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

Part 5 out of 11

received very varied statements as to the distance, but all agreed
in painting the road thither in a discouraging light. A troublesome
journey of at least ten hours appeared to us to be what most probably
awaited us.

[Bito Lake.] On the morrow, through a pleasant forest road, we reached
in an hour the Bito River, and proceeded in boats, which we met
there, up the river between flat sandy banks covered with tall cane
and reeds. In about ten minutes, some trees fallen right across the
stream compelled us to make a circuit on land, which in half an hour
brought us again to the river, above the obstacles. Here we constructed
rafts of bamboo, upon which, immersed to the depth of half a foot,
the material being very loosely adjusted, we reached the lake in ten
minutes. We found it covered with green confervae; a double border
of pistia and broad-leaved reed grasses, six to seven feet high,
enclosing it all round. On the south and west some low hillocks rose
up, while from the middle it appeared to be almost circular, with a
girdle of forest. Coello makes the lake much too large (four instead
of one square mile), and its distance from Abuyog can be only a little
over a league. With the assistance of a cord of lianas tied together,
and rods placed in a line, we found its breadth five hundred and
eighty-five brazas or nine hundred and seventy-seven meters, (in the
broadest part it might be a little over one thousand meters); and the
length, as computed from some imperfect observations, one thousand
and seven brazas (sixteen hundred and eighty meters), consequently
less than one square mile. Soundings showed a gently inclined basin,
eight brazas, or over thirteen meters, deep in the middle. I would
gladly have determined the proportions with more accuracy; but want of
time, the inaccessibility of the edge of the bank, and the miserable
condition of our raft, allowed of only a few rough measurements.

[A forest home.] Not a trace of human habitations was observable
on the shore; but a quarter of an hour's distance from the northern
edge we found a comfortable hut, surrounded by deep mud and prickly
calamus, the tenants of which, however, were living in plenty, and
with greater conveniences than many dwellers in the villages. We were
very well received and had fish in abundance, as well as tomatoes,
and capsicum to season them with, and dishes of English earthenware
out of which to eat them.

[Snaring swine.] The abundance of wild swine had led the settlers
to invent a peculiar contrivance, by which they are apprised of
their approach even when asleep, and guided to their trail in the
darkness. A rope made of strips of banana tied together, and upwards
of a thousand feet in length, is extended along the ground, one end
of which is attached to a coconut shell, full of water, which is
suspended immediately over the sleeping-place of the hunter. When a
pig comes in contact with the rope, the water is overturned by the
jerk upon the sleeper, who, seizing the rope in his hand, is thereby
conducted to his prey. The principal employment of our hosts appeared
to be fishing, which is so productive that the roughest apparatus
is sufficient. There was not a single boat, but only loosely-bound
rafts of bamboo, on which the fishers, sinking, as we ourselves did
on our raft, half a foot deep, moved about amongst the crocodiles,
which I never beheld in such numbers and of so large a size as in
this lake. Some swam about on the surface with their backs projecting
out of the water. It was striking to see the complete indifference
with which even two little girls waded in the water in the face of
the great monsters. Fortunately the latter appeared to be satisfied
with their ample rations of fish. Four kinds of fish are said to be
found in the lake, amongst them an eel; but we got only one. [194]

[A secret still.] Early on the following morning our native attendants
were already intoxicated. This led to the discovery of another
occupation of the settlers, which I do not hesitate to disclose
now that the Government monopoly has been abolished. They secretly
distilled palm-brandy and carried on a considerable trade in it; and
this also explained to me why the horrors of the road to the Mayo River
and to Abuyog had been painted in such warm colors. [195] We returned
on our rafts to the place where we had found them, a distance of
about fifteen hundred feet; and onwards, through wild cane with large
clusters of flowers (Saccharum sp.), sixteen feet high, east by north,
we got to our boats, and then to the bar, whence, after a march of an
hour and a half, we reached Abuyog. From Abuyog we returned by water to
Dulag, and by land to Burauen, where we arrived at night, sooner than
our hostlers had expected, for we caught them sleeping in our beds.

[Tobacco prohibition.] Not long ago much tobacco was cultivated in this
country, and was allowed to be sold to the peasantry under certain
conditions; but recently it was forbidden to be sold, except by the
Government, who themselves determined its value at so very low a rate
that the culture of tobacco has almost entirely ceased. As the tobacco
company, however, had already erected stores and appointed collectors,
the knowing ones rightly foresaw that these steps would be followed by
compulsory labor, even as it occurred in other places. The east coast
of Leyte is said to be rising while the west is being destroyed by the
sea, and at Ormog the sea is said to have advanced about fifty ells
[196] in six years.


[The Bisayans.] The Bisayans--at least the inhabitants of the
Islands of Samar and Leyte (I have not become closely acquainted
with any others)--belong to one race. [197] They are, physically and
intellectually, in character, dress, manners and customs, so similar
that my notes, which were originally made at different points of
the two Islands, have, after removal of the numerous repetitions,
fused into one, which affords a more complete picture, and affords,
at the same time, opportunity for the small differences, where they
do occur, to stand out more conspicuously.

[Mountaineers.] There are no Negritos either in Samar or Leyte, but
Cimarronese, who pay no tribute, and who do not live in villages,
but independently in the forests. Unfortunately I have had no personal
intercourse with them, and what I have learned respecting them from the
Christian inhabitants of Samar is too uncertain to be repeated. But it
does seem certain that all these Cimarronese or their ancestors have
traded with the Spaniards, and that their religion has appropriated
many Catholic forms. Thus, when planting rice, and, according to
ancient practices, setting apart some of the seed to be offered in
the four corners of the field as sacrifice, they are accustomed to
repeat some mutilated Catholic prayers, which they appear to consider
as efficacious as their old heathenish ones. Some have their children
baptized as well, as it costs nothing; but, save in these respects,
they perform no other Christian or civil obligations. They are very
peaceable, neither making war with one another, nor having poisoned
arrows. Instances of Cimarronese, who go over to Christianity and
village life, together with tribute and servitude, are very rare;
and the number of the civilized, who return to the forests in order
to become Cimarronese, is, on the other hand, very inconsiderable
indeed--still smaller than in Luzon, as the natives, from the dull,
almost vegetating life which they lead, are not easily brought into
such straitened circumstances as to be compelled to leave their
village, which, still more than in Luzon, is all the world to them.

[Rice-farming.] The culture of rice follows the seasons of the year. In
some places where there are large fields the plough (arado) and the
sod-sod (here called surod) are employed; but, almost universally, the
rice-field is only trodden over by carabaos in the rainy season. Sowing
is done on the west coast in May and June, planting in July and August,
and reaping from November to January. One ganta of seed-corn gives two,
sometimes from three to four, cabanes (i.e., fifty, seventy-five,
and a hundred fold). In the chief town, Catbalogan, there are but
very few irrigated fields (tubigan, from tubig, water), the produce
of which does not suffice for the requirements, and the deficiency
is made up from other places on the coasts of the Island. On the
other hand, Catbalogan produces abaca, coconut oil, wax, balate
(edible holothuria, sea cucumber), dried fish, and woven stuffs. On
the north and east coasts sowing takes place from November to January,
and reaping six months later. During the remaining six months the field
serves as pasture for the cattle; but in many places rice culture goes
on even during these months, but on other fields. A large portion of
this rice is frequently lost on account of the bad weather.

[Land tenure.] Purchases of land are seldom made, it being generally
acquired by cultivation, by inheritance, or forfeiture. In Catbalogan
the best rice land was paid for at the rate of one dollar for a ganta
of seed-corn, and, on the north coast of Lauang, a field producing
yearly one hundred cabanes was purchased for thirty dollars. Reckoning,
as in Naga, one ganta of seed-corn at four loanes, and seventy-five
cabanes of produce at one quinon, the eastern rice land costs, in
the first instance, three thalers and a third, in the second three
thalers. The owner lets the bare property out on leases, and receives
one-half the harvest as rent. [198] The cultivation of rice in Leyte
is conducted as in Samar, but it has given way to the cultivation of
abaca; the governors, while they were allowed to trade, compelled
the natives to devote a part of their fields and of their labor to
it. Should a peasant be in arrears, it is the prevalent custom in
the country for him to pay to the dealer double the balance remaining
due at the next harvest.

[Mountain rice.] Mountain-rice culture, which in Catbalogan is almost
the only cultivation, requires no other implement of agriculture
than the bolo to loosen the soil somewhat, and a sharp stick for
making holes at distances of six inches for the reception of five or
six grains of rice. Sowing is done from May to June, weeding twice,
and five months later it is cut stalk by stalk; the reaper receiving
half a real daily wages and food. The produce is between two and three
cabanes per ganta, or fifty to seventy fold. The land costs nothing,
and wages amount to nearly five reals per ganta of seed-corn. After a
good harvest the caban fetches four reales; but just before the harvest
the price rises to one dollar, and often much higher. The ground is
used only once for dry rice; camote (batata), abaca, and caladium being
planted on it after the harvest. Mountain rice is more remunerative
than watered rice about in the proportion of nine to eight.

[Other products.] Next to rice the principal articles of sustenance
are camote (convolvulus batatas), ubi (dioscorea), gabi (caladium),
palauan (a large arum, with taper leaves and spotted stalk). Camote
can be planted all the year around, and ripens in four months; but
it takes place generally when the rice culture is over, when little
labor is available. When the cultivation of camote is retained,
the old plants are allowed to multiply their runners, and only the
tubers are taken out of the ground. But larger produce is obtained by
cleaning out the ground and planting anew. From eighteen to fifteen
gantas may be had for half a real.

[Abaca.] Although there are large plantations of abaca, during my
visit it was but little cultivated, the price not being sufficiently

[Tobacco.] Tobacco also is cultivated. Formerly it might be sold in
the country, but now it has to be delivered to the government.

[Balao oil.] A resinous oil (balao or malapajo) is found in Samar
and Albay, probably also in other provinces. It is obtained from a
dipterocarpus (apiton), one of the loftiest trees of the forest, by
cutting in the trunk a wide hole, half a foot deep, hollowed out into
the form of a basin, and from time to time lighting a fire in it, so as
to free the channels, through which it flows, of obstructions. The oil
thus is collected daily and comes into commerce without any further
preparation. Its chief application is in the preservation of iron
in shipbuilding. Nails dipped in the oil of the balao, before being
driven in, will, as I have been assured by credible individuals,
defy the action of rust for ten years; but it is principally used as a
varnish for ships, which are painted with it both within and without,
and it also protects wood against termites and other insects. The
balao is sold in Albay at four reals for the tinaja of ten gantas (the
liter at eight pence). A cement formed by the mixture of burnt lime,
gum elemi, and coconut oil, in such proportions as to form a thick
paste before application, is used for the protection of the bottoms
of ships; and the coating is said to last a year. [199] [Wax.] Wax
is bartered by the Cimarronese. The whole of Samar annually yields
from two hundred to three hundred piculs, whose value ranges between
twenty-five and fifty dollars per picul, while in Manila the price
is generally five to ten dollars higher; but it fluctuates very much,
as the same product is brought from many other localities and at very
irregular intervals of time.

[Scarcity of stock.] There is hardly any breeding of cattle,
notwithstanding the luxuriant growth of grasses and the absence of
destructive animals. Horses and carabao are very rare, and are said
to have been introduced late, not before the present century. As in
Samar there are hardly any other country roads than the seashore and
the shallow beds of rivers (it is better in the north of Leyte),
the carabao is used only once every year in treading over the
earth of the rice-field. During the year he roams at large on the
pastures, in the forest, or on a small island, where such exists,
in the neighborhood. Some times in the year one may see several
carabaos, attached to the large trunk of a tree, dragging it to the
village. Their number, consequently, is extremely small. Carabaos
which tread the rice land well are worth as much as ten dollars. The
mean price is three dollars for a carabao, and five to six dollars
for a caraballa. Horned cattle are only occasionally used as victims
at festivals. The property of several owners, they are very limited in
number, and live half-wild in the mountains. There is hardly any trade
in them, but the average price is three dollars for a heifer, and five
or six dollars for a cow. [Swine.] Almost every family possesses a pig;
some, three or four of them. A fat pig costs six or seven dollars,
even more than a cow. Many Filipino tribes abstain strictly from beef;
but pork is essential to their feasts. Grease, too, is so dear that
from three to four dollars would, under favorable circumstances,
be got on that account for a fat animal. [Sheep and goats.] Sheep
and goats thrive well, and propagate easily, but also exist only in
small numbers, and are hardly utilized either for their wool or their
flesh. Creoles and mestizos are for the most part too idle even to
keep sheep, preferring daily to eat chicken. The sheep of Shanghai,
imported by the governor of Tacloban, also thrive and propagate
famously. [Poultry.] A laying hen costs half a real, a rooster the
same, and a game cock as much as three dollars, often considerably
more. Six or eight hens, or thirty eggs, may be bought for one real.

[Cost of food.] A family consisting of father, mother, and five
children requires daily nearly twenty-four chupas of palay (rice in
the husk), which, after winnowing, comes to about twelve chupas. This
at the average price of four reals per cavan costs about half a
real. The price, however, varies. Sometimes, after the harvest, it
is three reals per cavan; before it, ten; and in Albay, even about
thirty reals. Then about three cuartos are wanted for extras (as fish,
crabs, vegetables, etc.), which, however, are generally collected
by the children; and, lastly, for oil two cuartos, buyo one cuarto,
tobacco three cuartos (three leaves for one cuarto), the latter being
smoked, not chewed. A woman consumes half as much buyo and tobacco
as a man. Buyo and tobacco are less used in Leyte than in Samar.

[Clothing cost.] For clothing a man requires yearly--four rough
shirts of guinara, costing from one to two reals; three or four pairs
of trousers, at one to two and a half reals; two kerchiefs for the
head, at one and a half real (hats are not worn on the south and west
coasts), and for the church festivals generally one pair of shoes,
seven reals; one fine shirt, a dollar or more; and fine pantaloons,
at four reals. A woman requires--four to six camisas of guinara,
at one real; two to three sayas of guinara, at three to four reals,
and one or two sayas of European printed cotton, at five reals; two
head-kerchiefs at one and a half to two reals; and one or two pairs
of slippers (chinelas) to go to mass in, at two reals and upwards.

[Women's extras.] The women generally have, besides, a fine camisa
costing at least six reals; a mantilla for churchgoing, six reals
(it lasts four years); and a comb, two cuartos. Many also have under
skirts (nabuas), two pieces at four reals, and earrings of brass
and a rosary, which last articles are purchased once for all. In the
poorer localities, Lauang for instance, only the home-woven guinaras
are worn; and there a man requires--three shirts and three pairs of
trousers, which are cut out of three pieces of guinara, at two reals,
and a salacot (hat), generally home made, worth half a real; while a
woman uses yearly--four sayas, value six reals; and a camisa, with a
finer one for the festivals, eight reals. Underskirts are not worn;
and the clothing of the children may be estimated at about half of
the above rates.

[Household furniture.] For household furniture a family has a cooking
pot [200] of unglazed burnt clay, imported by ships from Manila, the
cost of which is fixed by the value of its contents in rice; a supply
of bamboo-canes; seven plates, costing between two and five cuartos;
a carahai (iron pan), three to four reals; coconut shells serving
for glasses; a few small pots, altogether half a real; a sundang,
four to six reals, or a bolo (large forest knife), one dollar; and
a pair of scissors (for the women), two reals. The loom, which every
household constructs for itself of bamboo of course costs nothing.

[Wages.] The rate of daily wages, in the case of Filipino employers,
is half a real, without food; but Europeans always have to give
one real and food, unless, by favor of the gobernadorcillo, they
get polistas at the former rate, which then regularly goes into the
public coffers. An ordinary carpenter earns from one to two reals;
a skilful man, three reals daily. The hours of work are from six to
noon, and from two to six in the evening.

[Industries.] Almost every village has a rude smith, who understands
the making of sundangs and bolos; but the iron and the coal required
for the purpose must be supplied with the order. No other work in
metal is executed. With the exception of a little ship-building,
hardly any other pursuit than weaving is carried on; the loom is
rarely wanting in a household. Guinara, i.e., stuff made of the abaca,
is manufactured, as well as also some pina, or figured silk stuffs,
the silk being brought from Manila, and of Chinese origin. All these
fabrics are made in private homes; there are no factories.

[Barter.] In places where rice is scarce the lower class of people
catch fish, salt and dry them, and barter them for rice. In the
chief towns purchases are made with the current money; but, in the
interior, where there is hardly any money, fabrics and dried fish are
the most usual means of exchange. Salt is obtained by evaporating
the seawater in small iron hand-pans (carahais), without previous
evaporation in the sun. The navigation between Catbalogan and Manila
continues from December to July, and in the interval between those
months the ships lie dismantled under sheds. [Communication.] There
also is communication by the coast eastwards to Guian, northwards
to Catarman, and sometimes to Lauang. The crews consist partly of
natives, and partly of foreigners, as the natives take to the sea
with great reluctance; indeed, almost only when compelled to leave
their villages. Samar has scarcely any other means of communication
besides the navigation of the coast and rivers, the interior being
roadless; and burdens have to be conveyed on the shoulders. An
able-bodied porter, who receives a real and a half without food,
will carry three arrobas (seventy-five pounds at most) six leagues in
a day, but he cannot accomplish the same work on the following day,
requiring at least one day's rest. A strong man will carry an arroba
and a half daily for a distance of six leagues for a whole week.

[No markets.] There are no markets in Samar and Leyte; so that whoever
wishes to buy seeks what he requires in the houses, and in like manner
the seller offers his goods.

[Debts.] A Filipino seeking to borrow money has to give ample security
and pay interest at the rate of one real for every dollar per month
(twelve and one-half per cent. monthly); and it is not easy for
him to borrow more than five dollars, for which sum only he is
legally liable. Trade and credit are less developed in eastern and
northern Samar than in the western part of the island, which keeps
up a more active communication with the other inhabitants of the
Archipelago. There current money is rarely lent, but only its value
in goods is advanced at the rate of a real per dollar per mensem. If
the debtor fails to pay within the time appointed, he frequently
has to part with one of his children, who is obliged to serve the
lender for his bare food, without wages, until the debt has been
extinguished. I saw a young man who had so served for the term of
five years, in liquidation of a debt of five dollars which his father,
who had formerly been a gobernadorcillo in Paranas, owed to a mestizo
in Catbalogan; and on the east coast a pretty young girl, who, for
a debt of three dollars due by her father, had then, for two years,
served a native, who had the reputation of being a spendthrift. I was
shown in Borongan a coconut plantation of three hundred trees, which
was pledged for a debt of ten dollars about twenty years ago, since
which period it had been used by the creditor as his own property;
and it was only a few years since that, upon the death of the debtor,
his children succeeded, with great difficulty, in paying the original
debt and redeeming the property. It is no uncommon thing for a native
to borrow two dollars and a half from another in order to purchase
his exemption from the forty days of annual service, and then,
failing to repay the loan punctually, to serve his creditor for a
whole year. [201]

[People of Samar and Leyte.] The inhabitants of Samar and Leyte,
who are at once idler and filthier than those of Luzon, seem to be
as much behind the Bicols as the latter are behind the Tagalogs. In
Tacloban, where a more active intercourse with Manila exists, these
qualities are less pronounced, and the women, who are agreeable,
bathe frequently. For the rest, the inhabitants of the two islands
are friendly, obliging, tractable, and peaceable. Abusive language or
violence very rarely occurs, and, in case of injury, information is
laid against the offender at the tribunal. Great purity of manners
seems to prevail on the north and west coasts, but not on the east
coast, nor in Leyte. External piety is universally conspicuous, through
the training imparted by the priests; the families are very united,
and great influence is wielded by the women, who are principally
engaged in household employments, and are tolerably skilful in weaving,
and to whom only the lighter labors of the field are assigned. The
authority of the parents and of the eldest brother is supreme, the
younger sisters never venturing to oppose it; women and children are
kindly treated.

[Leyte.] The natives of Leyte, clinging as strongly to their native
soil as those of Samar, like them, have no partiality for the sea,
though their antipathy to it is not quite so manifest as that of the
inhabitants of Samar. [202]

[Public charity not accepted.] There are no benevolent institutions
in either of the two islands. Each family maintains its own poor
and crippled, and treats them tenderly. In Catbalogan, the chief
town of the island, with five to six thousand inhabitants, there
were only eight recipients of charity; but in Albay mendicants are
not wanting. In Lauang, when a Spaniard, on a solemn festival, had
caused it to be proclaimed that he would distribute rice to the poor,
not a single applicant came forward. The honesty of the inhabitants of
Samar is much commended. Obligations are said to be contracted almost
always without written documents, and never forsworn, even if they
make default in payment. Robberies are of rare occurrence in Samar,
and thefts almost unknown. There are schools also here in the pueblos,
which accomplish quite as much as they do in Camarines.

[Amusements.] Of the public amusements cock-fighting is the chief,
but it is not so eagerly pursued as in Luzon. At the church festivals
they perform a drama translated from the Spanish, generally of
a religious character; and the expense of the entertainment is
defrayed by voluntary contributions of the wealthy. The chief vices
of the population are play and drunkenness; in which latter even
women and young girls occasionally indulge. The marriage feasts,
combining song and dance, often continue for several days and
nights together, where they have a sufficient supply of food and
drink. [Suitor's service.] The suitor has to serve in the house
of the bride's parents two, three, and even five years, before he
takes his bride home; and money cannot purchase exemption from this
onerous restriction. He boards in the house of the bride's parents
who furnish the rice, but he has to supply the vegetables himself.
[203] At the expiration of his term of service he builds, with the
assistance of his relations and friends, the house for the family
which is about to be newly established.

[Morals.] Though adultery is not unknown, jealousy is rare, and
never leads to violence. The injured individual generally goes with
the culprit to the minister, who, with a severe lecture to one,
and words of consolation to the other, sets everything straight
again. Married women are more easily accessible than girls, whose
prospect of marriage, however, it seems is not greatly diminished
by a false step during single life. While under parental authority
girls, as a rule, are kept under rigid control, doubtless in order
to prolong the time of servitude of the suitor. External appearance
is more strictly regarded among the Bisayans than by the Bicols and
Tagalogs. Here also the erroneous opinion prevails, that the number of
the women exceeds that of the men. Instances occur of girls of twelve
being mothers; but they are rare; and though women bear twelve or
thirteen children, many of these, however, do not live. [Great infant
mortality.] So much so is this the case, that families of more than
six or eight children are very rarely met with.

[Superstitions.] Superstition is rife. Besides the little church images
of the Virgin, which every Filipina wears by a string round the neck,
many also have heathen amulets, of which I had an opportunity of
examining one that had been taken from a very daring criminal. It
consisted of a small ounce flask, stuffed full of vegetable root
fibres, which appeared to have been fried in oil. This flask, which is
prepared by the heathen tribes, is accredited with the virtue of making
its owner strong and courageous. The capture of this individual was
very difficult; but, as soon as the little flask was taken from him,
he gave up all resistance, and allowed himself to be bound. In almost
every large village there are one or more [Ghouls.] Asuang families who
are generally dreaded and avoided, and regarded as outlaws, and who
can marry only amongst themselves. They have the reputation of being
cannibals. [204] Perhaps they are descended from such tribes? At any
rate, the belief is very general and firmly rooted; and intelligent
old natives when questioned by me on the subject, answered that they
certainly did not believe that the Asuangs ate men at the present time,
but that their forefathers had assuredly done so. [205]

[Ancient Literature.] Of ancient legends, traditions, or ballads,
it is stated that there are none. It is true they have songs at their
dances, but these are spiritless improvisations, and mostly in a high
key. They have not preserved any memorials of former civilization. "The
ancient Pintados possessed no temples, every one performing his
anitos in his own house, without any special solemnity"--(Morga,
f. 145 v). Pigafetta (p. 92) certainly mentions that the King of Cebu,
after his conversion to Christianity, caused many temples built on the
seashore to be destroyed; but these might only have been structures of
a very perishable kind. [Festivals and shrines.] On certain occasions
the Bisayans celebrated a great festival, called Pandot, at which
they worshipped their gods in huts, which were expressly built for the
purpose, covered with foliage, and adorned with flowers and lamps. They
called these huts simba or simbahan (the churches are so called to the
present day), "and this is the only thing which they have similar to a
church or a temple"--(Informe, I., i., 17). According to Gemelli Careri
they prayed to some particular gods, derived from their forefathers,
who are called by the Bisayans Davata (Divata), and by the Tagalogs
Anito; one anito being for the sea and another for the house, to
watch over the children. [206] [Ancestor worship.] In the number of
these anitos they placed their grandfathers and great-grandfathers,
whom they invoked in all their necessities, and in whose honor they
preserved little statues of stone, wood, gold, and ivory, which they
called liche or laravan. Amongst their gods they also reckoned all
who perished by the sword, or were killed by lightning, or devoured
by crocodiles, believing that their souls ascended to heaven on a
bow which they called balangas. Pigafetta thus describes the idols
which were seen by him:--"They are of wood, and concave, or hollow,
without any hind quarters, with their arms extended, and their legs
and feet bent upwards. They have very large faces, with four powerful
teeth like boars' tusks, and are painted all over." [207]

In conclusion, let me take a brief account of the religion of the
ancient Bisayans from Fr. Gaspar San Agustin (Conquest, 169):

[Old religion.] The daemon, or genius, to whom they sacrificed was
called by them Divata, which appears to denote an antithesis to the
Deity, and a rebel against him. Hell was called Solad, and Heaven
(in the language of the educated people) Ologan * * * The souls of
the departed go to a mountain in the province of Oton, [208] called
Medias, where they are well entertained and served. The creation of
the universe is thus explained. [Creation myth.] A vulture hovering
between heaven and earth finds no place to settle himself upon,
and the water rises towards heaven; whereupon Heaven, in its wrath,
creates islands. The vulture splits a bamboo, out of which spring man
and woman, who beget many children, and, when their number becomes
too great, drive them out with blows. Some conceal themselves in the
chamber, and these become the Datos; others in the kitchen, and these
become the slaves. The rest go down the stairs and become the people.


[Ports of entry.] In 1830 seven new ports were opened as an experiment,
but, owing to great frauds in the charges, were soon afterwards
closed again. In 1831 a custom-house was established at Zamboanga,
on the south-west point of Mindanao; and in 1855 Sual, in the Gulf
of Lingayen, one of the safest harbors on the west coast of Luzon,
and Iloilo in Panay, were thrown open; and in 1863 Cebu, on the island
of the same name, for the direct communication with foreign countries.

[Old Zamboanga fort.] Before 1635 the Spaniards had established
a fort at Zamboanga, which, although it certainly could not
wholly prevent the piratical excursions against the colonies, yet
considerably diminished them. [209] Until 1848 from eight hundred
to fifteen hundred individuals are stated to have been carried off
yearly by the Moros. [210] The establishment of this custom-house
has, therefore, been based upon political rather than commercial
motives, it being found desirable to open an easily accessible
place to the piratical states of the Sulu Sea for the disposal of
their products. [Exports.] Trade, up to the present date, is but
of very inconsiderable amount, the exports consisting chiefly of a
little coffee (in 1871 nearly six thousand piculs), which, from bad
management, is worth thirty per cent. less than Manila coffee, and of
the collected products of the forest and of the water, such as wax,
birds'-nests, tortoise-shell, pearls, mother-of-pearl, and edible
holothuria. This trade, as well as that with Sulu, is entirely in the
hands of the Chinese, who alone possess the patience, adaptiveness,
and adroitness which are required for the purpose.

[Sual's foreign trade.] Sual is specially important for its exports
of rice; and its foreign trade is therefore affected by the results of
the harvests in Saigon, Burma, and China. In 1868, when the harvests in
those countries turned out good, Sual carried on only a coasting trade.

[Cebu.] Cebu (with a population of 34,000) is the chief town of the
island of the same name, the seat of Government and of the bishop of
the Bisayas, and within forty-eight hours from Manila by steamer. It
is as favorably situated with regard to the eatern portion of the
Bisayan group as Iloilo is for the western, and is acquiring increased
importance as the emporium for its products. Sugar and tobacco are
obtained from Bohol; rice from Panay; abaca from Leyte and Mindanao;
and coffee, wax, Spanish cane, and mother-of-pearl from Misamis
(Mindanao). Its distance from Samar is twenty-six, from Leyte two
and a half, from Bohol four, and from Negros eighteen miles.

[Cebu island.] The island of Cebu extends over seventy-five square
miles. A lofty mountain range traverses it from north to south,
dividing the east from the west side, and its population is
estimated at 340,000,--4,533 to the square mile. The inhabitants
are peaceable and docile; thefts occur very seldom, and robberies
never. Their occupations are agriculture, fishing, and weaving for
home consumption. Cebu produces sugar, tobacco, maize, rice, etc.,
and in the mountains potatoes; but the rice produced does not suffice
for their requirements, there being only a little level land, and
the deficiency is imported from Panay.

[Land tenure.] The island possesses considerable beds of coal, the
full yield of which may now be looked for, as the duty on export was
abandoned by a decree of the 5th of May, 1869. [211] While in Luzon
and Panay the land is for the most part the property of the peasantry,
in Cebu it mostly belongs to the mestizos, and is let out by them,
in very small allotments, upon lease. The owners of the soil know how
to keep the peasants in a state of dependence by usurious loans; and
one of the results of this abuse is that agriculture in this island
stands lower than in almost any other part of the archipelago. [212]
[Customhouse data.] The entire value of the exports in 1868 amounted
to $1,181,050; of which sugar to the value of $481,127, and abaca to
the value of $378,256; went to England, abaca amounting to $112,000
to America, and tobacco to $118,260 to Spain. The imports of foreign
goods, mostly by the Chinese, come through Manila, where they
purchase from the foreign import houses. The value of these imports
amounted in 1868 to $182,522; of which $150,000 were for English
cotton stuffs. The entire imports of the island were estimated at
$1,243,582, and the exports at $226,898. Among the importations
were twenty chests of images, a sign of the deeply-rooted worship
of the Virgin. Formerly the products for exportation were bought up
by the foreign merchants, mostly Chinese mestizos; but now they are
bought direct from the producers, who thus obtain better prices in
consequence of the abolition of the high brokerages. To this and to
the energy of the foreign merchants, under favorable circumstances,
is the gradual improvement of agriculture principally to be ascribed.

[Iloilo.] Iloilo is the most important of the newly opened ports,
being the central point of the Bisayan group, and situated in one
of the most thickly populated and industrious provinces. Nicholas
Loney [213] estimates the export of goods woven from the fiber of
the pina, from Iloilo, and the neighboring provinces, at about one
million dollars annually. The harbor is excellent, being completely
protected by an island which lies immediately before it; and at high
tide there is about twelve feet of water close in shore for vessels
to lie in. On account of the bar, however, ships of a deeper draught
than this are obliged to complete their loading outside. Previous
to the opening of the new harbors, all the provinces were compelled
as well to bring their products intended for exportation to Manila,
as to receive from the same place their foreign imports; the cost
of which therefore was greatly increased through the extra expenses
incurred by the double voyage, reloading, brokerage, and wharfage
charges. According to a written account by N. Loney, it is shown how
profitable, even after a few years, the opening of Iloilo has been to
the provinces immediately adjoining--the islands of Panay and Negros.

[Sugar.] The higher prices which can be obtained for directly
exported sugar, combined with the facility and security of the
trade as contrasted with the late monopoly enjoyed by Manila, have
occasioned a great extension of the cultivation of that article. Not
only in Iloilo, but also in Antique and Negros, many new plantations
have arisen, and the old ones have been enlarged as much as possible;
and not less important has been the progress in the manufacture. In
1857 there was not one iron mill to be found on the island; so that,
in working with the wooden mill, about thirty per cent. of the sap
remained in the cane, even after it had thrice passed through. The
old wooden presses, which were worked by steam or carabaos, have now
been supplanted by new ones; and these the native planters have no
difficulty in obtaining, as they can get them on credit from the
warehouses of the English importers. Instead of the old Chinese
cast-iron pans which were in use, far superior articles have been
imported from Europe; and many large factories worked by steam-power
and with all modern improvements have been established. In agriculture,
likewise, creditable progress is noticeable. Improved ploughs, carts,
and farming implements generally, are to be had in plenty. These
changes naturally show how important it was to establish at different
points, extending over two hundred miles of the Archipelago, commercial
centers, where it was desirable that foreigners should settle. Without
these latter, and the facilities afforded to credit which thereby
ensued, the sudden rise and prosperity of Iloilo would not have been
possible, inasmuch as the mercantile houses in that capital would have
been debarred from trading with unknown planters in distant provinces,
otherwise than for ready money. A large number of half-castes, too,
who before traded in manufactured goods purchased in Manila, were
enabled after this to send their goods direct to the provinces, to the
foreign firms settled there; and as, ultimately, neither these latter
nor the Chinese retail dealers could successfully compete with them,
the result has been that, as much to their own profit as to that of the
country, they have betaken themselves to the cultivation of sugar. In
this manner important plantations have been established in Negros,
which are managed by natives of Iloilo: but there is a scarcity of
laborers on the island.

[Land disputes.] Foreigners now can legally acquire property, and
possess a marketable title; in which respect the law, until a very
recent period, was of an extremely uncertain nature. Land is to be
obtained by purchase, or, when not already taken up, by "denuncia"
(i.e. priority of claim). In such case, the would-be possessor of
the land must enter into an undertaking in the nearest of the native
Courts to cultivate and keep the said land in a fit and serviceable
condition. Should no other claim be put in, notice is thereupon given
of the grant, and the magistrate or alcalde concludes the compact
without other cost than the usual stamp duty.

[Lack of capital for large plantations.] Many mestizos and natives,
not having the necessary capital to carry on a large plantation
successfully, sell the fields which they have already partially
cultivated to European capitalists, who are thus relieved of all the
preliminary tedious work. Evidently the Colonial Government is now
sincerely disposed to favor the laying out of large plantations.

[Lack of roads.] The want of good roads is particularly felt: but, with
the increase of agriculture, this defect will naturally be remedied;
and, moreover, most of the sugar factories are situated on rivers which
are unnavigable even by flat freight boats. The value of land in many
parts of the country has doubled within the last ten years. [214]

[Sugar prices.] Up to 1854 the picul of sugar was worth in Iloilo from
$1.05 to $1.25 and seldom over $2.00 in Manila; in 1866, $3.25; and
in 1868, $4.75 to $5.00 in Iloilo. The business in Iloilo therefore
shows an increase of $1.75 per picul. [215]

[Negros.] At the end of 1856 there were as many as twenty Europeans
established on the island of Negros as sugar planters, besides a
number of mestizos. Some of them were working with steam machinery
and vacuum pans. The general rate of pay is from $2.05 to $3.00 per
month. On some plantations the principle of acsa, i.e. part share,
is in operation. The owner lets out a piece of ground, providing
draught cattle and all necessary ploughing implements, to a native,
who works it, and supplies the mill with the cut cane, receiving as
payment a share, generally a third, of the product. In Negros the
violet cane is cultivated, and in Manila the white (Otaheiti). The
land does not require manuring. On new ground, or what we may term
virgin soil, the cane often grows to a height of thirteen feet. A vast
improvement is to be observed in the mode of dress of the people. Pina
and silk stuffs are beoming quite common. Advance in luxury is always
a favorable sign; according to the increase of requirements, industry
flourishes in proportion.

[The future sugar market.] As I have already mentioned,
California, Japan, China, and Australia appear designed by nature
to be the principal consumers of the products of the Philippine
Islands. Certainly at present England is the best customer; but
nearly half the account is for sugar, in consequence of their own
custom duties. Sometimes it happens that not more than one-fourth of
the sugar crop is sufficiently refined to compete in the Australian
and Californian markets with the sorts from Bengal, Java, and the
Mauritius; the remaining three-fourths, if particularly white, must
perforce undertake the long voyage to England, despite the high freight
and certain loss on the voyage of from ten to twelve per cent. through
the leakage of the molasses. The inferior quality of the Philippine
sugar is at once perceived by the English refiners, and is only taxed
at 8s. per cwt., while purer sorts pay 10s. to 12s. [216]

[A valuable by-product.] In this manner the English customs favor the
inferior qualities of manufactured sugar. The colonial Government
did not allow those engaged in the manufacture of sugar to distil
rum from the molasses until the year 1862. They had, therefore,
little inducement to extract, at a certain expense, a substance the
value on which they were not permitted to realize; but under ordinary
circumstances the distillation of the rum not only covered the cost
of refining, but gave, in addition, a fair margin of profit.


[Manila hemp.] One of the most interesting productions of the island
is Manila hemp. The French, who, however, hardly use it, call it
"Silk-Plant," because of its silky appearance.

The natives call the fiber bandala, and in commerce (generally
speaking) abaca, just as the plant from which it is obtained.

[Abaca.] The latter is a wild species of banana growing in the
Philippine Islands, known also as Arbol de Canamo (hemp-tree), Musa
textilis, Lin. It does not differ in appearance to any great extent
from the edible banana (Musa paradisiaca), one of the most important
plants of the torrid zone, and familiar to us as being one of our
most beautiful hot-house favorites.

[Undetermined plant relations.] Whether this and the "musae"
(M. troglodytarum, M. sylvestris, and others), frequently known,
too, as M. textilis, are of the same species, has not yet been
determined. The species Musaceae are herbaceous plants only. The
outer stem consists of crescent-shaped petioles crossing one another
alternately, and encircling the thin main stem. These petioles contain
a quantity of bast fiber, which is used as string, but otherwise is
of no commercial value. The serviceable hemp fiber has, up to the
present time, been exclusively obtained from the southern portion of
the Philippines.

[Abaca districts.] The southern Camarines and Albay are favorably
adapted for the cultivation of this plant, as are also the islands
of Samar and Leyte, and the adjacent islands; and Cebu likewise,
although a portion of the so-called "Cebu hemp" comes from Mindanao. In
Negros the bast-banana thrives only in the south, not in the north;
and Iloilo, which produces most of the hemp cloth (guinara), is
obliged to import the raw material from the eastern district, as it
does not flourish in the island of Panay. In Capiz, it is true, some
abaca may be noticed growing, but it is of trifling value. Hitherto
all attempts, strenuous though the efforts were, to acclimatize the
growth of hemp in the western and northern provinces have failed. The
plants rarely grow as high as two feet, and the trouble and expense
are simply unremunerative. This failure may be accounted for by the
extreme dryness prevailing during many months of the year, whereas
in the eastern provinces plentiful showers fall the whole year round.

[Peculiar to the Philippines.] The great profit which the Manila
hemp has yielded in the few years since its production, however, has
given encouragement to still further experiments; so that, indeed,
it will shortly be shown whether the cultivation of abaca is to be
confined to its present limited area, while the edible species of
banana has spread itself over the whole surface of the earth within
the tropics. On the volcanic mountains of Western Java a species
of the Musaceae grows in great luxuriance. The Government has not,
however, made any real effort to cultivate it, and what has been done
in that respect has been effected, up to the present date, by private
enterprise. Various writers have stated that abaca is to be obtained
in the north of the Celebes. Bickmore, however, says positively that
the inhabitants having made great efforts in attempting its successful
cultivation, have abandoned it again in favor of the cultivation of
coffee, which is found to be far more profitable. [217] According to
previous statements, Guadaloupe appears to be able to produce abaca
(fiber of the M. textilis?); [218] and Pondicherry and Guadaloupe
have produced fabrics woven from abaca, and French Guiana stuffs
from the fiber of the edible banana; [219] all these, however, are
only experiments.

[Superiority of fiber.] Royle affirms that the Manila hemp (abaca
fiber) excels the Russian in firmness, lightness, and strength in
tension, as well as in cheapness, and has only the one disadvantage
that ropes made from it become stiff in wet weather. The reason,
however, is found in the manner in which it is spun, and may be
avoided by proper preparation. [220] Through the better preparation
of the raw material in Manila by means of adequate machinery, these
difficulties have been overcome; but abaca no longer has the advantage
of superior cheapness, as the demand has increased much faster than
the supply. During the year 1859 it was worth from L22 to L25 per ton;
in 1868, L45 per ton; while Russian hemp fetched L31 per ton. Thus
in nine years it rose to double its value.

[Banana varieties.] In Albay there are about twelve varieties
of the best banana cultivated, which are particularly favored by
the qualities of the soil. The cultivation is extremely simple,
and entirely independent of the seasons. The plants thrive best on
the slopes of the volcanic mountains (in which Albay and Camarines
abound), in open spaces of the woods protected by the trees, which
cast their shadows to an extent of about sixty feet. In exposed level
ground they do not thrive so well, and in marshy land not at all.

[Cultivation.] In the laying out of a new plantation the young shoots
are generally made use of, which sprout so abundantly from the roots
that each individual one soon becomes a perfect plant. In favorable
ground the custom is to allow a distance of about ten feet between
each plant; in poor ground six feet. The only care necessary is
the extermination of the weeds, and clearing away the undergrowth
during the first season; later on, the plants grow so luxuriantly
and strongly that they entirely prevent the growth of anything
else in their vicinity. The protection afforded by the shade of the
trees at this period is no longer required, the young buds finding
sufficient protection against the sun's rays under cover of the
fan-like leaves. Only in exceptional cases, contrary to the usual
practice, are the plants raised from seed. The fruit, when ready,
is cut off and dried, though care must be taken that it is not over
ripe; otherwise the kernels will not germinate. These latter are about
the size of peppercorns; and the extraction of them in the edible
species almost always brings about decay. Two days before sowing,
the kernels are taken out of the fruit, and steeped overnight in
water; on the following day they are dried in a shady place; and on
the third day they are sown in holes an inch deep in fresh, unbroken,
and well-shaded forest ground, allowing six inches distance between
each plant and row. After a year the seedlings, which are then about
two feet high, are planted out, and tended in the same way as the
suckers. [Differences with abaca.] While many of the edible bananas
bear fruit after one year, and a few varieties even after six months,
the abaca plant requires on an average three years to produce its
fiber in a proper condition; when raised from suckers four years;
and raised from year-old seedlings, even under the most favorable
conditions, two years.

[Cutting.] On the first crop, only one stalk is cut from each bush;
but later on the new branches grow so quickly that they can be cut
every two months. [221] After a few years the plants become so strong
and dense that it is scarcely possible to push through them. Bast is
in its best condition at the time of blossoming; but, when the price
of the fiber happens to stand high in the market, this particular
time is not always waited for.

[Prejudice against cutting after blossoming.] Plants which have
blossomed cease to be profitable in any way, by reason of the fiber
becoming too weak--a matter of too great nicety for the unpractical
consumers on the other side of the Atlantic to decide upon, and one
in which, despite inquiries and careful inspections, they might be
deceived. There really is no perceptible reason why the fiber should
become weaker through fructification, which simply consists in the fact
of the contents of the vascular cells changing into soluble matter,
and gradually oozing away, the consequence of which is that the cells
of the fiber are not replenished. These, on the contrary, acquire
additional strength with the age of the plant, because the emptied
cells cling so firmly together, by means of a certain resinous deposit,
that it is impossible to obtain them unbroken without a great deal of
trouble. The idea may have erroneously arisen from the circumstance
that, previously to drying, as with hemp, the old plants were picked
out, and allowed to be thrown away, though not without considerably
increasing the rate of pay, which already consumed the greater part
of the general expenses. [222]

[Extracting the fiber.] In order to obtain the bast, the stalk above
ground is closely pruned and freed from leaves and other encumbrances;
each leaf is then singly divided into strips--a cross incision being
made through the membrane on the inner or concave side, and connected
by means of the pulpy parts (the parenchym) clinging together. In
this manner as much as possible of the clear outer skin only remains
behind. Another method is to strip the bast from the undivided stem. To
effect this the operator makes an oblique incision in the skin of
the under part of the stalk, drawing the knife gradually to the tip,
and stripping off the whole length as broad a piece as possible; and
the operation is repeated as many times as practicable. This method
of handling is more productive than the one previously described;
but, on the other hand, it takes considerably more time, and for
that reason is not often practised. The strips of bast are then drawn
under a knife, the blade of which is three inches broad by six long,
fastened at one end to the extremity of a flexible stick so that it
is suspended perpendicularly over a well-smoothed block, and at the
other end to a handle connected by means of a cord to a treadle, which
can be pressed firmly down, as occasion requires. The workman draws
the bast, without any regard to quality, between the knife and block,
commencing in the middle, and then from side to side. The knife must
be free from notches, or all indentations, according to the direction
of Father Blanco. [223]

[Laborers' work and wages.] Three hired-men usually get twenty-five
pounds per day. One worker cuts up the stalks, strips off the leaves,
and attends to the supply; the second, frequently a boy, spreads out
the strips; and the third draws them under the knife. A single plant
has been known to yield as much as two pounds of fiber; but the most
favorable average rarely affords more than one pound, and plants grown
in indifferent soil scarcely a sixth of that quantity. The plantations
are worked either by the owner or by day-laborers, who, when the market
prices are very low, take half share of the crop harvested by them. In
these cases an industrious workman may obtain as much as one picul in
a week. During my stay exceptionally low prices ruled--sixteen and
one-half reals per picul undelivered. The workman could, therefore,
in six days earn half the amount, viz., eight and a quarter reals at
a rate of one and three-eighths reals per day. The day's pay at that
time was half a real, and board a quarter of a real, making together
three-quarters of a real.


By daily pay. Half share.

The workman therefore earned daily 0.75 r. or 1.375 r.
Wages amounted to per picul 12. 6 r. or 8. 25 r.
Profit of the planters after deduction of the wages 3. 9 r. or 8. 25 r.

[Lupis and bandala.] The edges of the petioles, which contain much
finer fiber than the middle parts, are separately divided into strips
an inch wide, and with strong pressure are drawn several times under
the knife. This substance, which is called lupis, is in high request,
being employed in the native weaving; while is chiefly used for ships'
rigging. [224]

[Grades of Lupis.] Lupis, according to the fineness of the fiber,
is sorted into four classes--first, Binani; second, Totogna; third,
Sogotan; and fourth, Cadaclan. A bundle of these is then taken up in
the left hand, and, while with the right the first three sorts are
inserted between the fingers, the fourth is held between the thumb and
forefinger. This last description is no longer used in fine weaving,
and is therefore sold with bandala. After the fine sorts have been
pounded in a rice-mortar, in order to render the fiber soft and
pliable, they are severally knotted into one another, and converted
into web.

[Lupis fabrics.] Generally the first sort is worked as woof with the
second as warp, and the third as warp with the second as woof. The
fabrics so woven are nearly as fine as pina fabrics (Nipis de Pina),
and almost equal the best quality of cambric; and, notwithstanding
the many little nodules occasioned by the tangling of the fiber,
which may be discerned on close inspection, are clearer and stouter,
and possess a warmer yellowish tint. [225] As to these last three
qualities--purity, flexibility, and color--they stand in relation to
cambric somewhat as cardboard to tissue-paper.

[Weaving.] Weaving such fabrics on very simple looms is exceedingly
troublesome as the fibers, which are not spun but twisted, very
frequently break. The finest stuffs require so great an amount of
dexterity, patience, and time in their preparation, and for that reason
are so expensive, that they would find no purchasers in Europe where
there is the competition of cheap, machine-made goods. Their fine,
warm yellowish color also is objected to by the European women, who are
accustomed to linen and calicoes strongly blued in the washing. In the
country, however, high prices are paid for them by the rich mestizos,
who understand the real goodness of their qualities.

[Bandala fabrics.] The fibers of the inner petioles, which are softer
but not so strong as the outer, are called tupus, and sold with
bandala, or mixed with tapis and used in the native weaving. Bandala
also serves for weaving purposes; and, in that portion of the
Archipelago where the native abaca plantations are, the entire dress
of both sexes is made of coarse guinara. Still coarser and stronger
fabrics are prepared for the European market, such as crinoline and
stiff muslin used by dressmakers.

[A Pre-Spanish product.] Before the arrival of the Spaniards the
natives wore stuffs from abaca; which became an important article of
export only some few decades since. This is in great measure due to
the enterprising spirit of two American firms, and would not have been
attained without great perseverance and liberal pecuniary assistance.

[Unbusinesslike early methods.] The plants flourish without any care
or attention, the only trouble being to collect the fiber; and, the
bounteousness of Nature having provided them against want, the natives
shirk even this trouble when the market price is not very enticing. In
general low prices are scarcely to be reckoned on, because of the
utter indifference of the laborers, over whom the traders do not
possess enough influence to keep them at work. Advances to them are
made both in goods and money, which the creditor must repay either
by produce from his own plantation or by giving an equivalent in
labor. [226] As long as the produce stands high in price, everything
goes on pretty smoothly, although even then, through the dishonesty of
the workers and the laziness, extravagance, and mercantile incapacity
of the middlemen, considerable loss frequently ensues. If, however,
prices experience any considerable fall, then the laborers seek in any
and every way to get out of their uncomfortable position, whilst the
percentage of profit secured to the middleman is barely sufficient
to cover the interest on his outlay. Nevertheless, they must still
continue the supplies, inasmuch as they possess no other means of
securing payment of their debt in the future. The laborers, in their
turn, bring bitter complaints against the agents, to the effect that
they are forced to severe labor, unprofitable to themselves, through
their acceptance of advances made to them at most exorbitant rates; and
the agents (generally mestizos or creoles) blame the crafty, greedy,
extortionate foreigners, who shamelessly tempt the lords of the soil
with false promises, and bring about their utter ruin. [Change to a
safer basis.] As a general rule, the "crafty foreigner" experiences
a considerable diminution of his capital. It was just so that one of
the most important firms suffered the loss of a very large sum. At
length, however, the Americans, who had capital invested in this trade,
succeeded in putting an end to the custom of advances, which hitherto
had prevailed, erected stores and presses on their own account,
and bought through their agents direct from the growers. All earlier
efforts tending in this direction had been effectually thwarted by
the Spaniards and creoles, who considered the profits derived from
the country, and especially the inland retail trade, to be their own
by prescriptive right. They are particularly jealous of the foreign
intruders, who enrich themselves at their expense; consequently they
place every obstacle in their way. If it depended upon the will of
these people, all foreigners would be ejected from the country--the
Chinese alone, as workmen (coolies), being allowed to remain. [227]

[Anti-Chinese feeling.] The same feeling was exhibited by the natives
towards the Chinese, whom they hated for being industrious and
trustworthy workers. All attempts to carry out great undertakings
by means of Chinese labor were frustrated by the native workmen
intimidating them, and driving them away either by open violence or
by secret persecution; and the Colonial authorities were reproached
for not affording suitable protection against these and similar
outrages. That, as a rule, great undertakings did not succeed in the
Philippines, or at least did not yield a profit commensurate with
the outlay and trouble, is a fact beyond dispute, and is solely to
be ascribed to many of the circumstances related above. [Good work
for good pay.] There are those, however, who explain these mishaps
in other ways, and insist upon the fact that the natives work well
enough when they are punctually and sufficiently paid. The Government,
at any rate, appears gradually to have come to the conclusion that
the resources of the country cannot be properly opened up without
the assistance of the capital and enterprise of the [Tardy justice
to foreigners.] foreigners; and, therefore, of late years it has not
in any way interfered with their establishment. In 1869 their right
of establishment was tardily conceded to them by law.

[Abaca production and prospects.] At this period the prospects of the
abaca cultivation seemed very promising; and since the close of the
American war, which had the effect of causing a considerable fall in
the value of this article in America, the prices have been steadily
increasing. It is stated (on authority) that, in 1840, 136,034 piculs
of abaca, to the value of $397,995 were exported, the value per picul
being reckoned at about $2.09. The rate gradually rose and stood
between four and five dollars--and, during the civil war, reached the
enormous sum of nine dollars per picul--the export of Russian hemp
preventing, however, a further rise. This state of affairs occasioned
the laying out of many new plantations, the produce of which, when
it came on the market, after three years, was valued at $3.50 per
picul, in consequence of the prices having returned to their normal
condition; and even then it paid to take up an existing plantation,
but not to lay out a new one. This rate continued until 1860, since
which time it has gradually risen (only during the American civil
war was there any stoppage), and it now stands once more as high as
during the civil war; and there is no apparent prospect of a fall so
long as the Philippines have no competitors in the trade. In 1865 the
picul in Manila never cost less than $7 which two years previously
was the maximum value; and it rose gradually, until $9.50 was asked
for ordinary qualities. The production in many provinces had reached
the extreme limit; and a further increase, in the former at least,
is impossible, as the work of cultivation occupies the whole of the
male population--an evidence surely that a suitable recompense will
overcome any natural laziness of the natives. [228]

An examination of the following table will confirm the accuracy of
these views:--

[Export of "Manila hemp."]

Export of Abaca (In Piculs).

To 1861 1864 1866 1868 1870 1871

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Efficiency and reliability of Chinese labor.] The conditions, however,
are not quite equal, as the law places certain obstacles in the way of
the Chinese. The courts do not protect them sufficiently from insult,
which at times is aggravated into malicious manslaughter through
the ill-usage of the mob, who hate them bitterly as being reserved,
uncompanionable workers. Nevertheless, the Chinese immigrants take
their stand firmly. The western division of the Pacific Railway has
been chiefly built by the Chinese, who, according to the testimony of
the engineers, surpass workmen of all other nationalities in diligence,
sobriety, and good conduct. What they lack in physical power they
make up for in perseverance and working intelligently together. The


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