The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes
Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

Part 4 out of 11

lute, called baringbau; consisting of the dry shaft of the scitamina
stretched in the form of a bow by means of a thin tendril instead of
gut. Half a coco shell is fixed in the middle of the bow, which, when
playing, is placed against the abdomen, and serves as a sounding board;
and the string when struck with a short wand, gave out a pleasing
humming sound, realizing the idea of the harp and plectrum in their
simplest forms. Others accompanied the musician on Jews' harps of
bamboos, as accurate as those of the Mintras on the Malay Peninsula;
and there was one who played on a guitar, which he had himself made,
but after a European pattern. The hut contained no utensils besides
bows, arrows, and a cooking pot. The possessor of clothes bore them
on his person. I found the women as decently clad as the Filipino
Christian women, and carrying, besides, a forest knife, or bolo. As
a mark of entire confidence, I was taken into the tobacco fields,
which were well concealed and protected by foot-lances; and they
appeared to be carefully looked after.

[The people and their crops.] The result of my familiarity with
this people, both before and after this opportunity, may be briefly
summed up: They live on the higher slopes of the mountain, never,
indeed, below 1,500 feet; each family by itself. It is difficult to
ascertain how many of them there may now be, as but little intercourse
takes place amongst them. In the part of the mountain belonging to
the district of Goa, their number is estimated at about fifty men
and twenty women, including the children: but twenty years before
the population was more numerous. Their food consists principally
of batata, besides some gabi (caladium). A little maize is likewise
cultivated, as well as some ubi (dioscorea), and a small quantity of
sugar-cane for chewing.

[Batatas.] In laying out a batata field, a wood is partially cleared,
the earth loosened with the blunt forest knife (bolo), and the bulbs
or layers then planted; and within four months the harvest begins,
and continues uninterruptedly from the time the creeping plant strikes
root and forms tubers. [Rotation of crops.] After two years, however,
the produce is so much diminished that the old plants are pulled up,
in order to make room for new ones obtained from the runners. The
field is then changed, or other fruits cultivated thereon, but with
the addition of manure. A piece of land, fifty brazas long, and thirty
wide, is sufficient for the support of a family. Only occasionally in
the wet season does this resource fail, and then they resort to gabi,
which appears to be as easily cultivated on wet as on dry ground,
but is not so profitable as batata. The young shoots of the gabi are
planted at distances of a vara, and if consumed in a proper manner,
ought not to be cropped till after a year. Each family kills weekly
one or two wild hogs. Stags are rare, although I obtained a fine
pair of horns; and they do not use the skin. Bows and arrows are
used in hunting; some poisoned, and some not. Every rancho keeps
dogs, which live principally on batata, and also cats to protect the
fields against rats; and they also have poultry, [Game cocks a Spanish
innovation.] but no game cocks; which, having been first introduced
into the Philippines by the Spaniards are seldom if ever, wanting in
the huts of the Filipinos; but the inhabitants of the Isarog are as
yet free from this passion.

[Trade.] The few products of a more advanced civilization which they
require, they obtain by the sale of the spontaneous productions of
their forests, chiefly wax and resin (pili), [149] apnik, dagiangan
(a kind of copal), and some abaca. Wax, which is much in request
for church solemnities, fetches half a dollar per catty; and resin
averages half a real per chinanta. Business is transacted very
simply. Filipinos, having intercourse with the Igorots, make a
contract with them; and they collect the products and bring them
to a place previously agreed on, where the Filipinos receive them,
after paying down the stipulated price.

[Religion.] Physicians and magicians, or persons supposed to be
possessed of secret powers, are unknown; every one helps himself. In
order to arrive at a clear understanding of their religious views,
a longer intercourse would be necessary. But they certainly believe
in one God, or, at least, say so, when they are closely questioned
by Christians; and have also loosely acquired several of the external
practices of Catholicism, which they employ as spells.

[Respect for women and aged.] Hunting and hard labor constitute the
employment of man in general, as well as in the Philippines. The
practice of employing women as beasts of burden--which, although
it exists among many of the peoples of Europe, for example, the
Basques, Wallachians, and Portuguese, is almost peculiar to barbarous
nations,--seems to have been lost in the Philippines as far back
as the time of its discovery by the Spaniards; and even among the
wild people of the Isarog, the women engage only in light labor,
and are well treated. Every family supports its aged and those unfit
for labor. [Medicine.] Headaches and fevers were stated to me as the
prevalent maladies; for which burnt rice, pounded and mixed to a pap
with water, is taken as a remedy; and in case of severe headache they
make an incision in the forehead of the sufferer. Their prevalence is
explained by the habit of neutralizing the ill effects of drinking
water in excess, when they are heated, by the consumption of warm
water in large doses; and the rule holds with regard to coco-water;
the remedy for immoderate use of which is warm coco-water. Their
muscular power is small, and they are not able to carry more than
fifty pounds weight to any considerable distance.

[Manufactures.] Besides the chase and agriculture, their occupations
are restricted to the manufacture of extremely rude weapons, for which
they purchase the iron, when required, from the Filipinos, and of
the coarse webs made by the women, and of wicker work. Every father
of a family is master in his own house, and acknowledges no power
higher than himself. In the event of war with neighboring tribes,
the bravest places himself at the head, and the rest follow him as
long as they are able; there is no deliberate choosing of a leader.

[Death customs.] On the whole, they are peaceful and honorable towards
each other, although the idle occasionally steal the fruits of the
fields; and, should the thief be caught, the person robbed punishes
him with blows of the rattan, without being under any apprehensions
of vengeance in consequence. If a man dies, his nearest kinsmen
go out to requite his death by the death of some other individual,
taken at random. The rule is strictly enforced. For a dead man a man
must be killed; for a woman a woman; and for a child a child. Unless,
indeed, it be a friend they encounter, the first victim that offers
is killed. Latterly, however, owing to the unusual success attained by
some of them in representing the occurrence of death as an unavoidable
destiny, the custom is said to have fallen into desuetude; and the
relatives do not exact the satisfaction. This was easy in the case
of the deceased being an ordinary person; but, to the present day,
vengeance is required in the event of the death of a beloved child or
wife. If a man kills a woman of another house, her nearest kinsman
endeavors to kill a woman of the house of the murderer; but to the
murderer himself he does nothing; and the corpse of the victim thus
slain as a death-offering is not buried, nor is its head cut off; and
her family, in their turn, seek to avenge the death by murder. This
is reckoned the most honorable course. Should the murderer, however,
be too strong to be so overcome, any weaker person, be it who it may,
is slain in retaliation; and hence, probably, the comparatively small
number of women.

[Marriage.] Polygamy is permitted; but even the most courageous
and skilful seldom or never have more than one wife. A young man
wishing to marry commissions his father to treat with the father
of the bride as to the price; which latterly has greatly increased;
but the average is ten bolos, costing from four to six reals each,
and about $12 in cash; and the acquisition of so large a sum by
the sale of wax, resin, and abaca, often takes the bridegroom two
years. The bride-money goes partly to the father, and partly to the
nearest relations; every one of whom has an equal interest. If there
should be many of them, almost nothing remains for the father, who
has to give a great feast, on which occasion much palm-wine is drunk.

[Sexual crimes.] Any man using violence towards a girl is killed by
her parents. If the girl was willing, and the father hears of it,
he agrees upon a day with the former, on which he is to bring the
bride's dowry; which should he refuse to do, he is caught by the
relations, bound to a tree, and whipped with a cane. Adultery is
of most rare occurrence; but, when it does take place, the dowry is
returned either by the woman, who then acquires her freedom, or by
the seducer, whom she then follows. The husband has not the right to
detain her, if he takes the money, or even if he should refuse it;
but the latter contingency is not likely to arise, since that sum of
money will enable him to buy for himself a new wife.

[Basira ravine.] In the afternoon we reached a vast ravine, called
"Basira," 973 meters above Uacloy, and about 1,134 meters above
the sea, extending from south-east to north-west between lofty,
precipitous ranges, covered with wood. Its base, which has an
inclination of 33 deg., consists of a naked bed of rock, and, after every
violent rainfall, gives issue to a torrent of water, which discharges
itself violently. Here we bivouacked; and the Igorots, in a very short
time, built a hut, and remained on the watch outside. At daybreak
the thermometer stood at 13.9 deg. R. [150]

[At the summit.] The road to the summit was very difficult on account
of the slippery clay earth and the tough network of plants; but the
last five hundred feet were unexpectedly easy, the very steep summit
being covered with a very thick growth of thinly leaved, knotted, mossy
thibaudia, rhododendra, and other dwarf woods, whose innumerable tough
branches, running at a very small height along the ground and parallel
to it, form a compact and secure lattice-work, by which one mounted
upwards as on a slightly inclined ladder. The point which we reached *
* * was evidently the highest spur of the horseshoe-shaped mountain
side, which bounds the great ravine of Rungus on the north. The top
was hardly fifty paces in diameter, and so thickly covered with trees
that I have never seen its like; we had not room to stand. My active
hosts, however, went at once to work, though the task of cutting a path
through the wood involved severe labor, and, chopping off the branches,
built therewith, on the tops of the lopped trees, an observatory, from
which I should have had a wide panoramic view, and an opportunity for
taking celestial altitudes, had not everything been enveloped in a
thick mist. The neighboring volcanoes were visible only in glimpses,
as well as San Miguel Bay and some lakes in the interior. Immediately
after sunset the thermometer registered 12.5 deg. R. [151]

[The descent.] On the following morning it was still overcast; and
when, about ten o'clock, the clouds became thicker, we set out on
our return. It was my intention to have passed the night in a rancho,
in order next day to visit a solfatara which was said to be a day's
journey further; but my companions were so exhausted by fatigue that
they asked for at least a few hours' rest.

[Ferns and orchids.] On the upper slope I observed no palms with the
exception of calamus; but polypodies (ferns) were very frequent, and
orchids surprisingly abundant. In one place all the trees were hung,
at a convenient height, with flowering aerids; of which one could have
collected thousands without any trouble. The most beautiful plant
was a Medinella, of so delicate a texture that it was impossible to
preserve it.

[Carbonic acid spring.] Within a quarter of an hour north-east
of Uacloy, a considerable spring of carbonic acid bursts from the
ground, depositing abundance of calcareous sinter. Our torches were
quickly extinguished, and a fowl covered with a cigar-box died in
a few minutes, to the supreme astonishment of the Igorots, to whom
these phenomena were entirely new.

[Farewell to mountaineers.] On the second day of rest, my poor hosts,
who had accompanied me back to Uacloy, still felt so weary that they
were not fit for any undertaking. With naked heads and bellies they
squatted in the burning sun in order to replenish their bodies with
the heat which they had lost during the bivouac on the summit; for
they are not allowed to drink wine. When I finally left them on the
following day, we had become such good friends that I was compelled
to accept a tamed wild pig as a present. A troop of men and women
accompanied me until they saw the glittering roofs of Maguiring,
when, after the exchange of hearty farewells, they returned to their
forests. The natives whom I had taken with me from Goa had proved
so lazy and morose that nearly the whole task of making the path
through the forest had fallen upon the Igorots. From sheer laziness
they threw away the drinking water of which they were the porters;
and the Igorots were obliged to fetch water from a considerable
distance for our bivouac on the summit. In all my troublesome marches,
I have always done better with Cimarrons than with the civilized
natives. The former I have found obliging, trustworthy, active and
acquainted with localities, while the latter generally displayed the
opposite qualities. It would, however, be unjust to form a conclusive
opinion as to their comparative merits from these facts; for the
wild people are at home when in the forest; what they do is done
voluntarily, and the stranger, when he possesses their confidence, is
treated as a guest. [Forced labor.] But the Filipinos are reluctant
companions, Polistas, who, even when they receive a high rate of
wages, consider that they are acting most honorably when they do as
little as possible. At any rate, it is no pleasure to them to leave
their village in order to become luggage-porters or beaters of roads
on fatiguing marches in impracticable districts, and to camp out in
the open air under every deprivation. For them, still more than for
the European peasant, repose is the most agreeable refreshment. The
less comfort any one enjoys at home, the greater is the reluctance
with which he leaves it; and the same thing may be observed in Europe.

[A petition for liquors.] As the Igorots were not permitted to
have cocoa-palms for the preparation of wine, vinegar and brandy,
so that they might not infringe the monopoly of the government,
they presented me with a petition entreating me to obtain this
favor for them. The document was put together by a Filipino writer
in so ludicrously confused a manner that I give it as a specimen of
Philippine clerkship. [152] At all events, it had the best of results,
for the petitioners were accorded twice as much as they had prayed for.

[Winds and planting season.] The south-west monsoon lasts in this
region (district of Goa) from April to October. April is very calm
(navegacion de senoras). From June to August the south-west winds
blow steadily; March, April, and May are the driest months; there are
shifting winds in March and the beginning of April; while from October
to December is the time of storms; "S. Francisco (4th October) brings
bad weather." Rice is planted in September and reaped in February.


[Mt. Iriga.] From the Isarog I returned through Naga and Nabua to
Iriga, the ascent of which I at length accomplished.

[The ascent.] The chief of the Montesinos had received daily rations
for twenty-two men, with whom he professed to make a road to the
summit; but when, on the evening of the third day, he came himself
to Iriga, in order to fetch more provisions, on the pretext that
the work still required some time for execution, I explained that
I should endeavor to ascend the mountain on the following morning,
and requested him to act as guide. He consented, but disappeared,
together with his companions, during the night; the Filipinos in
the tribunal having been good enough to hold out the prospect of
severe punishment in case the work performed should not correspond
to the working days. After fruitless search for another guide,
we left Buhi in the afternoon, and passed the night in the rancho,
where we had previously been so hospitably received. The fires were
still burning, but the inhabitants, on our approach, had fled. About
six o'clock on the following morning the ascent began. After we had
gone through the forest, by availing ourselves of the path which we
had previously beaten, it led us through grass three or four feet
in height, with keen-edged leaves; succeeded by cane, from seven
to eight feet high, of the same habitat with our Arundo phragmites
(but it was not in flower), which occupied the whole of the upper
part of the mountain as far as the edge. Only in the ravine did the
trees attain any height. The lower declivities were covered with
aroids and ferns; towards the summit were tendrils and mosses; and
here I found a beautiful, new, and peculiarly shaped orchid. [153]
The Cimarrons had cut down some cane; and, beating down our road for
ourselves with bolos, we arrived at the summit a little before ten
o'clock. It was very foggy. In the hope of a clear evening or morning
I caused a hut to be erected, for which purpose the cane was well
fitted. The natives were too lazy to erect a lodging for themselves,
or to procure wood for a watchfire. They squatted on the ground,
squeezed close to one another to warm themselves, ate cold rice,
and suffered thirst because none of them would fetch water. Of the
two water-carriers whom I had taken with me, one had "inadvertently"
upset his water on the road, and the other had thrown it away "because
he thought we should not require it."

[Altitude.] I found the highest points of the Iriga to be 1,212
meters, 1,120 meters above the surface of the Buhi Lake. From Buhi
I went to Batu.

[Changes in Batu Lake.] The Batu Lake (one hundred eleven meters
above the sea) had sunk lower since my last visit in February. The
carpet of algae had increased considerably in breadth, its upper
edge being in many places decomposed; and the lower passed gradually
into a thick consistency of putrid water-plants (charae, algae,
pontederiae, valisneriae, pistiae, etc.), which encompassed the
surface of the water so that only through a few gaps could one reach
the bank. Right across the mouth of the Quinali lies, in the lake,
a bar of black mud, the softest parts of which were indicated by some
insignificant channels of water. As we could not get over the bar in
a large boat, two small skiffs were bound together with a matting of
bamboo, and provided with an awning. By means of this contrivance,
which was drawn by three strong carabaos (the whole body of men with
evident delight and loud mirth wading knee-deep in the black mud
and assisting by pushing behind) we succeeded, as if on a sledge,
in getting over the obstacle into the river; which on my first visit
overflowed the fields in many places, till the huts of the natives
rose out of the water like so many ships: but now (in June) not one
of its channels was full. We were obliged in consequence to continue
our sledge journey until we were near to Quinali.

[Ascent of Mt. Mazaraga.] At Ligao I alighted at a friendly Spaniard's,
a great part of the place, together with the tribunal and convent,
having been burnt down since my last visit. After making the necessary
preparations, I went in the evening to Barayong, a little rancho
of Cimarrons at the foot of the Mazaraga, and, together with its
inhabitants, ascended the mountain on the following morning. The
women also accompanied us for some distance, and kept the company in
good humor; and when, on the road, a Filipino who had been engaged
for the purpose wished to give up carrying a bamboo full of water,
and, throwing it away, ran off, an old woman stepped forward in his
stead, and dragged the water cheerfully along up to the summit. This
mountain was moister than any I had ever ascended, the Semeru in
Java, in some respects, excepted; and half-way up I found some rotten
rafflesia. [154] Two miserable-looking Cimarron dogs drove a young
stag towards us, which was slain by one of the people with a blow
of his bolo. The path ceased a third of the way up, but it was not
difficult to get through the wood. The upper portion of the mountain,
however, being thickly overgrown with cane, again presented great
obstacles. About twelve we reached the summit-level, which, pierced by
no crater, is almost horizontal, smoothly arched, and thickly covered
with cane. [Altitude.] Its height is 1,354 meters. In a short time the
indefatigable Cimarrons had built a fine large hut of cane: one room
for myself and the baggage, a large assembly-room for the people,
and a special apartment for cooking. Unfortunately the cane was so
wet that it would not burn. In order to procure firewood to cook the
rice, thick branches were got out of the wood, and their comparatively
dry pith extracted with great labor. The lucifer-matches, too, were
so damp that the phosphorus was rubbed away in friction; but, being
collected on blotting-paper, and kneaded together with the sulphurous
end of the match-wood, it became dry and was kindled by friction. Not
a trace of solid rock was to be seen. All was obstructed by a thick
overgrowth from where the path ceased, and the ground covered with
a dense bed of damp wood-earth. The following morning was fine, and
showed a wide panorama; but, before I had completed my drawing, it
again became misty; and as, after several hours of waiting, the heavens
were overspread with thick rain-clouds, we set out on our return.

[Butterflies.] Numerous butterflies swarmed around the summit. We
could, however, catch only a few, as the passage over the cane-stubble
was too difficult for naked feet; and, the badly-stitched soles of
two pairs of new shoes which I had brought from Manila having dropped
off some time before I reached the summit, I was compelled to perform
the journey to Ligao barefoot.

[Native contempt for private Spaniards.] On the following day my
Spanish host went twice to the tribunal to procure the carabao carts
which were necessary for the furtherance of my collections. His
courteous request was unsuccessful; but the command of the parish
priest, who personally informed the Gobernadorcillo in his house,
was immediately obeyed. The Filipino authorities have, as a rule, but
little respect for private Spanish people, and treat them not seldom
with open contempt. An official recommendation from the alcalde is
usually effectual, but not in all the provinces; for many alcaldes do
hurt to their own authority by engaging the assistance or connivance of
the native magistrates in the furtherance of their personal interests.

[Giant bats.] I here shot some panikes, great bats with wings nearly
five feet wide when extended, which in the day time hang asleep from
the branches of trees, and, among them, two mothers with their young
sucking ones uninjured. It was affecting to see how the little animals
clung more and more firmly to the bodies of their dying parents,
and how tenderly they embraced them even after these were dead. The
apparent feeling, however, was only self-interest at bottom, for,
when their store of milk was exhausted, the old ones were treated
without respect, like empty bottles. As soon as the young ones were
separated, they fed on bananas, and lived several days, until I at
length placed them in spirits.

[A muddy dry season.] Early in the morning I rode on the priest's
horse to Legaspi, and in the evening through deep mud to the alcalde
at Albay. We were now (June) in the middle of the so-called dry season,
but it rained almost every day; and the road between Albay and Legaspi
was worse than ever. During my visit information arrived from the
commandant of the faluas on the south coast that, as he was pursuing
two pirate vessels, [Power of Moro pirates.] six others suddenly made
their appearance, in order to cut off his return; for which reason he
bad quickly made his way back. The faluas are very strongly manned, and
provided with cannon, but the crews furnished by the localities on the
coast are entirely unpractised in the use of fire-arms, and moreover
hold the Moros in such dread that, if the smallest chance offers of
flight, they avail themselves of it to ensure their safety by making
for the land. The places on the coast, destitute of other arms than
wooden pikes, were completely exposed to the pirates, who had firmly
established themselves in Catanduanes, Biri, and several small islands,
and seized ships with impunity, or robbed men on the land. Almost daily
fresh robberies and murders were announced from the villages on the
shore. During a plundering expedition the men caught are employed at
the oars and at its close sold as slaves; and, on the division of the
spoil, one of the crew falls to the share of the dato (Moro chief) who
fitted out the vessel. [155] The coasting vessels in these waters, it
is true, are mostly provided with artillery, but it is generally placed
in the hold of the ship, as no one on board knows how to use it. If
the cannon be upon deck, either the powder or the shot is wanting;
and the captain promises to be better prepared next time. [156] The
alcalde reported the outrages of the pirates by every post to Manila,
as well as the great injury done to trade, and spoke of the duty of the
[No protection from Government.] Government to protect its subjects,
especially as the latter were not permitted to use fire-arms; [157] and
from the Bisayan Islands came the same cry for help. The Government,
however, was powerless against the evil. If the complaints were indeed
very urgent, they would send a steamer into the waters most infested;
but it hardly ever came in sight of pirates, although the latter were
carrying on their depredations close in front and behind.

[Government steamer easily eluded.] At Samars, the principal town,
I subsequently met with a Government steamer, which for fourteen days
past had been nominally engaged in cruising against the pirates; but
the latter, generally forewarned by their spies, perceive the smoke
of the steamers sufficiently soon to slip away in their flat boats;
and the officers knew beforehand that their cruise would have no
other result than to show the distressed provinces that their outcry
was not altogether unnoticed. [158]

[Steam gunboats more successful.] Twenty small steam gunboats of light
draught had shortly before been ordered from England, and were nearly
ready. The first two indeed arrived soon after in Manila (they had to
be transported in pieces round the Cape), and were to be followed by
the rest; and they were at one time almost successful in delivering
the archipelago from these burdensome pests; [159] at least, from
the proscribed Moros who came every year from the Sulu Sea, mostly
from the island of Tawitawi, arriving in May at the Bisayas, and
continuing their depredations in the archipelago until the change
of the monsoon in October or November compelled them to return.
[160] [Renegades join pirates and bandits.] In the Philippines they
gained new recruits among vagabonds, deserters, runaway criminals,
and ruined spendthrifts; and from the same sources were made up the
bands of highway robbers (tulisanes), which sometimes started up,
and perpetuated acts of extraordinary daring. Not long before my
arrival they had made an inroad into a suburb of Manila, and engaged
with the military in the highways. Some of the latter are regularly
employed in the service against the tulisanes. The robbers are not,
as a rule, cruel to their victims when no opposition is offered. [161]

[Plants from Berlin.] In Legaspi I found awaiting me several chests
with tin lining, which had been sixteen months on their passage by
overland route, instead of seven weeks, having been conveyed from
Berlin by way of Trieste, on account of the Italian war. Their
contents, which had been intended for use in the Philippines
exclusively, were now for the most part useless. In one chest there
were two small flasks with glass stoppers, one filled with moist
charcoal, and the other with moist clay, both containing seeds of the
Victoria Regia and tubers of red and blue nymphae (water-lily). Those
in the first flask were spoiled, as might have been expected; but in
that filled with moist clay two tubers had thrown out shoots of half an
inch in length, and appeared quite sound. I planted them at once, and
in a few days vigorous leaves were developed. One of these beautiful
plants, which had been originally intended for the Buitenzorg Garden
in Java, remained in Legaspi; the other I sent to Manila, where,
on my return, I saw it in full bloom. In the charcoal two Victoria
seeds had thrown out roots above an inch in length, which had rotted
off. Most likely they had been torn up by the custom-house inspectors,
and had afterwards rotted, for the neck of the bottle was broken,
and the charcoal appeared as if it had been stirred. I communicated
the brilliant result of his mode of packing to the Inspector of the
Botanical Gardens at Berlin, who made a second consignment direct
to Java, which arrived in the best condition; so that not only the
Victoria, but also the one which had been derived in Berlin from an
African father and an Asiatic mother, now adorn the water-basins of
Java with red pond-roses (the latter plants probably those of the
Philippines also).

[Carpentering difficulties.] Being compelled by the continuous rain to
dry my collections in two ovens before packing them, I found that my
servant had burned the greater part, so that the remains found a place
in a roomy chest which I purchased for a dollar at an auction. This
unfortunately lacked a lid; to procure which I was obliged, in the
first place, to liberate a carpenter who had been imprisoned for a
small debt; secondly, to advance money for the purchase of a board
and the redemption of his tools out of pawn; and even then the work,
when it was begun, was several times broken off because previous claims
of violent creditors had to be discharged by labor. In five days the
lid was completed, at the cost of three dollars. It did not last long,
however, for in Manila I had to get it replaced by a new one.

[Off to Samar.] At Legaspi I availed myself of an opportunity to reach
the island of Samar in a small schooner. It is situated south-east
from Luzon, on the farther side of the Strait of San Bernardino,
which is three leagues in breadth. At the moment of my departure,
to my great regret, my servant left me, "that he might rest a little
from his fatigue," for Pepe was good-natured, very skilful, and
always even-tempered. [Losing a clever assistant.] He had learned
much from the numerous Spanish soldiers and sailors resident in
Cavite, his native place, where he used to be playfully called the
"Spaniard of Cavite." Roving from one place to another was his
delight; and he quickly acquired acquaintances. He knew especially
how to gain the favor of the ladies, for he possessed many social
accomplishments, being equally able to play the guitar and to milk
the carabao-cows. When we came to a pueblo, where a mestiza, or even a
"daughter of the country" (creole), dwelt, he would, when practicable,
ask permission to milk a cow; and after bringing the senora some
of the milk, under pretext of being the interpreter of my wishes,
he would maintain such a flow of ingeniously courteous conversation,
praising the beauty and grace of the lady, and most modestly allowing
his prodigious travelling adventures to be extracted from him, that
both knight and esquire beamed with brilliant radiance. A present
was always welcome, and brought us many a little basket of oranges;
and carabao milk is excellent with chocolate: but it seemed as if
one seldom has the opportunity of milking a cow. Unfortunately Pepe
did not like climbing mountains, and when he was to have gone with
me he either got the stomach-ache or gave away my strong shoes, or
allowed them to be stolen; the native ones, however, being allowed
to remain untouched, for he knew well that they were fit only for
riding, and derived comfort from the fact. In company with me he
worked quickly and cheerfully; but, when alone, it became tedious to
him. Particularly he found friends, who hindered him, and then he would
abandon his skinning of the birds, which therefore became putrid and
had to be thrown away. Packing was still more disagreeable to him, and
consequently he did it as quickly as possible, though not always with
sufficient care, as on one occasion he tied up, in one and the same
bundle, shoes, arsenic-soap, drawings, and chocolate. Notwithstanding
trifling faults of this kind, he was very useful and agreeable to me;
but he did not go willingly to such an uncivilized island as Samar;
and when he received his wages in full for eight months all in a lump,
and so became a small capitalist, he could not resist the temptation
to rest a little from his labors.


[Samar.] The island of Samar, which is of nearly rhomboidal outline,
and with few indentations on its coasts, stretches from the north-west
to the south-east from 12 deg. 37' to 10 deg. 54' N.; its mean length being
twenty-two miles, its breadth eleven, and its area two hundred and
twenty square miles. It is separated on the south by the small strait
of San Juanico from the island of Leyte, with which it was formerly
united into one province. At the present time each island has its
separate governor.

[Former names.] By the older authors the island is called Tendaya,
Ibabao, and also Achan and Filipina. In later times the eastern
side was called Ibabao, and the western Samar, which is now the
official denomination for the whole island, the eastern shore being
distinguished as the Contracosta. [162]

[Seasons and weather.] As on the eastern coasts of Luzon, the
north-east monsoon here exceeds that from the south-west in duration
and force, the violence of the latter being arrested by the islands
lying to the southwest, while the north-east winds break against
the coasts of these easterly islands with their whole force, and the
additional weight of the body of water which they bring with them from
the open ocean. In October winds fluctuating between north-west and
north-east occur; but the prevalent ones are northerly. In the middle
of November the north-east is constant; and it blows, with but little
intermission, from the north until April. This is likewise the rainy
season, December and January being the wettest, when it sometimes
rains for fourteen days without interruption. In Lauang, on the north
coast, the rainy season lasts from October to the end of December. From
January to April it is dry; May, June, and July are rainy; and August
and September, again, are dry; so that here there are two wet and
two dry seasons in the year. From October to January violent storms
(baguios or typhoons) sometimes occur. Beginning generally with a
north wind, they pass to the north-west, accompanied by a little rain,
then back to the north, and with increasing violence to the north-east
and east, where they acquire their greatest power, and then moderate
to the south. Sometimes, however, they change rapidly from the east
to the south, in which quarter they first acquire their greatest force.

[Winds and storms.] From the end of March to the middle of June
inconstant easterly winds (N.E.E. and S.E.) prevail, with a very
heavy sea on the east coast. May is usually calm; but in May and
June there are frequent thunderstorms, introducing the south-west
monsoon, which though it extends through the months of July, August,
and September, is not so constant as the north-east. The last-named
three months constitute the dry season, which, however, is often
interrupted by thunderstorms. Not a week, indeed, passes without rain;
and in many years a storm arises every afternoon. At this season of
the year ships can reach the east coast; but during the north-east
monsoon navigation there is impossible. These general circumstances
are subject to many local deviations, particularly on the south and
west coasts, where the uniformity of the air currents is disturbed
by the mountainous islands lying in front of them. According to
the Estado geografico of 1855, an extraordinarily high tide, called
dolo, occurs every year at the change of the monsoon in September or
October. It rises sometimes sixty or seventy feet, and dashes itself
with fearful violence against the south and east coasts, doing great
damage, but not lasting for any length of time. The climate of Samar
and Leyte appears to be very healthy on the coasts; in fact, to be
the best of all the islands of the archipelago. Dysentery, diarrhoea,
and fever occur less frequently than in Luzon, and Europeans also
are less subject to their attacks than in that place.

[Only the coast settled.] The civilized natives live almost solely
on its coasts, and there are also Bisayans who differ in speech and
manners from the Bicols in about the same degree that the latter do
from the Tagalogs. Roads and villages are almost entirely wanting
in the interior, which is covered with a thick wood, and affords
sustenance to independent tribes, who carry on a little tillage
(vegetable roots and mountain rice), and collect the products of the
woods, particularly resin, honey, and wax, in which the island is
very rich.

[A tedious but eventful voyage.] On the 3rd of July we lost sight
of Legaspi, and, detained by frequent calms, crawled as far as
Point Montufar, on the northern edge of Albay, then onwards to the
small island of Viri, and did not reach Lauang before evening of
the 5th. The mountain range of Bacon (the Pocdol of Coello), which
on my previous journeys had been concealed by night or mist, now
revealed itself to us in passing as a conical mountain; and beside
it towered a very precipitous, deeply-cleft mountain-side, apparently
the remnant of a circular range. After the pilot, an old Filipino and
native of the country, who had made the journey frequently before,
had conducted us, to begin with, to a wrong port, he ran the vessel
fast on to the bar, although there was sufficient water to sail into
the harbor conveniently.

[Lauang.] The district of Lauang (Lahuan), which is encumbered with
more than four thousand five hundred inhabitants, is situated at an
altitude of forty feet, on the south-west shore of the small island
of the same name, which is separated from Samar by an arm of the
Catubig. According to a widely-spread tradition, the settlement was
originally in Samar itself, in the middle of the rice-fields, which
continue to the present day in that place, until the repeated inroads
of sea-pirates drove the inhabitants, in spite of the inconvenience
attending it, to protect themselves by settling on the south coast
of the little island, which rises steeply out of the sea. [163] The
latter consists of almost horizontal banks of tufa, from eight to
twelve inches in thickness. The strata being continually eaten away
by the waves at low watermark, the upper layers break off; and thus
the uppermost parts of the strata, which are of a tolerably uniform
thickness, are cleft by vertical fissures, and look like the walls of
a fortress. Pressed for space, the church and the convent have taken
up every level bit of the rock at various heights; and the effect of
this accommodation of architecture to the requirements of the ground,
though not designed by the architect, is most picturesque.

[Deterioration in the town.] The place is beautifully situated; but the
houses are not so frequently as formerly surrounded by little gardens
while there is a great want of water, and foul odors prevail. Two or
three scanty springs afford a muddy, brackish water, almost at the
level of the sea, with which the indolent people are content so that
they have just enough. Wealthy people have their water brought from
Samar, and the poorer classes are sometimes compelled, by the drying-up
of the springs, to have recourse to the same place. The spring-water
is not plentiful for bathing purposes; and, sea-bathing not being in
favor, the people consequently are very dirty. Their clothing is the
same as in Luzon; but the women wear no tapis, only a camisa (a short
chemise, hardly covering the breast), and a saya, mostly of coarse,
stiff guinara, which forms ugly folds, and when not colored black
is very transparent. But dirt and a filthy existence form a better
screen than opaque garments. The inhabitants of Lauang rightly,
indeed, enjoy the reputation of being very idle. Their industry is
limited to a little tillage, even fishing being so neglected that
frequently there is a scarcity of fish. In the absence of roads by
land, there is hardly any communication by water; and trade is mostly
carried on by mariners from Catbalogan, who exchange the surplus of
the harvests for other produce.

From the convent a view is had of part of the island of Samar, the
mountain forms of which appear to be a continuation of the horizontal
strata. In the centre of the district, at the distance of some miles,
a table mountain, famous in the history of the country, towers
aloft. [The Palapat revolt.] The natives of the neighboring village
of Palapat retreated to it after having killed their priest, a too
covetous Jesuit father, and for years carried on a guerilla warfare
with the Spaniards until they were finally overpowered by treachery.

[Pirate outrages.] The interior of the country is difficult to
traverse from the absence of roads, and the coasts are much infested
by pirates. Quite recently several pontins and four schooners,
laden with abaca, were captured, and the crews cruelly murdered,
their bodies having been cut to pieces. This, however, was opposed
to their general practice, for the captives are usually employed at
the oars during the continuance of the foray, and afterwards sold as
slaves in the islands of the Sulu sea. It was well that we did not
encounter the pirates, for, although we carried four small cannons
on board, nobody understood how to use them. [164]

[Electing officers.] The governor, who was expected to conduct the
election of the district officials in person, but was prevented
by illness, sent a deputy. As the annual elections are conducted
in the same manner over the whole country, that at which I was
present may be taken as typical of the rest. It took place in the
common hall; the governor (or his deputy) sitting at the table,
with the pastor on his right hand, and the clerk on his left--the
latter also acting as interpreter; while Cabezas de Barangay, the
gobernadorcillo, and those who had previously filled the office, took
their places all together on benches. First of all, six cabezas and
as many gobernadorcillos are chosen by lot as electors; the actual
gobernadorcillo is the thirteenth, and the rest quit the hall. After
the reading of the statutes by the president, who exhorts the electors
to the conscientious performance of their duty, the latter advance
singly to the table, and write three names on a piece of paper. Unless
a valid protest be made either by the parish priest or by the electors,
the one who has the most votes is forthwith named gobernadorcillo for
the coming year, subject to the approval of the superior jurisdiction
at Manila; which, however, always consents, for the influence of the
priest would provide against a disagreeable election. The election of
the other functionaries takes place in the same manner, after the new
gobernadorcillo has been first summoned into the hall, in order that,
if he have any important objections to the officers then about to be
elected, he may be able to make them. The whole affair was conducted
very quietly and with dignity. [165]

[Unsatisfactory forced labor.] On the following morning, accompanied
by the obliging priest, who was followed by nearly all the boys
of the village, I crossed over in a large boat to Samar. Out of
eleven strong baggage porters whom the governor's representative had
selected for me, four took possession of some trifling articles and
sped away with them, three others hid themselves in the bush, and
four had previously decamped at Lauang. The baggage was divided and
distributed amongst the four porters who were detained, and the little
boys who had accompanied us for their own pleasure. We followed the
sea-shore in a westerly direction, and at a very late hour reached the
nearest visita (a suburban chapel and settlement) where the priest
was successful, after much difficulty, in supplying the places of
the missing porters. On the west side of the mouth of the Pambujan
a neck of land projects into the sea, which is a favorite resort
of the [A pirate base.] sea-pirates, who from their shelter in the
wood command the shore which extends in a wide curve on both sides,
and forms the only communication between Lauang and Catarman. Many
travellers had already been robbed in this place; and the father, who
was now accompanying me thus far, had, with the greatest difficulty,
escaped the same danger only a few weeks before.

The last part of our day's journey was performed very cautiously. A
messenger who had been sent on had placed boats at all the mouths of
rivers, and, as hardly any other Europeans besides ecclesiastics are
known in this district, I was taken in the darkness for a Capuchin in
travelling attire; the men lighting me with torches during the passage,
and the women pressing forward to kiss my hand. I passed the night
on the road, and on the following day reached Catarman (Caladman on
Coello's map), a clean, spacious locality numbering 6,358 souls, at
the mouth of the river of the same name. Six pontins from Catbalogan
awaited their cargoes of rice for Albay. The inhabitants of the north
coast are too indifferent sailors to export their products themselves,
and leave it to the people of [Catbalogan monopoly of interisland
traffic.] Catbalogan, who, having no rice-fields, are obliged to find
employment for their activity in other places.

[A changed river and a new town.] The river Catarman formerly emptied
further to the east, and was much choked with mud. In the year 1851,
after a continuous heavy rain, it worked for itself, in the loose
soil which consists of quartz sand and fragments of mussels, a new
and shorter passage to the sea--the present harbor, in which ships
of two hundred tons can load close to the land; but in doing so it
destroyed the greater part of the village, as well as the stone church
and the priest's residence. In the new convent there are two salons,
one 16.2 by 8.8, the other 9 by 7.6 paces in dimensions, boarded with
planks from a single branch of a dipterocarpus (guiso). The pace is
equivalent to 30 inches; and, assuming the thickness of the boards,
inclusive of waste, to be one inch, this would give a solid block of
wood as high as a table (two and one-half feet), the same in breadth,
eighteen feet in length, and of about one hundred and ten cubic
feet. [166] The houses are enclosed in gardens; but some of them only
by fencing, within which weeds luxuriate. At the rebuilding of the
village, after the great flood of water, the laying out of gardens
was commanded; but the industry which is required to preserve them is
often wanting. Pasture grounds extend themselves, on the south side
of the village, covered with fine short grass; but, with the exception
of some oxen and sheep belonging to the priest, there are no cattle.

[Up the river.] Still without servants, I proceeded with my baggage in
two small boats up the river, on both sides of which rice-fields and
coco-groves extended; but the latter, being concealed by a thick border
of Nipa palms and lofty cane, are only visible occasionally through
the gaps. The sandy banks, at first flat, became gradually steeper,
and the rock soon showed itself close at hand, with firm banks of sandy
clay containing occasional traces of indistinguishable petrifactions. A
small mussel [167] has pierced the clay banks at the water-line, in
such number that they look like honeycombs. About twelve we cooked
our rice in an isolated hut, amongst friendly people. The women whom
we surprised in dark ragged clothing of guinara drew back ashamed,
and soon after appeared in clean chequered sayas, with earrings of
brass and tortoise-shell combs. When I drew a little naked girl, the
mother forced her to put on a garment. About two we again stepped into
the boat, and after rowing the whole night reached a small visita,
Cobocobo, about nine in the forenoon. The rowers had worked without
interruption for twenty-four hours, exclusive of the two hours'
rest at noon, and though somewhat tired were in good spirits.

[Salta Sangley ridge.] At half-past two we set out on the road over
the Salta Sangley (Chinese leap) to Tragbucan, which, distant about a
mile in a straight line, is situated at the place where the Calbayot,
which empties on the west coast at Point Hibaton, becomes navigable for
small boats. By means of these two rivers and the short but troublesome
road, a communication exists between the important stations of Catarman
on the north coast, and Calbayot on the west coast. The road, which
at its best part is a small path in the thick wood uninvaded by the
sun, and frequently is only a track, passes over slippery ridges of
clay, disappearing in the mud puddles in the intervening hollows, and
sometimes running into the bed of the brooks. The watershed between
the Catarman and Calbayot is formed by the Salta Sangley already
mentioned, a flat ridge composed of banks of clay and sandstone,
which succeed one another ladder-wise downwards on both its sides,
and from which the water collected at the top descends in little
cascades. In the most difficult places rough ladders of bamboo are
fixed. I counted fifteen brooks on the north-east side which feed the
Catarman, and about the same number of feeders of the Calbayot on the
south-west side. About forty minutes past four we reached the highest
point of the Salta Sangley, about ninety feet above the sea; and at
half-past six we got to a stream, the highest part of the Calbayot,
in the bed of which we wandered until its increasing depth forced us,
in the dark, laboriously to beat out our path through the underwood
to its bank; and about eight o'clock we found ourselves opposite the
visita Tragbucan. The river at this place was already six feet deep,
and there was not a boat. After shouting entreaties and threats for
a long time, the people, who were startled out of sleep by a revolver
shot, agreed to construct a raft of bamboo, on which they put us and
our baggage. The little place, which consists of only a few poor huts,
is prettily situated, surrounded as it is by wooded hillocks on a
plateau of sand fifty feet above the reed-bordered river.

[On the Calbayot River.] Thanks to the activity of the teniente of
Catarman who accompanied me, a boat was procured without delay, so
that we were able to continue our journey about seven o'clock. The
banks were from twenty to forty feet high; and, with the exception of
the cry of some rhinoceros birds which fluttered from bough to bough
on the tops of the trees, we neither heard nor saw a trace of animal
life. About half-past eleven we reached Taibago, a small visita,
and about half-past one a similar one, Magubay; and after two hours'
rest at noon, about five o'clock, we got into a current down which
we skilfully floated, almost without admitting any water. The river,
which up to this point is thirty feet broad, and on account of many
projecting branches of trees difficult to navigate, here is twice as
broad. About eleven at night we reached the sea, and in a complete
calm rowed for the distance of a league along the coast to Calbayot,
the convent at which place affords a commanding view of the islands
lying before it.

A thunderstorm obliged us to postpone the journey to the chief town,
Catbalogan (or Catbalonga), which was seven leagues distant, until
the afternoon. In a long boat, formed out of the stem of one tree,
and furnished with outriggers, we travelled along the shore, which
is margined by a row of low-wooded hills with many small visitas;
and as night was setting in we rounded the point of Napalisan,
a rock of trachytic conglomerate shaped by perpendicular fissures
with rounded edges into a series of projections like towers,
which rises up out of the sea to the height of sixty feet, like
a knight's castle. [Catbalogan.] At night we reached Catbalogan,
the chief town of the island, with a population of six thousand,
which is picturesquely situated in the middle of the western border,
in a little bay surrounded by islands and necks of land, difficult
to approach and, therefore, little guarded. Not a single vessel was
anchored in the harbor.

The houses, many of which are of boards, are neater than those
in Camarines; and the people, though idle, are more modest, more
honorable, more obliging, and of cleaner habits, than the inhabitants
of South Luzon. Through the courtesy of the governor I quickly obtained
a roomy dwelling, and a servant who understood Spanish. [An ingenious
mechanic.] Here I also met a very intelligent Filipino who had acquired
great skill in a large variety of crafts. With the simplest tools he
improved in many points on my instruments and apparatus, the purpose
of which he quickly comprehended to my entire satisfaction, and gave
many proofs of considerable intellectual ability.

[The flying monkey.] In Samar the flying monkey or lemur (the kaguang
of the Bisayans--galeopithecus) is not rare. These animals, which are
of the size of the domestic cat, belong to the quadrumana; but, like
the flying squirrels, they are provided with a bird-like membrane,
which, commencing at the neck, and passing over the fore and hinder
limbs, reaches to the tail; by means of which they are able to glide
from one tree to another at a very obtuse angle. [168] Body and
membrane are clothed with a very short fur, which nearly equals the
chinchilla in firmness and softness, and is on that account in great
request. While I was there, six live kaguangs arrived as a present for
the priest (three light grey, one dark brown, and two greyish brown;
all with irregularly distributed spots); and from these I secured a
little female with her young.

[A hasty and unfounded judgment.] It appeared to be a very harmless,
awkward animal. When liberated from its fetters, it remained lying
on the ground with all its four limbs stretched out, and its belly
in contact with the earth, and then hopped in short awkward leaps,
without thereby raising itself from the ground, to the nearest wall,
which was of planed boards. Arrived there, it felt about it for a long
time with the sharp claw, which is bent inwards, of its fore-hand,
until at length it realized the impossiblity of climbing it at any
part. It succeeded by means of a corner or an accidental crevice in
climbing a foot upwards, and fell down again immediately, because it
had abandoned the comparatively secure footing of its hinder limbs
before its fore-claws had obtained a firm hold. It received no hurt,
as the violence of the fall was broken by the flying membrane which
was rapidly extended. These attempts, which were continued with steady
perseverance, showed an astonishing deficiency of judgment, the animal
endeavoring to do much more than was in its power to accomplish. All
its endeavors, therefore, were unsuccessful, though made without
doing itself any hurt--thanks to the parachute with which Nature
had provided it. Had the kaguang not been in the habit of relying
so entirely on this convenient contrivance, it probably would have
exercised its judgment to a greater extent, and formed a more correct
estimate of its ability. The animal repeated its fruitless efforts so
often that I no longer took any notice of it, and after some time it
disappeared: but I found it again in a dark corner, under the roof,
where it would probably have waited for the night in order to continue
its flight. Evidently it had succeeded in reaching the upper edge of
the boarded wall by squeezing its body between this and the elastic
covering of bamboo hurdle-work which lay firmly imposed upon it;
so that the poor creature, which I had rashly concluded was stupid
and awkward, had, under the circumstances, manifested the greatest
possible skill, prudence, and perseverance.

[A promise of rare animals and wild people.] A priest who was
present on a visit from Calbigan promised me so many wonders in his
district--abundance of the rarest animals, and Cimarrones uncivilized
in the highest degree--that I accompanied him, on the following day,
in his journey home. In an hour after our departure we reached the
little island of Majava, which consists of perpendicular strata of
a hard, fine-grained, volcanic tufa, with small, bright crystals of
hornblende. The island of Buat (on Coello's map) is called by our
mariners Tubigan. In three hours we reached Umauas, a dependency
of Calbigan. It is situated, fifty feet above the sea, in a bay,
before which (as is so often the case on this coast) a row of small
picturesque islands succeed one another, and is exactly four leagues
from Catbalogan. But Calbigan, which we reached towards evening, is
situated two leagues N.N.E. from Umauas, surrounded by rice-fields,
forty feet above the river of the same name, and almost a league and
a half from its mouth. A tree with beautiful violet-blue panicles
of blossoms is especially abundant on the banks of the Calbigan,
and supplies a most valuable wood for building purposes in the
Philippines. It is considered equal to teak, like which it belongs
to the class verbenaceae; and its inland name is [Molave.] molave
(Vitex geniculata, Blanco).

[Serpent-charmers.] According to the statements of credible men,
there are serpent-tamers in this country. They are said to pipe the
serpents out of their holes, directing their movements, and stopping
and handling them at will, without being injured by them. The most
famous individual amongst them, however, had been carried off by
the sea-pirates a short time before; another had run away to the
Cimarronese in the mountains; and the third, whose reputation did not
appear to be rightly established, accompanied me on my excursion,
but did not justify the representations of his friends. He caught
two poisonous serpents, [169] which we encountered on the road, by
dexterously seizing them immediately behind the head, so that they were
incapable of doing harm; and, when he commanded them to lie still,
he took the precaution of placing his foot on their necks. In the
chase I hurt my foot so severely against a sharp-pointed branch which
was concealed by the mud that I was obliged to return to Catbalogan
without effecting my object. The inhabitants of Calbigan are considered
more active and circumspect than those on the west coast, and they are
praised for their honesty. I found them very skilful; and they seemed
to take an evident pleasure in making collections and preparing plants
and animals, so that I would gladly have taken with me a servant from
the place; but they are so reluctant to leave their village that all
the priest's efforts to induce one to ride with us were fruitless.

[A coral garden.] At a short distance north-west from Catbalogan a most
luxuriant garden of corals is to be observed in less than two fathoms,
at the ebb. On a yellow carpet of calcareous polyps and sponges,
groups of leather-like stalks, finger-thick, lift themselves up like
stems of vegetable growth; their upper ends thickly covered with polyps
(Sarcophyton pulmo Esp.), which display their roses of tentacula wide
open, and resplendent with the most beautiful varying colors, looking,
in fact, like flowers in full bloom. Very large serpulites extend
from their calcareous tubes, elegant red, blue, and yellow crowns of
feelers, and, while little fishes of marvellously gorgeous color dart
about in this fairy garden, in their midst luxuriantly grow delicate,
feathered plumulariae.

[Ornamental but useless forts.] Bad weather and the flight of my
servant, who had gambled away some money with which he had been
entrusted, at a cock-fight, having detained me some days in the
chief town, I proceeded up the bay, which extends southwards from
Catbalogan and from west to east as far as Paranas. Its northern
shore consists of ridges of earth, regular and of equal height,
extending from north to south, with gentle slopes towards the west,
but steep declivities on the east, and terminating abruptly towards
the sea. Nine little villages are situated on this coast between
Catbalogan and Paranas. From the hollows, amidst coco and betel
palms, they expand in isolated groups of houses up the gentle western
slopes, and, on reaching the summit, terminate in a little castle,
which hardly affords protection against the pirates, but generally
forms a pretty feature in the landscape. In front of the southern
edge of the bay, and to the south-west, many small islands and wooded
rocks are visible, with the mountains of Leyte in the high-ground,
constituting an ever-shifting series of views.

[Paranas.] As the men, owing to the sultry heat, the complete calm,
and almost cloudless sky, slept quite as much as they rowed, we
did not reach Paranas before the afternoon. It is a clean village,
situated on a declivity between twenty and a hundred and fifty feet
above the sea. The sides, which stand perpendicularly in the sea,
consist of grey banks of clay receding landwards, and overspread
with a layer of fragments of mussels, the intervals between which
are filled up with clay, and over the latter is a solid breccia,
cemented with lime, composed of similar fragments. In the clay banks
are well-preserved petrifactions, so similar in color, habitat, and
aspect to many of those in the German tertiary formations that they
might be taken for them. The breccia also is fossil, probably also
tertiary; at all events, the identity of the few species which were
recognisable in it--Cerithium, Pecten, and Venus--with living species
could not be determined. [170]

[A canal through the bog.] On the following morning I proceeded
northwards by a small canal, through a stinking bog of rhizophora
(mangroves), and then continued my journey on land to Loquilocun,
a little village which is situated in the forest. Half-way we passed
through a river, twenty feet broad, flowing east to west, with steep
banks rendered accessible by ladders.

[Hammock-travelling.] As I still continued lame (wounds in the feet are
difficult to heal in warm countries), I caused myself to be carried
part of the way in the manner which is customary hereabouts. The
traveller lies on a loose mat, which is fastened to a bamboo frame,
borne on the shoulders of four robust polistas. About every ten
minutes the bearers are relieved by others. As a protection against
sun and rain, the frame is furnished with a light roof of pandanus.

[Poor roads.] The roads were pretty nearly as bad as those at the
Salta Sangley; and, with the exception of the sea-shore, which is
sometimes available, there appear to be none better in Samar. After
three hours we reached the Loquilocun, which, coming from the north,
here touches its most southerly point, and then flows south-east to
the great ocean. Through the kind care of the governor, I found two
small boats ready, which were propelled with wonderful dexterity by
two men squatted at the extreme ends, and [Running the rapids.] glided
between the branches of the trees and rocks into the bed of the rapid
mountain torrent. Amidst loud cheers both the boats glided down a
cascade of a foot and a half in height without shipping any water.

[Loquilocun.] The little village of Loquilocun consists of three
groups of houses on three hillocks. The inhabitants were very friendly,
modest, and obliging, and so successful in collecting that the spirits
of wine which I had with me was quickly consumed. In Catbalogan
my messengers were able with difficulty to procure a few small
flasks. Through the awkward arrangements of a too obliging friend,
my own stores, having been sent to a wrong address, did not reach
me until some months afterwards; and the palm-wine, which was to be
bought in Samar, was too weak. One or two boats went out daily to fish
for me; but I obtained only a few specimens, which belonged to almost
as many species and genera. Probably the bad custom of poisoning the
water in order to kill the fish (the pounded fruit of a Barringtonia
here being employed for the purpose) is the cause of the river being
so empty of fish.

[Numerous small streams.] After a few days we left the little place
about half-past nine in the forenoon, packed closely in two small
boats; and, by seven minutes past one when we reached an inhabited
hut in the forest, we had descended more than forty streams of a
foot and a foot and a half and more in depth. The more important of
them have names which are correctly given on Coello's map; and the
following are their distances by the watch:--At ten o'clock we came
to a narrow, rocky chasm, at the extremity of which the water falls
several feet below into a large basin; and here we unloaded the boats,
which hitherto had, under skilful management, wound their way, like
well-trained horses, between all the impediments in the bed of the
river and over all the cascades and waves, almost without taking any
water; only two men remaining in each boat, who, loudly cheering,
shot downwards; in doing which the boats were filled to the brim.

[Jasper and Coal.] Opposite this waterfall a bank of rubbish had been
formed by the alluvium, in which, besides fragments of the subjacent
rock, were found well-rounded pieces of jasper and porphyry, as well
as some bits of coal containing several pyrites, which had probably
been brought during the rain from higher up the river. Its origin was
unknown to the sailors. From fifty-six minutes past eleven to twelve
o'clock there was an uninterrupted succession of rapids, which were
passed with the greatest dexterity, without taking in water. Somewhat
lower down, at about three minutes past twelve, we took in so much
water that we were compelled to land and bale it out. At about fifteen
minutes past twelve, we proceeded onwards, the river now being on
the average sixty feet broad. On the edge of the wood some slender
palms, hardly ten feet high, were remarkable by their frequency,
and many phalaenopses by their display of blossoms, which is of
rare occurrence. Neither birds nor apes, nor serpents were observed;
but large pythons, as thick as one's leg are said to be not unfrequent.

[Big pythons.] About thirty-six minutes past twelve we reached one
of the most difficult places--a succession of waves, with many rocks
projecting out of the water, between which the boats, now in full
career, and with rapid evolutions, glided successfully. The adventure
was accomplished with equal skill by the two crews, who exerted their
powers to the utmost. At seventeen minutes past one we arrived at
[Dini portage.] Dini, the most considerable waterfall in the whole
distance; and here we had to take the boats out of the water; and,
availing ourselves of the lianas which hung down from the lofty forest
trees like ropes, we dragged them over the rocks. At twenty-one minutes
past two we resumed our journey; and from twenty-two minutes past to
half past eight we descended an irregular stair composed of several
ledges, shipping much water. Up to this point the Loquilocun flowed in
a rocky bed, with (for the most part) steep banks, and sometimes for
a long distance under a thick canopy of boughs, from which powerful
tendrils and ferns, more than a fathom in length, were suspended. Here
the country was to some extent open; flat hillocks, with low underwood,
came to view, and, on the north-west, loftier wooded mountains. The
last two hours were notable for a heavy fall of rain, and, about half
past five, we reached a solitary house occupied by friendly people,
where we took up our quarters for the night.

[Down the river.] On the following morning the journey was continued
down the river. Within ten minutes we glided past the last waterfall,
between white calcareous rocks of a kind of marble, covered with
magnificent vegetation. Branches, completely covered with phalaenopses
(P. Aphrodite, Reichb. fls.), projected over the river, their flowers
waving like large gorgeous butterflies over its foaming current. Two
hours later the stream became two hundred feet broad, and, after
leaping down a ladder of fifty meters in height from Loquilocun,
it steals away in gentle windings through a flat inundated country
to the east coast; forming a broad estuary, on the right bank of
which, half a league from the sea, the district of Jubasan or Paric
(population 2,300) is situated. The latter give their names to the
lower portion of the stream. Here the excellent fellows of Loquilocun
left me in order to begin their very arduous return journey.

[Along the coast.] Owing to bad weather, I could not embark for Tubig
(population 2,858), south of Paric, before the following day; and,
being continually hindered by difficulties of land transit, I proceeded
in the rowboat along the coast to Borongan (population 7,685), with
the equally intelligent and obliging priest with whom I remained
some days, and then continued my journey to Guiuan (also Guiuang,
Guiguan), the most important district in Samar (population 10,781),
situated on a small neck of land which projects from the south-east
point of the island into the sea.

[A tideland spring.] Close to the shore at the latter place
a copious spring bursts out of five or six openings, smelling
slightly of sulphuretted hydrogen. It is covered by the sea during
the flow, but is open during the ebb, when its salt taste is hardly
perceptible. In order to test the water, a well was formed by sinking
a deep bottomless jar, and from this, after the water had flowed for
the space of half an hour, a sample was taken, which, to my regret,
was afterwards lost. The temperature of the water of the spring, at
eight o'clock in the forenoon, was 27.7 deg.; of the atmosphere, 28.7 deg.;
of the sea-water, 31.2 deg.C. The spring is used by the women to dye
their sarongs. The materials, after being steeped in the decoction
of a bark abounding in tannin (materials made of the abaca are first
soaked in a calcareous preparation), and dried in the sun, are placed
in the spring during the ebb, taken out during the flow, re-dried,
dipped in the decoction of bark, and again, while wet, placed in the
spring; and this is repeated for the space of three days; when the
result is a durable, but ugly inky black (gallussaures, oxide of iron).

[East Indian monkeys.] At Loquilocun and Borongan I had an opportunity
of purchasing two live macaques. [171] These extremely delicate
and rare little animals, which belong to the class of semi-apes,
are, as I was assured in Luzon and Leyte, to be found only in
Samar, and live exclusively on charcoal. My first "mago" was, in the
beginning, somewhat voracious, but he disdained vegetable food, and was
particular in his choice of insects, devouring live grasshoppers with
delight. [172] It was extremely ludicrous, when he was fed in the day
time, to see the animal standing, perched up perpendicularly on his two
thin legs with his bare tail, and turning his large head--round as a
ball, and with very large, yellow, owl-like eyes--in every direction,
looking like a dark lantern on a pedestal with a circular swivel. Only
gradually did he succeed in fixing his eyes on the object presented
to him; but, as soon as he did perceive it, he immediately extended
his little arms sideways, as though somewhat bashful, and then, like
a delighted child, suddenly seizing it with hand and mouth at once,
he deliberately tore the prey to pieces. During the day the mago
was sleepy, short-sighted, and, when disturbed, morose; but with
the decreasing daylight he expanded his pupils, and moved about in
a lively and agile manner, with rapid noiseless leaps, generally
sideways. He soon became tame, but to my regret died after a few
weeks; and I succeeded only for a short time in keeping the second
little animal alive.


[Pearl divers from the Carolines.] In Guiuan I was visited by some
Micronesians, who for the last fourteen days had been engaged at
Sulangan on the small neck of land south-east from Guiuan, in diving
for pearl mussels (mother-of-pearl), having undertaken the dangerous
journey for the express purpose. [173]

[Hardships and perils of their voyage.] They had sailed from Uleai
(Uliai, 7 deg. 20' N., 143 deg.57' E. Gr.) in five boats, each of which had a
crew of nine men and carried forty gourds full of water, with coconuts
and batata. Every man received one coconut daily, and two batatas,
which they baked in the ashes of the coco shells; and they caught
some fish on the way, and collected a little rain-water. During
the day they directed their course by the sun, and at night by
the stars. A storm destroyed the boats. Two of them sank, together
with their crews, before the eyes of their companions, and of these,
only one--probably the sole individual rescued--two weeks afterwards
reached the harbor of Tandag, on the east coast of Mindanao. The
party remained at Tandag two weeks, working in the fields for hire,
and then proceeded northwards along the coast to Cantilang, 8 deg. 25' N.;
Banouan (called erroneously Bancuan by Coello), 9 deg. 1' N.; Taganaan, 9 deg.
25' N.; thence to Surigao, on the north point of Mindanao; and then,
with an easterly wind, in two days, direct to Guiuan. In the German
translation of Captain Salmon's "History of the Oriental Islands"
(Altona, 1733), it is stated that:

[Castaways from the Pelews.] "Some other islands on the east of
the Philippines have lately been discovered which have received
the name of the New Philippines because they are situated in the
neighborhood of the old, which have been already described. Father Clan
(Clain), in a letter from Manila, which has been incorporated in the
'Philosophical Transactions,' makes the following statement respecting
them:--It happened that when he was in the town of Guivam, on the
island of Samar, he met twenty-nine Palaos (there had been thirty,
but one died soon after in Guiuan), or natives of certain recently
discovered islands, who had been driven thither by the east winds,
which prevail from December to May. According to their own statement,
they were driven about by the winds for seventy days, without getting
sight of land, until they arrived opposite to Guivam. When they
sailed from their own country, their two boats were quite full,
carrying thirty-five souls, including their wives and children;
but several had died miserably on the way from the fatigue which
they had undergone. When some one from Guivam wished to go on board
to them, they were thrown into such a state of terror that all who
were in one of the boats sprang overboard, along with their wives
and children. However, they at last thought it best to come into
the harbor; so they came ashore on December 28, 1696. They fed on
coconuts and roots, which were charitably supplied to them, but
refused even to taste cooked rice, which is the general food of the
Asiatic nations. [Previous castaways.] Two women who had previously
been cast away on the same islands acted as interpreters for them....

[Lived by sea-fishing and rain water.] "The people of the country
went half naked, and the men painted their bodies with spots and
all kinds of devices.... As long as they were on the sea they lived
on fish, which they caught in a certain kind of fish-basket, with a
wide mouth but tapering to a point at the bottom, which was dragged
along underneath the boats; and rain-water, when they could catch it
(or, as is stated in the letter itself, preserved in the shells of the
coconut), served them for drink. When they were about to be taken into
the presence of the Father, whom, from the great respect which was
shown to him, they took for the governor, they colored their bodies
entirely yellow, an operation which they considered highly important,
as enabling them to appear as persons of consideration. They are very
skilful divers, and now and then find pearls in the mussels which
they bring up, which, however, they throw away as useless things."

[Not the first time for one.] But one of the most important parts of
Father Clain's letter has been omitted by Capt. Salmon:--"The oldest
of these strangers had once before been cast away on the coast of
the province of Caragan, on one of our islands (Mindanao); but as he
found only heathens (infidels), who lived in the mountains or on the
desert shore, he returned to his own country."

[Yap camotes from Philippines.] In a letter from Father Cantova to
Father d'Aubenton, dated from Agdana (i.e. Agana, of the Marianne
Islands), March 20, 1722, describing the Caroline and Pelew Islands,
it is said:--"The fourth district lies to the west. Yap (9 deg. 25' N.,
138 deg. 1' E. Gr.), [174] which is the principal island, is more than
forty leagues in circumference. Besides the different roots which
are used by the natives of the island instead of bread, there is the
batata, which they call camote, and which they have acquired from
the Philippines, as I was informed by one of our Caroline Indians,
who is a native of the island. He states that his father, named
Coorr, ... three of his brothers, and himself had been cast away in
a storm on one of the provinces in the Philippines, which was called
Bisayas; that a missionary of our society (Jesus) received them in a
friendly manner ... that on returning to their own island they took
with them the seeds of different plants, amongst others the [Other
arrivals of Micronesians.] batata, which multiplied so fast that they
had sufficient to supply the other islands of the Archipelago with
them." Murillo Velarde states that in 1708 some Palaos were wrecked
in a storm on Palapag (north coast of Samar); and I personally had
the opportunity, in Manila, of photographing a company of Palaos and
Caroline islanders, who had been the year before cast on the coast of
Samar by foul weather. Apart from the question of their transport,
whether voluntary or not, these simply were six examples, such
as still occur occasionally, of Micronesians cast up on the shore
of the Philippines; and probably it would not be difficult to find
several more; but how often, both before and after the arrival of the
Spaniards, might not vessels from those islands have come within the
influence of the north-east storms, and been driven violently on the
east coast of the Philippines without any record of such facts being
preserved? [175] Even as, on the west side of the Archipelago, the
type of the race seems to have been modified by its long intercourse
with China, Japan, Lower India, and later with Europe, so likewise may
Polynesian [Possible influence on Filipinos.] influences have operated
in a similar manner on the east side; and the further circumstance
that the inhabitants of the Ladrones [176] and the Bisayans [177]
possess the art of coloring their teeth black, seems to point to
early intercourse between the Bisayans and the Polynesians. [178]

[A futile sea voyage in an open boat.] At Guiuan I embarked on board
an inconveniently cranky, open boat, which was provided with an awning
only three feet square, for Tacloban, the chief town of Leyte. After
first experiencing an uninterrupted calm, we incurred great danger
in a sudden tempest, so that we had to retrace the whole distance
by means of the oars. The passage was very laborious for the crew,
who were not protected by an awning (temperature in the sun 35 deg. R.,
of the water 25 deg. R. [179]), and lasted thirty-one hours, with few
intermissions; the party voluntarily abridging their intervals of rest
in order to get back quickly to Tacloban, which keeps up an active
intercourse with Manila, and has all the attractions of a luxurious
city for the men living on the inhospitable eastern coast. [Beauty
of Samar-Leyte strait.] It is questionable whether the sea anywhere
washes over a spot of such peculiar beauty as the narrow strait which
divides Samar from Leyte. On the west it is enclosed by steep banks
of tuff, which tolerate no swamps of mangroves on their borders. There
the lofty primeval forest approaches in all its sublimity close to the
shore, interrupted only here and there by groves of cocos, in whose
sharply defined shadows solitary huts are to be found; and the steep
hills facing the sea, and numerous small rocky islands, are crowned
with little castles of blocks of coral. At the eastern entrance of
the strait the south coast of Samar consists of white limestone,
like marble, but of quite modern date, which in many places forms
precipitous cliffs. [180] At Nipa-Nipa, a small hamlet two leagues from
Basey, they project into the sea in a succession of picturesque rocks,
above one hundred feet in height, which, rounded above like a dome,
thickly covered with vegetation, and corroded at the base by the waters
of the sea, rise out of the waves like gigantic mushrooms. A peculiar
atmosphere of enchantment pervades this locality, whose influence upon
the native mariner must be all the more powerful when, fortunately
escaping from the billows outside and the buffeting of the north-east
wind, he suddenly enters this tranquil place of refuge. No wonder
that superstitious imagination has peopled the place with spirits.

[Burial caves.] In the caverns of these rocks the ancient Pintados
interred the corpses of their heroes and ancestors in well-locked
coffins, surrounded by those objects which had been held in the highest
regard by them during life. Slaves were also sacrificed by them at
their obsequies, in order that they might not be without attendance
in the world of shadows; [181] and the numerous coffins, implements,
arms, and trinkets, protected by superstitious terrors, continued to
be undisturbed for centuries. No boat ventured to cross over without
the observance of a religious ceremony, derived from heathen times,
to propitiate the spirits of the caverns who were believed to punish
the omission of it with storm and ship-wreck.

[Objects destroyed but superstition persists.] About thirty years ago
a zealous young ecclesiastic, to whom these heathen practices were an
abomination, determined to extirpate them by the roots. With several
boats well equipped with crosses, banners, pictures of saints, and
all the approved machinery for driving out the Devil, he undertook
the expedition against the haunted rocks, which were climbed amidst
the sounds of music, prayers, and the reports of fireworks. A whole
pailful of holy water first having been thrown into the cave for the
purpose of confounding the evil spirits, the intrepid priest rushed
in with elevated cross, and was followed by his faithful companions,
who were fired with his example. A brilliant victory was the reward
of the well-contrived and carefully executed plot. The coffins were
broken to fragments, the vessels dashed to pieces, and the skeletons
thrown into the sea; and the remaining caverns were stormed with like
results. The objects of superstition have indeed been annihilated,
but the superstition itself survives to the present day.

[Skulls from a rock near Basey.] I subsequently learned from the
priest at Basey that there were still some remains on a rock, and
a few days afterwards the worthy man surprised me with several
skulls and a child's coffin, which he had had brought from the
place. Notwithstanding the great respect in which he was held by his
flock, he had to exert all his powers of persuasion to induce the
boldest of them to engage in so daring an enterprise. A boat manned
by sixteen rowers was fitted out for the purpose; with a smaller crew
they would not have ventured to undertake the journey. On their return
home a thunderstorm broke over them, and the sailors, believing it to
be a punishment for their outrage, were prevented only by the fear
of making the matter worse from throwing coffin and skulls into the
sea. Fortunately the land was near, and they rowed with all their
might towards it; and, when they arrived, I was obliged to take the
objects out of the boat myself, as no native would touch them.

[The cavern's contents.] Notwithstanding, I was the next morning
successful in finding some resolute individuals who accompanied
me to the caverns. In the first two which we examined we found
nothing; the third contained several broken coffins, some skulls,
and potsherds of glazed and crudely painted earthenware, of which,
however, it was impossible to find two pieces that belonged to each
other. A narrow hole led from the large cavern into an obscure space,
which was so small that one could remain in it only for a few seconds
with the burning torch. This circumstance may explain the discovery,
in a coffin which was eaten to pieces by worms, and quite mouldered
away, of a well-preserved skeleton, or rather a mummy, for in many
places there were carcasses clothed with dry fibers of muscle and
skin. It lay upon a mat of pandanus, which was yet recognizable, with
a cushion under the head stuffed with plants, and covered with matting
of pandanus. There were no other remains of woven material. The coffins
were of three shapes and without any ornament. Those of the first form,
which were of excellent molave-wood, showed no trace of worm-holes or
decay, whereas the others had entirely fallen to dust; and those of
the third kind, which were most numerous, were distinguishable from
the first only by a less curved form and inferior material.

[Impressive location of burial cave.] No legend could have supplied
an enchanted royal sepulchre with a more suitable approach than that
of the last of these caverns. The rock rises out of the sea with
perpendicular sides of marble, and only in one spot is to be observed
a natural opening made by the water, hardly two feet high, through
which the boat passed at once into a spacious court, almost circular,
and over-arched by the sky, the floor of which was covered by the sea,
and adorned with a garden of corals. The steep sides are thickly hung
with lianas, ferns, and orchids, by help of which one climbs upwards
to the cavern, sixty feet above the surface of the water. To add to
the singularity of the situation, we also found at the entrance to
the grotto, on a large block of rock projecting two feet above the
ground, [A sea snake.] a sea-snake, which tranquilly gazed at us,
but which had to be killed, because, like all genuine sea-snakes,
it was poisonous. Twice before I had found the same species in
crevices of rock on the dry land, where the ebb might have left it;
but it was strange to meet with it in this place, at such a height
above the sea. It now reposes, as Platurus fasciatus Daud., in the
Zoological Museum of the Berlin University.

[Chinese dishers from a cave.] In Guiuan I had an opportunity of
purchasing four richly painted Chinese dishes which came from a
similar cavern, and a gold signet ring; the latter consisting of a
plate of gold, originally bent into a tube of the thickness of a quill
with a gaping seam, and afterwards into a ring as large as a thaler,
which did not quite meet. The dishes were stolen from me at Manila.

[Burial caves.] There are similar caverns which have been used
as burial-places in many other localities in this country; on the
island of Andog, in Borongan (a short time ago it contained skulls);
also at Batinguitan, three hours from Borongan, on the banks of a
little brook; and in Guiuan, on the little island of Monhon, which is
difficult of approach by reason of the boisterous sea. In Catubig
trinkets of gold have been found, but they have been converted
into modern articles of adornment. One cavern at Lauang, however,
is famous over the whole country on account of the gigantic, flat,
compressed skulls, without sutures, which have been found in it.
[182] It will not be uninteresting to compare the particulars here
described with the statements of older authors; and for this reason
I submit the following extracts:--

[Embalming.] Mas (Informe, i. 21), who does not give the sources of
his information, thus describes the customs of the ancient inhabitants
of the archipelago at their interments:--They sometimes embalmed
their dead with aromatic substances * * * and placed those who were
of note in chests carved out of a branch of a tree, and furnished
with well-fitted lids * * * The coffin was placed, in accordance with
the wish of the deceased, expressed before his death, either in the
uppermost room of the house, where articles of value were secreted,
or under the dwelling-house, in a kind of grave, which was not
covered, but enclosed with a railing; or in a distant field, or on
an elevated place or rock on the bank of a river, where he might be
venerated by the pious. A watch was set over it for a certain time,
lest boats should cross over, and the dead person should drag the
living after him.

[Burial customs.] According to Gaspar San Agustin (p. 169), the
dead were rolled up in cloths, and placed in clumsy chests, carved
out of a block of wood, and buried under their houses, together with
their jewels, gold rings, and some plates of gold over the mouth and
eyes, and furnished with provisions, cups, and dishes. They were also
accustomed to bury slaves along with men of note, in order that they
might be attended in the other world.

"Their chief idolatry consisted in the worship of those of their
ancestors who had most distinguished themselves by courage and genius,
whom they regarded as deities * * * * They called them humalagar,
which is the same as manes in the Latin * * * Even the aged died under
this conceit, choosing particular places, such as one on the island of
Leyte, which allowed of their being interred at the edge of the sea,
in order that the mariners who crossed over might acknowledge them
as deities, and pay them respect." (Thevenot, Religieux, p. 2.)

[Slaves sacrificed.] "They did not place them (the dead) in the earth,
but in coffins of very hard, indestructible wood * * * Male and female
slaves were sacrificed to them, that they should not be unattended
in the other world. If a person of consideration died, silence was
imposed upon the whole of the people, and its duration was regulated
by the rank of the deceased; and under certain circumstances it was
not discontinued until his relations had killed many other persons
to appease the spirit of the dead." (Ibid., p. 7.)

"For this reason (to be worshipped as deities) the oldest of them
chose some remarkable spot in the mountains, and particularly on
headlands projecting into the sea, in order to be worshipped by the
sailors." (Gemelli Careri, p. 449.)

[Basey and its river.] From Tacloban, which I chose for my headquarters
on account of its convenient tribunal, and because it is well supplied
with provisions, I returned on the following day to Samar, and then
to Basey, which is opposite to Tacloban. The people of Basey are
notorious over all Samar for their laziness and their stupidity, but
are advantageously distinguished from the inhabitants of Tacloban by
their purity of manners. Basey is situated on the delta of the river,
which is named after it. We proceeded up a small arm of the principal
stream, which winds, with a very slight fall, through the plain;
the brackish water, and the fringe of nipa-palms which accompanies
it, consequently extending several leagues into the country. Coco
plantations stretch behind them; and there the floods of water
(avenidas), which sometimes take place in consequence of the narrow
rocky bed of the upper part of the river, cause great devastation,
as was evident from the mutilated palms which, torn away from their
standing-place, rise up out of the middle of the river. After five
hours' rowing we passed out of the flat country into a narrow valley,
with steep sides of marble, which progressively closed in and became
higher. In several places they are underwashed, cleft, and hurled over
each other, and with their naked side-walls form a beautiful contrast
to the blue sky, the clear, greenish river, and the luxuriant lianas,
which, attaching themselves to every inequality to which they could
cling, hung in long garlands over the rocks.

[A frontage.] The stream became so rapid and so shallow that the party
disembarked and dragged the boat over the stony bed. In this manner
we passed through a sharp curve, twelve feet in height, formed by two
rocks thrown opposite to each other, into a tranquil oval-shaped basin
of water enclosed in a circle of limestone walls, inclining inwards,
of from sixty to seventy feet in height; on the upper edge of which a
circle of trees permitted only a misty sunlight to glimmer through the
thick foliage. A magnificent gateway of rock, fifty to sixty feet high,
and adorned with numerous stalactites, raised itself up opposite the
low entrance; and through it we could see, at some distance, the upper
portion of the river bathed in the sun. [A beautiful grotto.] A cavern
of a hundred feet in length, and easily climbed, opened itself in the
left side of the oval court, some sixty feet above the surface of the
water; and it ended in a small gateway, through which you stepped on
to a projection like a balcony, studded with stalactites. From this
point both the landscape and the rocky cauldron are visible, and
the latter is seen to be the remainder of a stalactitic cavern, the
roof of which has fallen in. The beauty and peculiar character of the
place have been felt even by the natives, who have called it Sogoton
(properly, a bay in the sea). In the very hard limestone, which is
like marble, I observed traces of bivalves and multitudes of spines of
the sea-urchin, but no well-defined remains could be knocked off. The
river could still be followed a short distance further upwards; and in
its bed there were disjointed fragments of talcose and chloritic rocks.

[Fishing.] A few small fishes were obtained with much difficulty;
and amongst them was a new and interesting species, viviparous. [183]
An allied species (H. fluviatilis, Bleeker) which I had two years
previously found in a limestone cavern on Nusa Kambangan, in Java,
likewise contained living young ones. The net employed in fishing
appears to be suited to the locality, which is a shallow river, full of
transparent blocks. It is a fine-meshed, longish, four-cornered net,
having its ample sides fastened to two poles of bamboo, which at the
bottom were provided with a kind of wooden shoes, which curve upwards
towards the stems when pushed forwards. The fisherman, taking hold of
the upper ends of the poles, pushes the net, which is held obliquely
before him, and the wooden shoes cause it to slide over the stones,
while another person drives the fish towards him.

[Fossil beds.] On the right bank, below the cavern, and twenty
feet above the surface of the water, there are beds of fossils,
pectunculus, tapes, and placuna, some of which, from the fact of
their barely adhering by the tip, must be of very recent date. I
passed the night in a small hut, which was quickly erected for me,
and on the following day attempted to pass up the river as far as the
limits of the crystalline rock, but in vain. In the afternoon we set
out on our return to Basey, which we reached at night.

[Recent elevation of coast.] Basey is situated on a bank of clay,
about fifty feet above the sea, which towards the west elevates itself
into a hill several hundred feet in height, and with steep sides. At
twenty-five to thirty feet above the sea I found the same recent beds
of mussels as in the stalactitic cavern of Sogoton. From the statements
of the parish priest and of other persons, a rapid elevation of the
coasts seems to be taking place in this country. Thirty years ago
ships could lie alongside the land in three fathoms of water at the
flood, whereas the depth at the same place now is not much more than
one fathom. Immediately opposite to Basey lie two small islands,
Genamok and Tapontonan, which, at the present time, appear to be
surrounded by a sandbank at the lowest ebb-tide. Twenty years ago
nothing of the kind was to be seen. Supposing these particulars to
be correct, we must next ascertain what proportion of these changes
of level is due to the floods, and how much to volcanic elevation;
which, if we may judge by the neighboring active solfatara at Leyte,
must always be of considerable amount.

[Crocodiles.] As the priest assured us, there are crocodiles in the
river Basey over thirty feet in length, those in excess of twenty
feet being numerous. The obliging father promised me one of at least
twenty-four feet, whose skeleton I would gladly have secured; and he
sent out some men who are so practised in the capture of these animals
that they are dispatched to distant places for the purpose. Their
contrivance for capturing them, which I, however, never personally
witnessed, consists of a light raft of bamboo, with a stage, on which,
several feet above the water, a dog or a cat is bound. Alongside
the animal is placed a strong iron hook, which is fastened to the
swimming bamboo by means of fibers of abaca. The crocodile, when
it has swallowed the bait and the hook at the same time, endeavors
in vain to get away, for the pliability of the raft prevents its
being torn to pieces, and the peculiar elasticity of the bundle of
fibers prevents its being bitten through. The raft serves likewise
as a buoy for the captured animal. According to the statements of
the hunters, the large crocodiles live far from human habitations,
generally selecting the close vegetation in an oozy swamp, in which
their bellies, dragging heavily along, leave trails behind them which
betray them to the initiated. After a week the priest mentioned that
his party had sent in three crocodiles, the largest of which, however,
measured only eighteen feet, but that he had not kept one for me,
as he hoped to obtain one of thirty feet. His expectation, however,
was not fulfilled.

[Ignatius bean.] In the environs of Basey the Ignatius bean grows
in remarkable abundance, as it also does in the south of Samar and
in some other of the Bisayan islands. It is not met with in Luzon,
but it is very likely that I have introduced it there unwittingly. Its
sphere of propagation is very limited; and my attempts to transplant
it to the Botanical Garden of Buitenzorg were fruitless. Some large
plants intended for that purpose, which during my absence arrived
for me at Daraga, were incorporated by one of my patrons into his
own garden; and some, which were collected by himself and brought
to Manila, were afterwards lost. Every effort to get these seeds
(kernels), which are used over the whole of Eastern Asia as medicine,
to germinate miscarried, they having been boiled before transmission,
ostensibly for their preservation, but most probably to secure the
monopoly of them.

[Strychnine.] According to Flueckinger, [184] the gourd-shaped
berry of the climbing shrub (Ignatia amara, L. Strychnos Ignatii,
Berg. Ignatiana Philippinica. Lour.) contains twenty-four irregular
egg-shaped seeds of the size of an inch which, however, are not so
poisonous as the Ignatius beans, which taste like crack-nuts. In
these seeds strychnine was found by Pelletier and Caventou in 1818,
as it subsequently was in crack-nuts. The former contained twice as
much of it as the latter, viz. one and a half per cent; but, as they
are four times as dear, it is only produced from the latter.

[Cholera and snake-bite cure.] In many households in the Philippines
the dangerous drug is to be found as a highly prized remedy, under the
name of Pepita de Catbalonga. Gemelli Careri mentions it, and quotes
thirteen different uses of it. Dr. Rosenthal ("Synopsis Plantarum
Diaphor." p. 363) says:--"In India it has been employed as a remedy
against cholera under the name of Papecta." Papecta is probably a
clerical error. In K. Lall Dey's "Indigenous Drugs of India," it is
called Papeeta, which is pronounced Pepita in English; and Pepita is
the Spanish word for the kernel of a fruit. It is also held in high
estimation as an antidote for the bite of serpents. Father Blanco
("Flora of the Philippines," 61), states that he has more than once
proved its efficacy in this respect in his own person; but he cautions
against its employment internally, as it had been fatal in very many
cases. It should not be taken into the mouth, for should the spittle
be swallowed, and vomiting not ensue, death would be inevitable. The
parish priest of Tabaco, however, almost always carried a pepita in
his mouth. From 1842 he began occasionally to take an Ignatius bean
into his mouth as a protection against cholera, and so gradually
accustomed himself to it. When I met him in 1860 he was quite well,
and ascribed his health and vigor expressly to that habit. According to
his communication, in cases of cholera the decoction was successfully
administered in small doses introduced into tea; but it was most
efficacious when, mixed with brandy, it was applied as a liniment.

[Superstitions regarding the "Bisayan" bean.] Huc also ("Thibet,"
I. 252) commends the expressed juice of the kouo-kouo (Faba
Ign. amar.) both for internal and external use, and remarks that it
plays a great part in Chinese medicine, no apothecary's shop being
without it. Formerly the poisonous drug was considered a charm, as
it is still by many. Father Camel [185] states that the Catbalogan
or Bisayan-bean, which the Indians call Igasur or Mananaog (the
victorious), was generally worn as an amulet round the neck, being
a preservative against poison, contagion, magic, and philtres, so
potent, indeed, that the Devil in propia persona could not harm the
wearer. Especially efficacious is it against a poison communicated by
breathing upon one, for not only does it protect the wearer, but it
kills the individual who wishes to poison him. Camel further mentions
a series of miracles which superstition ascribed to the Ignatius bean.

[Coconuts.] On the southern half of the eastern border, on the shore
from Borongan by Lauang as far as Guiuan, there are considerable
plantations of cocos, which are most imperfectly applied to the
production of oil. From Borongan and its visitas twelve thousand
pitchers of coconut oil are yearly exported to Manila, and the nuts
consumed by men and pigs would suffice for at least eight thousand
pitchers. As a thousand nuts yield eight pitchers and a half, the
vicinity of Borongan alone yields annually six million nuts; for
which, assuming the average produce at fifty nuts, one hundred-twenty
thousand fullbearing palms are required. The statement that their
number in the above-mentioned district amounts to several millions
must be an exaggeration.

[Getting coco oil.] The oil is obtained in a very rude manner. The
kernel is rasped out of the woody shell of the nut on rough boards,
and left to rot; and a few boats in a state of decay, elevated on posts
in the open air, serve as reservoirs, the oil dropping through their
crevices into pitchers placed underneath; and finally the boards are
subjected to pressure. This operation, which requires several months
for its completion, yields such a bad, dark-brown, and viscid product
that the pitcher fetches only two dollars and a quarter in Manila,
while a superior oil costs six dollars. [186]

[Oil factory.] Recently a young Spaniard has erected a factory
in Borongan for the better preparation of oil. A winch, turned by
two carabaos, sets a number of rasps in motion by means of toothed
wheels and leather straps. They are somewhat like a gimlet in form,
and consist of five iron plates, with dentated edges, which are
placed radiating on the end of an iron rod, and close together,
forming a blunt point towards the front. The other end of the rod
passes through the center of a disk, which communicates the rotary
motion to it, and projects beyond it. The workman, taking a divided
coconut in his two hands, holds its interior arch, which contains the
oil-bearing nut, with a firm pressure against the revolving rasp, at
the same time urging with his breast, which is protected by a padded
board, against the projecting end of the rod. The fine shreds of the
nut remain for twelve hours in flat pans, in order that they may be
partially decomposed. They are then lightly pressed in hand-presses;
and the liquor, which consists of one-third oil and two-thirds water,
is caught in tubs, from which, at the end of six hours, the oil,
floating on the surface, is skimmed off. It is then heated in iron
pans, containing 100 liters, until the whole of the water in it has
evaporated, which takes from two to three hours. In order that the
oil may cool rapidly, and not become dark in color, two pailfuls of
cold oil, freed from water, are poured into it, and the fire quickly
removed to a distance. The compressed shreds are once more exposed
to the atmosphere, and then subjected to a powerful pressure. After
these two operations have been twice repeated, the rasped substance
is suspended in sacks between two strong vertical boards and crushed
to the utmost by means of clamp screws, and repeatedly shaken up. The
refuse serves as food for pigs. The oil which runs from the sacks is
free from water, and is consequently very clear, and is employed in
the cooling of that which is obtained in the first instance. [187]

[Limited output.] The factory produces fifteen hundred tinajas of
oil. It is in operation only nine months in the year; from December to
February the transport of nuts being prevented by the tempestuous seas,
there being no land communication. The manufacturer was not successful
in procuring nuts from the immediate vicinity in sufficient quantity
to enable him to carry on his operations without interruption, nor,
during the favorable season of the year, could he lay up a store for
the winter months, although he paid the comparatively high price of
three dollars per thousand.

[Illogical business.] While the natives manufactured oil in the manner
just described, they obtained from a thousand nuts three and a half
pots, which, at six reals each, fetched twenty-one reals; that is three
reals less than was offered them for the raw nuts. These data, which
are obtained from the manufacturers, are probably exaggerated, but
they are in the main well founded; and the traveller in the Philippines
often has the opportunity of observing similar anomalies. For example,
in Daet, North Camarines, I bought six coconuts for one cuarto, at
the rate of nine hundred and sixty for one dollar, the common price
there. On my asking why no oil-factory had been erected, I received
for answer that the nuts were cheaper singly than in quantities. In
the first place, the native sells only when he wants money; but he
knows that the manufacturer cannot well afford to have his business
suspended; so, careless of the result, he makes a temporary profit,
and never thinks of ensuring for himself a permanent source of income.

[Sugar venders.] In the province of Laguna, where the natives prepare
coarse brown sugar from sugar-cane, the women carry it for leagues to
the market, or expose it for sale on the country roads, in small loaves
(panoche), generally along with buyo. Every passenger chats with the
seller, weighs the loaf in the hand, eats a bit, and probably passes
on without buying any. In the evening the woman returns to her home
with her wares, and the next day repeats the same process.

[Disproportionate prices.] I have lost my special notes, but I
remember that in two cases at least the price of the sugar in these
loaves was cheaper than by the picul. Moreover, the Government of the
day anticipated the people in setting the example, by selling cigars
cheaper singly than in quantities.

[Uncertain trading.] In Europe a speculator generally can calculate
beforehand, with the greatest certainty, the cost of production of any
article; but in the Philippines it is not always so easy. Independently
of the uncertainty of labor, the regularity of the supply of raw
material is disturbed, not only by laziness and caprice, but also
by jealousy and distrust. The natives, as a rule, do not willingly
see Europeans settle amongst them and engage successfully in local
operations which they themselves do not understand how to execute; and
in like manner the creoles are reserved with foreigners, who generally
are superior to them in capital, skill, and activity. Besides jealousy,
suspicion also plays a great part, and this influences the native
as well against the mestizo as against the Castilian. Enough takes
place to the present day to justify this feeling; but formerly, when
the most thrifty subjects could buy governorships, and shamelessly
fleece their provinces, such outrageous abuses are said to have been
permitted until, in process of time, suspicion has become a kind of
instinct amongst the Filipinos.


[Leyte.] The island of Leyte, between 9 deg. 49' and 11 deg. 34' N., and
124 deg. 7' and 125 deg. 9' E. Gr., is above twenty-five miles in length,
and almost twelve miles broad, and contains one hundred seventy
square miles. As I have already remarked, it is divided from Samar
only by the small strait of San Juanico. The chief town, Tacloban or
Taclobang, lies at the eastern entrance of this strait, with a very
good harbor and uninterrupted communication with Manila, and has
consequently become the chief emporium of trade to Leyte, Biliran,
and South and East Samar. [188]

[Obliging Spanish officials.] The local governor likewise showed me
much obliging attention; indeed, almost without exception I have,
since my return, retained the most agreeable remembrances of the
Spanish officials; and, therefore, if fitting opportunity occurred,
I could treat of the improprieties of the Administration with greater

[Locusts.] In the afternoon of the day after my arrival at Tacloban, on
a sudden there came a sound like the rush of a furious torrent; the air
became dark, and a large cloud of locusts swept over the place. [189]
I will not again recount that phenomenon, which has been so often
described, and is essentially the same in all quarters of the globe,
but will simply remark that the swarm, which was more than five hundred
feet in width, and about fifty feet in depth, its extremity being
lost in the forest, was not thought a very considerable one. It caused
vigilance, but not consternation. Old and young eagerly endeavored to
catch as many of the delicate creatures as they could, with cloths,
nets, and flags, in order, as Dampier relates, "to roast them in
an earthen pan over fire until their legs and wings drop off, and
their heads and backs assume the color of boiled crabs;" after which
process he says they had a pleasant taste. In Burma at the present day,
they are considered as delicacies at the royal court. [190]

[Plan for their extermination.] The locusts are one of the greatest
plagues of the Philippines, and sometimes destroy the harvest of entire
provinces. The Legislacion Ultramarina (iv. 504) contains a special
edict respecting the extirpation of these devastating pests. As soon
as they appear, the population of the invaded localities are to be
drawn out in the greatest possible numbers, under the conduct of the
authorities, in order to effect their destruction. The most approved
means for the attainment of this object are set forth in an official
document referring to the adoption of extraordinary measures in cases
of public emergency; and in this the locusts are placed midway between
sea-pirates and conflagrations. Of the various means that have been
contrived against the destructive creatures, that, at times, appear
in incredible numbers, but have been as frequently ineffectual as
otherwise, only a few will be now mentioned. On April 27, 1824,
the Sociedad Economica determined to import the bird, the martin
(Gracula sp.), "which feeds by instinct on locusts." In the autumn
of the following year the first consignment arrived from China; in
1829 a second; and in 1852 again occurs the item of $1,311 for martins.

[Tacloban to Tanauan.] On the following day I proceeded with the
priest of Dagami (there are roads in Leyte) from Tacloban southwards
to Palos and Tanauan, two flourishing places on the east coast. Hardly
half a league from the latter place, and close to the sea, a cliff
of crystal lime rock rises up out of the sandy plain, which was level
up to this point. It is of a greyish-green quartzose chlorite schist,
from which the enterprising Father had endeavored, with a perseverance
worthy of better success, to procure lime by burning. After an ample
breakfast in the convent, we proceeded in the afternoon to Dagami,
and, on the next day, to Burauen. [191]

[A pleasing people.] The country was still flat. Coco-groves and
rice-fields here and there interrupted the thick forest; but the
country is thinly inhabited, and the people appear more cheerful,
handsomer, and cleaner than those of Samar. South of Burauen rises
the mountain ridge of Manacagan, on the further slope of which is a
large solfatara, which yields sulphur for the powder manufactory in
Manila, and for commerce. A Spanish sailor accompanied me. Where the
road passed through swamp we rode on carabaos. The pace of the animals
is not unpleasant, but the stretching across the broad backs of the
gigantic carabaos of the Philippines is very fatiguing. A quarter of an
hour beyond Burauen we crossed the Daguitan, which flows south-west to
north-east, and is a hundred feet broad, its bed being full of large
volcanic blocks; and, soon after, a small river in a broad bed; and,
some hundred paces farther, one of a hundred and fifty feet in breadth;
the two latter being arms of the Burauen. They flow from west to east,
and enter the sea at Dulag. The second arm was originated only the
preceding year, during a flood.

[The height of hospitality.] We passed the night in a hut on
the northern slope of the Manacagan, which the owner, on seeing
us approach, had voluntarily quitted, and with his wife and child
sought other lodgings. The customs of the country require this when
the accommodation does not suffice for both parties; and payment for
the same is neither demanded nor, except very rarely, tendered.

[Up the Manacagan.] About six o'clock on the following morning we
started; and about half-past six climbed, by a pleasant path through
the forest, to the ridge of the Manacagan, which consists of trachytic
hornblende; and about seven o'clock we crossed two small rivers flowing
north-west, and then, by a curve, reached the coast at Dulag. From the
ridge we caught sight, towards the south, of the great white heaps
of debris of the mountain Danan glimmering through the trees. About
nine o'clock we came through the thickly-wooded crater of the Kasiboi,
and, further south, to some sheds in which the sulphur is smelted.

[Sulphur.] The raw material obtained from the solfatara is bought in
three classes: firstly, sulphur already melted to crusts; secondly,
sublimated, which contains much condensed water in its interstices;
and thirdly, in the clay, which is divided into the more or less
rich, from which the greatest quantity is obtained. Coconut oil,
which is thrown into flat iron pans holding six arrobas, is added to
the sulphurous clay, in the proportion of six quarts to four arrobas,
and it is melted and continually stirred. The clay which floats on
the surface, now freed from the sulphur, being skimmed off, fresh
sulphurous clay is thrown into the cauldron, and so on. In two or
three hours six arrobas of sulphur, on an average, may be obtained
in this manner from twenty-four arrobas of sulphurous clay, and,
poured into wooden chests, it is moulded into blocks of about four
arrobas. Half the oil employed is recovered by throwing the clay
which has been saturated with it into a frame formed by two narrow
bamboo hurdles, placed at a sharp angle. The oil drops into a sloping
gutter of bamboo which is placed underneath, and from that flows into a
pot. The price of the sulphur at Manila varies between [Prices.] $1.25
and $4.50 per picul. I saw the frames, full of clay, from which the
oil exuded; but the operation itself I did not, unfortunately, then
witness, and I cannot explain in what manner the oil is added. From
some experiments made on a small scale, therefore under essentially
different conditions, and never with the same material, it appeared
that the oil accelerates the separation of the sulphur, and retards
the access of the air to the sulphur. In these experiments, the sulphur
contained in the bottom of the crucible was always colored black by the
separation of charcoal from the oil, and it was necessary to purify it
by distillation beforehand. Of this, however, the smelters at Leyte
made no mention, and they even had no apparatus for the purpose,
while their sulphur was of a pure yellow color.

[Hot spring.] Some hundreds of paces further south, a hot spring
(50 deg. R.), [192] twelve feet broad, flows from the east, depositing
silicious sinter at its edges.

[A solfatara.] As we followed a ravine stretching from north to south,
with sides one hundred to two hundred feet in height, the vegetation
gradually ceased, the rock being of a dazzling white, or colored by
sublimated sulphur. In numerous places thick clouds of vapor burst from
the ground, with a strong smell of sulphurated water. At some thousand
paces further, the ravine bends round to the left (east), and expands
itself to the bay; and here numerous silicious springs break through
the loose clay-earth, which is permeated with sulphur. This solfatara
must formerly have been much more active than it is now. The ravine,
which has been formed by its destruction of the rock, and is full
of lofty heaps of debris, may be one thousand feet in breadth, and
quite five times as long. At the east end there are a number of small,
boiling quagmires, which, on forcing a stick into the matted ground,
send forth water and steam. In some deep spots further west, grey,
white, red, and yellow clays have been deposited in small beds over
each other, giving them the appearance of variegated marls.

[Petrifying water] To the south, right opposite to the ridge which
leads to Burauen, may be seen a basin twenty-five feet broad, in a
cavern in the white decomposed rock, from which a petrifying water
containing silicious acid flows abundantly. The roof of the cavern is
hung with stalactites, which either are covered with solid sulphur,
or consist entirely of that substance.

[Danan solfatara.] On the upper slope of the Danan mountain, near
to the summit, so much sulphur is deposited by the vapors from the
sulphurated water that it may be collected with coconut shells. In
some crevices, which are protected against the cooling effects of
the atmospheric air, it melts together in thick, brown crusts. The
solfatara of Danan is situated exactly south of that below, at
the end of the ravine of the Kasiboi. The clay earth, from which
the silicic acid has been washed out by the rains, is carried into
the valley, where it forms a plain, the greater part of which is
occupied by a small lake, Malaksan (sour), slightly impregnated with
sulphuric acid. Its surface, which, by reason of the very flat banks,
is protected against the weather, I found to be about five hundred
paces long and one hundred broad. From the elevation of the solfatara,
a rather large fresh-water lake, surrounded by wooded mountains, is
seen through a gap, exactly south, which is named Jaruanan. The night
was passed in a ruined shed at the south-east of the lake Malaksan;
and on the following morning we climbed the south side of the mountain
ridge and, skirting the solfatara of the Danan, arrived in an hour
and a half at lake Jaruanan.

[Jaruanan Lake.] This lake, as well as the Malaksan, inspires
the natives with superstitious fear on account of the suspicious
neighborhood of the solfatara, and therefore has not been profaned by
either mariner, fisher, or swimmer, and was very full of fish. For the
purpose of measuring its depth, I had a raft of bamboos constructed;
and when my companions saw me floating safely on the lake, they
all, without exception, sprang into it, and tumbled about in the
water with infinite delight and loud outcries, as if they wished
to indemnify themselves for their long abstinence; so that the raft
was not ready before three o'clock. The soundings at the centre of
the basin, which was, at the southern edge, steeper than on the
north, gave thirteen brazas, or over twenty-one meters of depth;
the greatest length of the lake amounted to nearly eight hundred
varas (six hundred and sixty-eight meters), and the breadth to about
half as much. As we returned in the evening, by torchlight, over the
crest of the mountain to our night-quarters at the lake, we passed
by the very modest dwelling-place of a married pair. Three branches,
projecting outwards from the principal trunk of a tree, and lopped at
equal points, sustained a hut of bamboos and palm-leaves of eight feet
square. A hole in the floor formed the entrance, and it was divided
into a chamber and ante-chamber, and four bamboo poles supported,
above and below, two layers of bamboos, one of which furnished a
balcony, and the other a shop in which betel was sold.

[To Dulag.] The day after my return to Burauen an obliging Spanish
merchant drove me through the fertile plain of volcanic sand, on
which rice, maize, and sugar-cane were cultivated, to Dulag, which
lies directly to the west, on the shore of the tranquil sea. The
distance (according to Coello three leagues) hardly amounts to two
leagues. From this place, Point Guiuan, the south point of Samar,
appears like an island separated from the mainland, and further south
(N. 102 deg. 4' to 103 deg. 65 deg. S.) Jomonjol is seen, the first island of the
Archipelago sighted by Magellan on April 16, 1521. At Dulag, my former
companion joined us in order to accompany us on the journey to the
Bito Lake. The arrangement of transportation and of provisions, and,
still more, the due consideration of all the propositions of three
individuals, each of whose claims were entitled to equal respect,
occupied much time and required some address. We at length sailed
in a large casco (barge) southwards along the coast to the mouth
of the river [Up Mayo River.] Mayo, which, according to the map and
the information there given, is said to come from the Bito Lake. We
proceeded upwards in a boat, but were informed at the first hut that
the lake could be reached only by making a long circuit through swampy
forest; when most of our party proposed to return. Various reasons
besides the want of unanimity in the conduct of our adventure, which
had proceeded thus far, delayed our arrival at Abuyog until eleven
o'clock at night. In the first place, on our way, we had to cross a
small branch of the Mayo, and after that the Bito River. The distance
of the latter from Abuyog (extravagantly set down on Coello's map)
amounts to fourteen hundred brazas, according to the measurement of
the gobernadorcillo, which is probably correct. [193]

[An unpromising road.] The following day, as it rained heavily, was
employed in making inquiries respecting the road to the Bito Lake. We


Back to Full Books