[E.C. McCullough and Co.],
Text on page 55
Boats In The Streets
ATER life gives Manila some claims to the title of "Oriental Venice." The general level of her streets is but a few feet above water, and should some earthquake lower the plain ten feet, or some tidal wave raise the water in the bay, there would be a permanent or temporary reproduction of conditions in the famous Italian city.
When the big flood of July, 1904, occurred, this very thing did happen and men went everywhere about the streets in bancas carrying passengers for any fare they might be able to collect.
There is, however, plenty of material for Venetian scenery without waiting for a flood or an earthquake, and the traveller has not far to go to find bits of land and water-scape that make the soul of the artist stop to gaze and rejoice that he is in Manila. Some of the estero windings with zacati-laden bancas and brown limbed boatmen are thoroughly oriental and characteristic of the leisurely life of the tropics.
There are five divisions of river life: the shipping behind the breakwater belongs to the deep sea; the lower Pasig harbors the inter-island merchant marine; the Pasig above the bridge of Spain