RESOURCES OF THE PHILIPPINES.
THERE is no question about the natural wealth of the Philippine Islands. In a commercial sense, they are probably worth more than any other region of the same size in the world; and their riches are practically undeveloped. In spite of the average density of population, which is about three times greater than that of the United States, there are vast districts of wild lands, wholly unoccupied and nominally owned by the monastic orders or the Government. Arrangements will doubtless be made to bring these tracts within the operations of our pre-emption laws, either under an American colonial system or a native republic, fostered and protected by American influence; so that in either case pre-emptors would be secure in their holdings. The people at present congregate in villages and cultivate small patches of ground around their houses, or little farms adjoining the towns. The land is so extraordinarily fertile that a very small plat will produce enough to support a
the cross-ties of this road are mahogany. These ties alone would pay for the building and equipment of another road of equal length. The floors of many of the houses of Manila and other smaller towns are composed of mahogany boards, and the natives paddle canoes of mahogany and rosewood. The Hotel Oriente, at Manila, is a three-story building, with broad halls and wide stairways. All the floors and the stairs and balustrades, as well as the great canopied bedsteads and the tables and chairs, are made of mahogany and polished like the surface of a piano. The boards in the floors average from eighteen inches to two feet in width, and from fifteen to twenty feet in length. Correspondents describe tables six feet wide and twelve feet long, the tops being made of a single mahogany board. The pillars, floors and ceilings of the churches are made of mahogany, and the timbers, as well as the entire hulls of many of the boats on the Pasig River are composed of the same precious wood. Mahogany seems to be as plentiful in
VIEW IN CAVITE, NEAR MANILA.
Cavite is about fifteen miles south of Manila by the road, but only seven or eight in a direct line, and it was near this town that Deweya s battle with
the Spanish ships took place.
large family, and as the insanity of greed has not yet affected these people, they are satisfied with the simple necessaries of their modest life. These conditions explain the density of population in the midst of such extensive wastes of primeval forests. It is stated as a fact that a family can live comfortably in the Philippines on the products of their back yard; live better, in fact, than the family of the average workingman in the United States; and they are not worried about the wintera s coal or the a rainy daya of old age, for frosts and drouths are unknown and the mellow earth never fails to bring forth its fruits in season and in prodigal abundance. Those who desire to make homes for themselves in the Philippines can do so without trespassing upon the rights of the people now there, for much the larger part of the areaa and the richest portions at thata are still unoccupied.
There is only one railroad in the archipelago, that which extends from Manila to Dagupan, in the island of Luzon. Most of
the Philippines as pine in America; and there are forests of rosewood that will furnish logs from eight to ten feet in diameter.
It is estimated that there are more than fifty varieties of hardwoods of high commercial value in these islands, some of which are colored like birdseye maple and take as fine a polish as rosewood. There are others of a rich coffee or chocolate hue, some red in color, and others that resemble black walnut, but all susceptible of the finest polish.
These statements are fully borne out by Government statistics, which form the basis of this article. The hallucinations of an Oriental dream could not surpass the plain facts regarding the prolific natural wealth of the Philippine Islands, which is confined not alone to the timbers, but abounds equally in the products of the soil and the exhaustless deposits of rich minerals.
One of our correspondents asserts that there is but one steam saw mill in the entire archipelago, and that one a mere a thirty-