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. But the view
across the bay at Manila is infinitely more beautiful than that at
Chicago. To the left stretches a noble curve of beach, ending with
the spires and roofs of Cavite and a purple line of plateau, drawn
boldly across the sky. In front there is the wide expanse of water,
dotted with every variety of craft, with a lonely mountain, rising
apparently straight from the sea, bulking itself in the foreground
a little to the left. The mountain is in reality Mt. Marivales,
the headland which forms the north entrance to Manila Bay, but it
is so much higher than the sierra which runs back from it that it
manages to convey a splendid picture of isolation. The sun falls
behind Marivales, painting a flaming background for mountains and
sea. When that smouldering curtain of night has dropped, and the sea
lies glooming, and the ships of all nations swing on their anchor
chains, there are few lovelier spots than the Luneta. The wind comes
soft as velvet; the surf croons a lullaby, and the little toy horses
and toy victorias spin up and down between the palms, settling at
last around the turf oval which surrounds the bandstand.

Here are soldiers in clean khaki on the benches; officers of the army
and navy in snow-white uniforms; Chinamen in robes of purple or blue
silk, smoking in their victorias; Japanese and Chinese nursemaids in
their native costumes watching their charges at play on the grass;
bareheaded American women; black-haired Spanish beauties; and native
women with their long, graceful necks rising from the stiff folds of
azure or rose-colored kerchiefs. American officers tower by on their
big horses, or American women in white drill habits. There are droves
of American children on native ponies, the girls riding astride,
their fat little legs in pink or blue stockings bobbing against the
ponies' sides. There are boys' schools out for a walk in charge of
shovel-hatted priests. There are demure processions of maidens from
the _colegios_, sedately promenading two and two, with black-robed
_madres_ vainly endeavoring to intercept surreptitious glances and
remarks. There are groups of Hindoos in turbans. There are Englishmen
with the inevitable walking-sticks. There are friars apparently of
all created orders, and there is the Manila policeman.

As I recall those early impressions, I think the awe and respect for
the Manila police was quite the strongest of all. They were the picked
men of the army of invasion, non-commissioned officers who could show
an honorable discharge. Size must have been taken into consideration
in selecting them, for I do not remember seeing one who was of less
than admirable proportions. Soldierly training was in every movement.

There was none of the loafing stride characteristic of the professional
roundsman. They wore gray-green khaki, tan shoes, tan leather leggings,
and the military cap; and a better set up, smarter, abler body of law
preservers it would be difficult to find. The "machinery of politics"
had not affected them, the instinct of the soldier to do his duty was
strong in them, and they would have arrested Governor William H. Taft
himself as gleefully as they would have arrested a common Chinaman,
had the Governor offered sufficient provocation.

We enjoyed that first night's entertainment on the Luneta as do all
who come to Manila, and I must confess that time has not staled it for
me. It is cosmopolitan and yet typically Philippine. Since that day
the fine Constabulary Band has come into existence, and the music has
grown to be more than a mere feature of the whole scene. The concert
would be well worth an admission fee and an hour's confinement in
a stuffy hall. Enjoyed in delightful pure air with a background of
wonderful beauty, it is a veritable treat.

On the following day we had our interview with the Superintendent
of Public Instruction. He informed us that in the course of a week
the transport _Thomas_ would arrive, carrying some five hundred or
more pedagogues. He suggested that, as we were then drawing full pay,
we might reimburse the Government by making ourselves useful at the
Exposition Building, which was being put in order to receive them.

So to the Exposition Building we betook ourselves, and for several
days made herculean efforts to induce the native boys and Chinese
who were supposed to clean it up to do so properly. We also helped
to put up cots and to hang mosquito nettings, and at night we lay and
listened to the most vociferous concert of bull frogs, debutante frogs,
tree toads, katydids, locusts, and iku lizards that ever murdered the
sleep of the just. We also left an open box of candy on the table of
the dormitory which we had preempted, starting therewith another such
frantic migration in the ant world as in the human world once poured
into the Klondike. They came on all trails from far and near. They
invaded our beds, and when the sweets gave out, took bites out of us
as the next best delicacy.

Manila seemed to be more or less excited over the new army of invasion,
the local papers teeming with jokes about pretty schoolma'ams and
susceptible exiles. The teachers were to land at the Anda Monument at
the Pasig end of the Malecon Drive, and thence were to be conveyed to
the Exposition Building in army ambulances and Doherty wagons which
the military had put at the disposal of the Civil Government.

Owing to the fact that I was appointed a sort of matron to the women's
dormitory, and had to be on hand to assign the ladies to their
cots and to register them, I did not go down to the Anda Monument
to see the disembarkation. Plenty of people who might have pleaded
less legitimate interest in the pedagogues than I had, were there,
however. By half-past ten the first wagon-load had arrived at the
Exposition Building in a heavy shower, and from then till early
noon they continued to pour in. On the whole, they were up to a
high standard--a considerably higher standard than has since been
maintained in the Educational Department. The women were a shade in
advance of the men.

Both men and women accepted their rough quarters with
few complaints. Nearly all were obliging and ready to do their
best to make up for the deficiencies in bell boys and other hotel
accommodations. We arranged a plan whereby twelve women teachers were
to be on duty each day,--a division of four for morning, afternoon,
and evening, respectively. The number of each woman's cot and room
was placed after her name, and one teacher acted as clerk while the
others played bell boy and hunted for those in demand.

And they were overworked! By five o'clock in the afternoon the parlor
of the Exposition Building looked like a hotel lobby in a town where a
presidential nominating convention is in session. To begin with, there
were the one hundred and sixty schoolma'ams. Then the men teachers,
who had been assigned to the old _nipa_ artillery barracks, found the
women's parlors a pleasant place in which to spend an odd half-hour,
and made themselves at home there. In addition, each woman seemed to
have some acquaintance among the military or civil people of Manila;
and officers in white and gold, and women in the creams, blues, and
pinks of Filipino _jusi_ thronged the rooms till one could hardly get
through the press. Victorias and carromatas outside were crowded as
carriages are about the theatres on grand opera nights at home.

It would have been difficult in all that crowd to say who was there
with good and sufficient reason. Many a man drifted in and out with the
hope of picking up acquaintance, and doubtless some were successful.

I was at the desk one day, doing duty for a teacher who was sick,
when two forlorn but kind-looking young men approached and asked if
I could tell them the names of any of the teachers from Michigan. We
had a list of names arranged by States, and I at once handed this
over. They pored over this long and sorrowfully. Then one heaved a
sigh, and one took me into his confidence. They were from Michigan,
and they had hoped to find, one or the other, an acquaintance on the
list. The eagerness of this hope had even led them to bring a carriage
with the ulterior motive of doing the honors of Manila if their search
proved successful. Their disappointment was so heavy, and they were
so naively unconscious of anything strained in the situation, that my
sympathy was honest and open. But when they suggested that I introduce
them to some of the women teachers from Michigan, and I declined the
responsibility as gently as I could, the frigidity of their injured
pride made me momentarily abject. They drifted away and hung about
with expectancy printed on their faces--that and a mingled hate and
defiance of the glittering uniforms which quite absorbed all feminine
attention and left their civilian dulness completely overshadowed.

One of the Radcliffe maidens had an experience which goes far to show
that higher culture does not eradicate the talent for duplicity for
which the female sex has long been noted, and which illustrates a
happy faculty of getting out of a disagreeable situation. It also
illustrates a singular mingling of unsophistication and astuteness,
which may be a result of collegiate training.

One of the chief difficulties which beset us was the matter of
transportation. In those days there was no street-car system--or
at least the apology for one which they had was not patronized by
Europeans. The heat and the frequent showers made a conveyance an
absolute necessity. The livery stables were not fully equal to the
demand upon them, and, in addition, there was no telephone at the
Exposition Building. As a consequence, we had to rely largely on street
carromatas. We had a force of small boys, clad in what Mr. Kipling
calls "inadequate" shirts, whose business it was to go forth in
response to the command, "_Busca carromata_," and to return not till
accompanied by the two-wheeled nightmare and the Lilliputian pony.

On the morning on which we drew our travel-pay checks, one of the
Radcliffe girls was most eager to get down town before the bank
closed. The shops of Manila had been altogether too alluring for the
very small balance which remained in her purse after our ten days at
Honolulu. The efforts of the small boys were apparently fruitless,
so she resorted to the expedient of trying to gather up a carromata
from some one leaving his at the Exposition Building. Every time a
carromata drove up, she thrust her cherubic countenance out of the
window and inquired of its occupant whether he was going to retain
his conveyance or to dismiss it. Most of the visitors signified
their intentions of never letting go a carromata when once they
had it; and failure had rather dimmed the bravery of her inquiry,
when one young man replied that he wished to retain his carromata,
but that he was returning immediately to the city and would be happy
to assist her and to take her wherever she wanted to go.

The Radcliffe girl closed with this handsome offer at once, accepting
it in the chummy spirit which is supposed to be generated in the
atmosphere of higher culture. A more worldly-wise woman might have
suspected him, not only on grounds of general masculine selfishness,
but on the fact that he had no business to transact at our hostelry. He
did not enter its doors, but remained sitting in the carromata till
she joined him. The girl had her mind on salary, however, and had
no time to question motives. The banks had closed, but her guardian
angel drove her to a newspaper office, where he introduced her,
vouched for her, and induced the bookkeeper to cash her check. He then
expressed a desire for a recognition of his services in the form of
introductions to some of the teachers at the Exposition Building. The
young woman was rather taken aback, for she had put all his civility
down to disinterested masculine chivalry; but she reflected that
she ought to pay the price of her own rashness. She was, however,
a girl of resources. She agreed to let him call that afternoon and
to introduce him to some of her new friends.

Then she came home and outlined the situation to an aged woman who
was chaperoning her daughter, to a widow with two children, and to
an old maid in whom the desire for masculine conquest had died for
want of fuel to keep the flame alive. When the young man appeared,
he found this austere and unbeautiful phalanx awaiting him. When the
introductions were over and conversation was proceeding as smoothly as
the caller's discomfiture would permit it to do, the artful collegian
excused herself on the ground of a previous engagement. She went away
blithely, leaving him in the hands of the three. Nor was he seen or
heard of on those premises again. Doubtless he still thinks bitterly
of the effects of higher education on the feminine temperament. It
was duplicity--duplicity not to be expected of a girl who could stick
her head out of a window and hail the chance passer-by as innocently
as she did.


From Manila to Capiz

I Am Appointed to a School at Capiz, on Panay Island--We Anchor
at the Lovely Harbor of Romblon--The Beauty of the Night Trip to
Iloilo--We Halt There for a Few Days--Examples Showing That the
Philippines Are a "Manana" Country--Kindness of Some Nurses to the
Teachers--An Uncomfortable Journey from Iloilo to Charming Capiz.

In due time our appointments were made, and great was the wrath that
swelled about the Exposition Building! The curly-haired maiden who
had fallen in love with a waiter on the _Thomas_ wept openly on his
shoulder, to the envy of staring males. A very tall young woman who
was the possessor of an M.A. degree in mathematics from the University
of California, and who was supposed to know more about conic sections
than any woman ought to know, was sent up among the Macabebes, who
may in ten generations arrive at an elementary idea of what is meant
by conic sections. Whether she was embittered by the thought of her
scintillations growing dull from disuse or of scintillating head axes,
I know not, but she made little less than a tragedy of the matter. The
amount of wire-pulling that had been going on for stations in Manila
was something enormous, and the disappointment was proportionate.

I had stated that I had no choice of stations, was willing to go
anywhere, and did not particularly desire to have another woman
assigned with me. I had my doubts about the advisability of binding
myself to live with some one whom I had known so short a time; and
subsequent experience and the observation of many a quarrel grown
out of the enforced companionship of two women who never had any
tastes in common have convinced me that my judgment was sound. I
was informed that my station would be Capiz, a town on the northern
shore of Panay, once a rich and aristocratic pueblo, but now a town
existing in the flavor of decayed gentility. I was eager to go,
and time seemed fairly to drag until the seventh day of September,
on which date the boat of the _Compania Maritima_ would depart for
Iloilo, the first stage of our journey.

September the seventh was hot and steamy. We had endless trouble
getting ourselves and our baggage to the Bridge of Spain, where the
_Francisco Reyes_ was lying. Great familiarity has since quite worn
away the nervousness which we then felt on perceiving that our watches
pointed to half an hour after starting time while we were yet adorning
the front steps of the Exposition Building. Local boats never leave
on time. From six hours to three days is a fair overtime allowance
for them.

We finally arrived at the steamer in much agony and perspiration. The
old saying about bustle and confusion was applicable to the _Francisco
Reyes_ if one leaves out "bustle." There were no immediate signs of
departure, but there were evidences of the eleven o'clock meal. The
muchachos were setting the table under an awning on the after-deck. A
hard-shell roll with a pallid centre, which tastes like "salt-rising"
bread and which is locally known as _bescocho_, was at each plate
together with the German silver knives and spoons. The inevitable
cheese was on hand, strongly barricaded in a crystal dish; and when
I saw the tins of guava jelly and the bunch of bananas hanging from a
stanchion, I had that dinner all mapped out. I had no time, however,
to speculate on its constituent elements, because my attention was
attracted by the cloth with which the boy was polishing off dishes
before he set them down. This rag was of a fine, sooty-black color,
and had a suggestion of oil about it as if it had been on duty in
the engine-room. The youth grew warm, and used it also to mop his
perspiring countenance. I ceased to inspect at that point, and went

Several black and white kids of an inquisitive turn of mind were
resting under my steamer chair, which had been sent on board the day
before. They seemed to feel some injury at being dispossessed. I
guessed at once that we carried no ice, and that the goats were
a sea-faring conception of fresh meat. As their numbers diminished
daily, and as we enjoyed at least twice a day a steaming platter of
meat, _garbanzos_, peppers, onions, and tomato sauce, I have seen no
reason to change my opinion.

Passengers continued to arrive until nearly two o'clock. There were
one or two officers with their muchachos, and some twenty or more
schoolteachers. Six were women, and we found ourselves allotted the
best there was.

We got away about three o'clock, and, after fouling a line over a row
of cascos and threatening their destruction, sailed down the Pasig and
out into the Bay, We passed Corregidor about sunset, met a heavy sea
and stiff wind outside, and I retired from society. This was Saturday
night. On Sunday noon we cast anchor in the lovely harbor of Romblon,
and, defying sickness, I came on deck to admire.

The harbor at Romblon resembles a lake guarded by mountains which are
covered with cocoanut trees clear to their summits. At one end--the
end toward the entrance, which no unfamiliar eye can detect--a great
plateau mountain called Tablas stretches across the view in lengthened
bulk like the sky-line of some submarine upheaval. The waters are gayly
colored, shadowed into exquisite greens by the plumy mountains above;
and in a little valley lies the white town of Romblon with its squat
municipal buildings, its gray old church, and a graceful _campanile_
rising from a grassy plaza. They have dammed a mountain stream, so that
the town is bountifully supplied with pure cold water, and with its
clean streets and whitewashed buildings, it is a most attractive place.

The inhabitants of Romblon were eager to sell us mats, or _petates_,
the making of which is a special industry there. Their prices had
suffered the rise which is an inevitable result of American occupation,
and were quite beyond our means. I succeeded afterwards in getting
some Romblon mats through a Filipino friend for about one-fifth the
price asked that day.

Our stay at Romblon was not lengthy. We got out some time in the late
afternoon, and proceeded on our way. I cannot remember whether we
occupied all that night and the next day in getting down to Iloilo or
whether we made Iloilo in twelve hours. I do remember the night trip
down the east coast of Panay, with Negros on the invisible left,
and all about us a chain of little islands where the fisher folk
were engaged in their night work of spearing fish by torchlight. Dim
mountainous shapes would rise out of the sea and loom vaguely in the
starlit distance, the curving beaches at their bases outlined by the
torches in the bancas till they looked like boulevards with their lines
of flickering lamps. I remember that we fell to singing, and that after
we had sung everything we knew, an officer of the First Infantry who
was going back to his regiment after a wound and a siege in hospital
said enthusiastically: "Oh, don't stop. You don't know how it sounds
to hear a whole lot of American men and women singing together."

It was somewhere between ten and midnight when a light flashed ahead,
and beyond it lay a little maze of twinkles that they said was
Iloilo. The anchor chains ran out with a clang and rattle, for our
Spanish captain took no chances, and would not pick his way through
the Siete Pecadores at night.

The Siete Pecadores, or Seven Sinners, are a group of islands, or
rocks--for they amount to little more than that--some six miles north
of Iloilo, just at the head of Guimaras Strait. On the east the long,
narrow island of Guimaras, hilly and beautifully wooded, lies like
a wedge between Panay and Negros. Beyond it the seven-thousand-foot
volcano, Canlaon, on Negros, lifts a purple head. On the west lies the
swampy foreshore of Panay with a mountain range inland, daring the
sunlight with scarpy flanks, on which every ravine and every cleft
are sunk in shadows of violet and pink. The water of the straits is
glassy and full of jelly-fish, some of the white dome-like kind, but
more of the purple ones that float on the water like a petalled flower.

Iloilo was a miniature edition of Manila, save that there were more
gardens and that there was a rural atmosphere such as is characteristic
of small towns in the States. The toy horses and the toy carromatas
and quilices were there, and the four-horse wagons with a staring
"U. S." on their blue sides. There were the same dusky crowds in
transparent garments, the soldiers in khaki, the bugle calls, and
the Stars and Stripes fluttering from all the public buildings.

As Iloilo was not well supplied with hotels, we women were barracked in
a new house belonging to the American Treasurer, whose family had not
yet arrived from the States, We found our old friend, the army cot,
borrowed from the military quartermaster. There was a sitting-room
well equipped with chairs and tables. Our meals were obtained from
a neighboring boarding-house which rejoiced in the name "American
Restaurant," and was kept by a Filipina. She was a good soul, and had
learned how to make cocoanut balls, so that we bade a glad adieu to
the bananas and guava jelly.

Our own particular waitress was a ten-year-old child, who said "hello"
and smoked a cigar as long as herself. In a moment of enthusiasm
one of our number who was interested in temperance and its allied
reforms tipped Basilia a whole Mexican media-peseta. When the reformer
became aware of Basilia's predilection for the weed, she wanted her
media-peseta back, but Basilia was too keen a financier for that. The
media-peseta was hers--given in the presence of witnesses --and she
somewhat ostentatiously blew smoke rings when she found the reformer's
eye fixed upon her.

At Iloilo we picked up the word _tao_, which means "man," especially
"laboring man," for the Filipinos usually fall back upon the Spanish
words _caballero_ and _senor_ to designate the fortunate individuals
whose hands are unstained with toil. We had picked up the vernacular
of the street carromata in Manila. This is very simple. It consists
of _sigue, para, derecho, mano_, and _silla_. For the benefit of such
readers as do not understand pidgin Spanish, it may be explained that
these words signify, respectively, "go on," "stop," "straight ahead,"
"to the right," and "to the left." The words _mano_ and _silla_
mean really "hand" and "saddle"; I have been told that they are
linguistic survivals of the days when women, rode on pillions and the
fair incubus indicated that she wished to turn either to the side of
her right hand or to the skirt side.

By this time we had begun to understand--just to understand in
infinitely small proportion--what the old resident Americans
meant when they joked about the Philippines as a _manana_
country. When we inquired when a boat would be in, the reply was
"Seguro manana"--"To-morrow for sure." When would it leave? "Seguro
manana." Nothing annoys or embarrasses a Filipino more than the
American habit of railing at luck or of berating the unfortunate
purveyor of disappointing news, or, in fact, of insisting on accurate
information if it can be obtained. They are ready to say anything at
a minute's notice. A friend of mine in Ilocos Norte once lost a ring,
and asked her servant if he knew anything about it. The boy replied
instantly, "Seguro raton," which is an elliptical form of "Surely
a rat ate it." The boy had not stolen the ring, but he jumped at
anything to head off complaint or investigation.

Time is apparently of no value in the Philippines. On the second day
of our stay in Iloilo the Treasurer sent up two pieces of furniture
for our use, a wardrobe and a table. They were delivered just before
lunch, about ten o'clock, and the Treasurer would not be at home
to sign for them till nearly one. When I came in from a shopping
expedition, I found eight or ten taos sitting placidly on their
heels in the front yard, while the two pieces of new furniture were
lying in the mud just as they had been dumped when the bearers eased
their shoulders from the poles. The noonday heat waxed fiercer, and
the Treasurer was delayed, but nobody displayed any impatience. The
men continued to sit on their heels, to chew their betel nut, and
to smoke their cigars, and, I verily believe, would have watched the
sun set before they would have left. In an hour or so the Treasurer
appeared, and settled the account, the taos picked up the furniture
and deposited it in the house, and the object lesson was over.

In spite of shopping, time hung somewhat heavy on our hands at
Iloilo. We made few acquaintances, for there were few civilian
women, and the army ladies, so we were informed, looked askance at
schoolteachers, and had determined that we were not to be admitted
into "society." The army nurses asked us to five o'clock tea, and we
went and enjoyed it. They were, for the most part, gentlewomen born,
and the self-sacrifice of their daily lives had accentuated their
native refinement. I have few remembrances more pleasant than those
of the half-hour we spent in their cool _sala_. As for the tea they
gave us and the delicious toast, mere words are inadequate to describe
them. We became sensible that the art of cooking had not vanished from
the earth. After the garbanzos and the bescochos and the guava jelly,
how good they tasted!

In the course of two or three days we were notified that the _vapor
General Blanco_ would leave for Capiz on Saturday at five P.M., and
some ten or twelve of us, destined for the province of that name, made
ready to depart. I was the only woman in the party, but our Division
Superintendent, who was personally conducting us and who was having
some little difficulty with his charges, assured me that I was a deal
less worry to him than some of the men were. I told him that I was
quite equal to getting myself and my luggage aboard the _Blanco_. I
had employed a native servant who said he knew how to cook, and I was
taking him up to Capiz with an eye to future comfort. Romoldo went
out and got a _carabao_ cart, heaping it with my trunks, deck chair,
and boxes. I followed in a _quilez_, and we rattled down to the wharf
in good time.

The _General Blanco_ was not of a size to make her conspicuous, and
I reflected that, if there had been another stage to the journey
and a proportional shrinkage in the vessel, it surely would have
had to be accomplished in a scow. Although by no means palatial,
the _Buford_ was a fair-sized, ocean-going steamer. The _Francisco
Reyes_ was a dirty old tub with pretensions to the contrary; and
the _General Blanco_--well, metaphorically speaking, the _General
Blanco_ was a coal scuttle. She was a supercilious-looking craft,
sitting at a rakish angle, her engines being aft. She had a freeboard
of six or seven feet, and possessed neither cabin nor staterooms,
the space between the superstructure and the rail being about three
feet wide. You could stay there, or, if you did not incommode the
engineer, you could go inside and sit on a coal pile. There was a
bridge approached by a rickety stair, and I judged that my deck chair
would fill it completely, leaving about six inches for the captain's
promenade. Behind the superstructure there was a sort of after-deck,
nearly four feet of it. When my trunks and boxes had been piled up
there, with the deck chair balancing precariously atop, and with
Romoldo reclining luxuriously in it, his distraught pompadour was
about on a level with the top of the smokestack.

I really didn't see any room aboard for me, and sat down on a
hemp bale to consider. Shortly after, the Division Superintendent
arrived, accompanied by several young men. He looked blank, and they
whistled. Then he went on board to talk with the captain, while his
assembled charges continued to ornament the hemp bales. Filipinos of
all ages and sizes gathered round to stare and to comment.

At last the Division Superintendent came back with the information
that the _Blanco_ would tow up a _lorcha_ which was lying a little
distance down the river, and that we should find her a roomier and
cooler means of transportation than the steamer. "Lorcha" is the name
given to the local sailing vessels. Our lorcha was about sixty feet
long, and, according to one of the teachers who had once seen Lake
Michigan, was "schooner rigged." There was a deck house aft, which
was converted into a stateroom for me. There were two bunks in it,
each of which I declined to patronize. Instead I had my steamer chair
brought over, and found there was plenty of room for it. There were
little sliding windows, which with the open door afforded fairly
decent ventilation. But the helm was just behind the deck house,
and the helmsman either sat or stood on the roof, so that all night
his responses to the steersman on the _Blanco_ interfered with my
sleep. Then, too, they kept their spare lanterns and their cocoanut
oil and some coils of rope in there. At intervals soft-footed natives
came in, and I was never certain whether it was to slay me or to get
some of their stores. Once a figure blocked out the starlight at one
of the windows, and I heard a rustling and shuffling on the shelf
where my food tins were piled. So I said, "Sigue! Vamos!" and the
figure disappeared.

The men opened their army cots on the forward deck, where the big sail
cut them off from the rest of the ship. The next morning they reported
a fine night's rest. I could not make so felicitous a report, for my
stateroom was considerably warmer than the open air, and a steamer
chair, though comfortable by day, does not make an acceptable bed.

We breakfasted from our private stores, and I found myself longing for
hot coffee, instead of which I had to drink evaporated milk diluted
with mineral water. The day was sunny, the heat beat fiercely off the
water, and I burned abominably. Near noon we sighted a town close to
the coast, and knew that we were nearing our journey's end.

We skirted the horn of a crescent-shaped bay, found a river's mouth,
and entered. Here at least was the tropical scene of my imagination--a
tide-swollen current, its marshy banks covered with strange foliage,
and innumerable water lanes leading out of it into palmy depths. Down
these lanes came bancas, sometimes with a single occupant paddling
at the stern, sometimes with a whole family sitting motionless on
their heels. Once we passed the ruins of what had been a sugar mill
or a _bino_ factory--probably the latter. Then the _Blanco_, puffing
ahead, whistled twice, we rounded a curve and came full upon the town.

Though subsequent familiarity has brought to my notice many details
that I then overlooked, that first impression was the one of greatest
charm, and the one I love best to remember. There were the great,
square, white-painted, red-tiled houses lining both banks of the river;
the picturesque groups beating their clothes on the flat steps which
led down to the water; and the sprawling wooden bridge in the distance
where the stream made an abrupt sweep to the right.

On the left of the bridge was a grassy plaza shaded with almond trees,
a stately church, several squat stone buildings which I knew for jail
and municipal quarters, and a flag staff with the Stars and Stripes
whipping the breeze from its top. Over all hung a sky dazzlingly blue
and an atmosphere crystal clear. Back of the town a low unforested
mountain heaved a grassy shoulder above the palms, and far off there
was a violet tracery of more mountains.

I knew that I should like Capiz.


My First Experiences As a Teacher of Filipinos

After Resting in a Saloon I Arrive at My Lodging--I Attend an
Evening Party--Filipino Babies--I Take Temporary Charge of the Boys'
School--How the Opening of the Girls' School Was Announced--Curiosity
of the Natives Regarding the New School--Difficulty of Securing Order
at First.

The municipality of Capiz was expecting a woman teacher, for cries of
"La maestra!" began to resound before the boat was properly snubbed
up to the bank; and when I walked ashore on a plank ten inches wide,
there had already assembled a considerable crowd to witness that
feat. They gathered round and continued to stare when I was seated
in the principal saloon. Meanwhile a messenger was sent to find the
American man teacher, who had been notified by telegram to arrange
for my accommodation. The saloon was a very innocent-looking one,
so that I mistook it for a grocery storeroom. Such as it was, it
represented the best the Filipinos could do in the saloon line. One
sees, in Manila and, for that matter, all up and down the Chinese
and Japanese coasts, the typical groggery of America with somebody's
"Place" printed large over the entrance, and a painted screen blocking
the doorway with its suggestions of unseemliness. But the provincial
saloon is still essentially Spanish--a clean, light room with no
reservations, the array of bottles on the shelves smiling down on
the little green cloth-covered tables where the domino and card games
go on. There may be an ancient billiard table in one corner with its
accompanying cue rack, and there is almost sure to be a little hole
in the ceiling through which the proprietor's wife, who resides above,
can peep down and watch the card games. It is a genuine family resort,
too, for between four and seven all the town is likely to drop in,
the women chaffering or gossiping while their lords enjoy a glass of
beer and a game of dominoes.

The proprietor's wife must have had a fine look at me as I sat mopping
my sunburned face. At last the American teacher came, a pleasant-faced
young man who spoke Spanish excellently and was quite an adept at
the vernacular. In due time I was ushered into a room in a house
on the far side of the river, the window of which commanded a fine
view of the bridge, the plaza, the gray old church, and the jail,
with the excitements of guard mount and retreat thrown in.

The room had a floor of boards, each one of which was at least two feet
wide. They were rudely nailed and were separated by dirt-filled cracks,
but were polished into a dark richness by long rubbing with petroleum
and banana leaves. The furnishings consisted of a wardrobe, a table,
a washstand, several chairs, and a Filipino four-poster bed with a
mattress of plaited rattan such as we find in cane-seated chairs. A
snow-white valence draped the bed. The mattress was covered with a
petate, or native mat, and there were two pillows--a big, fat, bolstery
one, and another, called _abrazador_, which is used for a leg-rest.

I bathed in the provincial bathroom. Manila, being the metropolis of
the Philippines, has running water and the regular tub and shower baths
in tiled rooms. The Capiz bathroom had a floor of bamboo strips which
kept me constantly in agony lest somebody should stray beneath, and
which even made me feel apologetic toward the pigs rooting below. There
was a _tinaja_, or earthenware jar, holding about twenty gallons of
water, and a dipper made of a polished cocoanut shell. I poured water
over my body till the contents of the tinaja were exhausted and I
was cool. Already I was beginning to look upon a bath from the native
standpoint as a means of coolness, and incidentally of cleanliness.

When I got back to my room, my hostess and her sister came and sat
with me while I unpacked my trunk and applied cold cream to my sunburnt
skin. They were afraid that I should be _triste_ because I was so far
from home and alone, and they inquired if I wanted a woman servant
to sleep in my room at night. I was quite unconscious that this was
an effort to rehabilitate their conception of the creature feminine
and the violated proprieties; and my indignant disclaimer of anything
bordering on nervousness did not raise me in their estimation.

They left me finally in time to permit me to dress and gain
the sala when the bugles sounded retreat. The atmosphere was
golden-moted--swimming in the incomparable amber of a tropical
evening. The river slipped along, giving the sense of rest and peace
which water in shadow always imparts, and as the long-drawn-out notes
were caught and flung back by the echo from the mountains, the flag
fluttered down as if reluctant to leave so gentle a scene. When the
"Angelus" rang just afterwards, it was as if some benignant fairy had
waved her wand over the land to hold it at its sweetest moment. The
criss-crossing crowds on the plaza paused for a reverent moment; the
people in the room stood up, and when the bell stopped ringing, said
briskly to me and to one another, "Good evening." Then the members
of the family approached its oldest representative and kissed his
hand. It was all very pretty and very effective.

Afterwards we went out for a walk--at least they invited me to go
for a walk, though it was a party to which we were bound. Filipinos,
being devout Catholics, have a fashion of naming their children after
the saints, and, instead of celebrating the children's birthdays,
celebrate the saints' days. As there is a saint for every day in the
year, and some to spare, and it is a point of pride with every one
of any social pretension whatever to be at home to his friends on
his patron saint's day, and to do that which we vulgarly term "set
'em up" most liberally, there is more social diversion going on in a
small Filipino town than would be found in one of corresponding size
in America. At these functions the crowd is apt to be thickest from
four till eight, the official calling hours in the Philippines.

Starting out, therefore, at half-past six, we found the parlors of
the house well thronged. At the head of the stairs was a sort of
anteroom filled with men smoking. This _antesala_, as they call it,
gave on the sala, or drawing-room proper, which was a large apartment
lighted by a hanging chandelier of cut glass, holding about a dozen
petroleum lamps. Two rows of chairs, facing each other, were occupied
by ladies in silken skirts of brilliant hues, and in _camisas_ and
_panuelos_ of delicate embroidered or hand-painted _pina_. We made
a solemn entry, and passed up the aisle doing a sort of Roger de
Coverley figure in turning first to one side and then to the other
to shake hands. No names were mentioned. Our hostess said, by way of
general announcement, "La maestra," and having started me up the maze
left me to unwind myself. So I zigzagged along with a hand-shake and
a decorous "Buenas noches" to everybody till I found myself at the
end of the line at an open window. Here one of those little oblong
tables, across which the Filipinos are fond of talking, separated
me from a lady, unquestionably of the white races, who received the
distinction of personal mention. She was "_la Gobernadora_," and her
husband, a fat _Chino mestizo_, was immediately brought forward and
introduced as "_el Gobernador_." He was a man of education and polish,
having spent fourteen years in school in Spain, where he married his
wife. After having welcomed me properly, he betook himself to the
room at the head of the stairs where the men were congregated. A fat
native priest in a greasy old cassock seemed the centre of jollity
there, and he alternately joked with the men and stopped to extend
his hand to the children who went up and kissed it.

I did my best to converse intelligently with the Gobernadora and the
other ladies who were within conversational distance. A band came up
outside and played "Just One Girl," and presently one of the ladies of
the house invited the Governor's wife and me to partake of sweets. We
went out to the dining-room, where a table was laid with snow-white
cloth, and prettily decorated with flowers and with crystal dishes
containing goodies.

There were, first of all, _meringues_, which we call French kisses,
the favorite sweet here. There was also _flaon_, which we would
call baked custard. In the absence of ovens they do not bake it,
but they boil it in a mould like an ice-cream brick. They line the
mould with caramel, and the custard comes out golden brown, smooth
as satin, and delicately flavored with the caramel. Then there was
_nata_, which is like boiled custard unboiled, and there were all
sorts of crystallized fruits--pineapple, lemon, orange, and citron,
together with that peculiar one they call _santol_. There were also
the transparent, jelly-like seeds of the nipa palm, boiled in syrup
till they looked like magnified balls of sago or tapioca.

I partook of these rich delicacies, though my soul was hungering for
a piece of broiled steak, and I accepted a glass of muscatel, which is
the accepted ladies' wine here. My hostesses were eager that I should
try all kinds of foods, and a refusal to accept met with a protest,
"Otra clase, otra clase." Then the Gobernadora and I went back to
the sala, and another group took our places at the refreshment table.

I was much interested in the babies, who were strutting about
in their finest raiment and were unquestionably annoyed at its
restrictions. Filipino babies are sharp-eyed, black-polled, attractive
little creatures. Whether of high or low degree, their ordinary dress
is adapted to the climate, and consists usually of a single low-necked
garment, which drapes itself picturesquely across the shoulders like
the cloaks of Louis the Fourteenth's time seen on the stage.

On state occasions, however, they are inducted into raiment which their
deluded mothers fancy is European and stylish; but there is always
something wrong. Either one little ruffled drawers leg sags down,
or the petticoat is longer than the dress skirt, or the waistband is
too tight, or mamma has failed to make allowance in the underclothing
for the gauziness of the outer sheathing. As for the sashes with
which the victims are finally bound, they fret the little swelled
stomachs, and the baby goes about tugging at his undesirable adornment,
and wearing the frown of one harassed past endurance. Sometimes it
ends in flat mutiny, and baby is shorn of his grandeur, and prances
innocently back into the heart of society, clad in a combination of
waist and drawers which is associated in my memory with cotton flannel
and winter nights. Nobody is at all embarrassed by the _negligee_;
and as for the baby himself, he would appear in the garments of Eve
before the Fall without a qualm.

After everybody had been served with sweets, a young Filipina was led
to the piano. She played with remarkable technique and skill. Another
young lady sang very badly. Filipinos have natural good taste in music,
have quick musical ears, and a natural sense of time, but they have
voices of small range and compass, and what voice they have they
misuse shamefully. They also undertake to sing music altogether too
difficult for any but professionals.

When the music was over, I was rather anxiously anticipating a
"recitation," but was overjoyed to discover that that resource of rural
entertainment has no foothold in the Philippines. Dancing was next
in order. The first dance was the stately _rigodon_, which is almost
the only square dance used here. When it was finished and a waltz
had begun, I insisted on going home, for I was tired out. Somebody
loaned us a victoria, and thus the trip was short. A deep-mouthed
bell in the church tower rang out ten slow strokes as I threw back
the shutters after putting out my light. The military bugles took
up the sound with "taps," and the figure of the sentry on the bridge
was a moving patch of black in the moonlight.

The Division Superintendent started inland the next morning to place
the men teachers in their stations, and as he required the services
of the American teacher in interpreting, I was told to go over and
take charge of the boys' school, at that time the only one organized.

I went across the plaza and found two one-story buildings of stone with
an American flag floating over one, and a noise which resembled the
din of a boiler factory issuing from it. The noise was the vociferous
outcry of one hundred and eighty-nine Filipino youths engaged in
study or at least in a high, throaty clamor, over and over again,
of their assigned lessons. When I went in, they rose electrically,
and shrieked as by one impulse, "Good morning, modham." They were
so delighted at my surprise at their facility with English that they
gave it to me over and over again, and I saw that they had intuitions
of three cheers and a tiger.

When I had explained to the teacher that I was there to relieve him,
he explained it to the boys, and they replied with the same unanimity
and the same robustness of voice, "Yis, all ri'!" So he went away,
leaving me in charge of the boiler factory.

It stays in my recollection as the most strenuous five hours' labor I
ever put in. Only two personalities were impressive, those of the pupil
teacher who aided me, and who has since graduated from the University
of Michigan (agricultural department), and of a very small boy who had
possessed himself of a wooden box, once the receptacle of forty-eight
tins of condensed milk, which he used for a seat. He carried the box
with him when he went from one place to another, and more than one
fight was generated by his plutocracy. He also sang "Suwanee River"
in a clear but sweet nasal voice, and was evidently regarded as the
show pupil of the school.

The school was popular not only with boys but with goats. Flocks of
them wandered in, coming through the doors or jumping through the
windows. I soon found that Filipino children are more matter-of-fact
than American children. Nobody giggled when our four-footed friends
came in, and until I gave an order to expel them their presence was
accepted as a matter of course. When I suggested putting them out,
I found the Filipino youth ready enough at rough play. The first
charge nearly swept me off my feet, and turned the school into a
pandemonium. After that the goats were allowed to assist in the
classes at their pleasure.

During the next three days, what with the labor of school and the
fatigue of entertaining most of the population of Capiz during calling
hours, I was almost worn out. The Division Superintendent came back the
latter part of the week, and the _Presidente_, or mayor, sent out, at
his request, a _bandillo_ to announce the opening of a girls' school.

The bandillo corresponds to the colonial institution of the town
crier. It consists usually of three native police, armed with most
ferocious-looking revolvers, and preceded by a temporary guest
of municipal hospitality from the local _calabozo_. This citizen,
generally ragged and dirty and smoking a big cigar, is provided with
a drum which he beats lustily. The people flock to doors and windows,
and the curious and the little boys and girls who are carrying their
baby relations cross saddle on their hips, fall in behind as for a
circus procession. At every corner they stop, and the middle policeman
reads the announcement aloud from a paper. Then the march is taken
up again by those who desire to continue, and the rest race back to
their doorways to wag their tongues over the news. The bandillo makes
the rounds of the town and returns to the municipal hall whence it
started. The prisoner goes back to jail, the police lay aside their
bloodthirsty revolvers, and such is the rapidity with which news flies
in the Philippines that, in a little more than twenty-four hours,
the essentials of the bandillo may be known all over the province.

In spite of the bandillo I waited long for a pupil on the day of
opening my school. My little friend of the milk box deserted his own
classes and stationed himself at my door. After an interminable time
he thrust his head inside the door and announced, "One pupil, letty."

It was a very small girl in a long skirt with a train a yard long and
with a gauzy camisa and panuelo--a most comical little caricature of
womanhood. She was speechless with fright, but came on so recklessly
that I began to suspect the cause of her determination. It was,
in truth, behind her as my groom of the front yard soon let me
know. Again the elfin face and the wiry pompadour leaned round the
door-jamb--"One more pupil, letty,--dthe girl's modther."

But she was not a pupil, of course, and she had only come in response
to the heart promptings of motherhood, white, black, or brown, to talk
about her offspring to the strange woman who was to usurp a mother's
place with her so many hours of each day. She was quite as voluble
as American mothers are, and her daughter was quite embarrassed by
her volubility. The child sat stealing frightened glances at me and
resentful ones at her mother.

Half an hour later, three more girls came in, and they continued
to drop in during the rest of the morning till I had forty-five
enrolled. Some of them were accompanied by their dogs, which curled
up under the benches without disturbance. Several nursemaids also
happened along to give their charges a peep at the American school,
and a crowd of citizens peered in at doors and windows and made
audible remarks about the new institution.

Within a few days the enrolment ran up to one hundred and
forty-nine. As this was too large a body to be handled by me alone,
the teacher of Spanish days was brought back to the school, pending the
arrival of more teachers from the States. She was a plump, middle-aged
body who had a little--a very little--English, but whose ideas of
discipline, recitation, and study were too well fixed to permit of
accommodation to our methods. She was unfailingly polite and kind,
though I could see that she was often harassed by the innovations to
which she could not accustom herself.

The school-house was one immense room, and one of the first acts of
the Division Superintendent was to set in motion the forces which
should separate it into three. This took time. First the Presidente
had to approve, and the town council to act on his suggestion. The
Municipal Treasurer, a native official, had to certify the cost to
the Provincial Treasurer, an American civil appointee, and if the
last-named official approved, the council could make the appropriation
and order the work done.

Pending these changes, the Filipino teacher took one end of the room
and I the other. We were sufficiently far apart not to interfere with
each other's recitations. In order that all the pupils should have
their reading and grammar recitations under my personal supervision,
we changed classes at intervals. For the sake of the drill, I made
the children move from one part of the room to the other, instead
of changing with the other teacher myself. We made great efforts
to accomplish this movement with order and decorum, but the result
at first was a fizzle. The double column always began to move with
dignity, but by the time it had advanced ten steps, excitement began


Back to Full Books