OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
THE SPANISH BRIDGE AT MANILA.
This is one of the handsomest and most substantial bridges in Manila, and it would do credit to any city in the world.
The reader will observe, in perusing the foregoing, that much of the evil in the Filipino character is due to the treachery and cruelty of their late Spanish masters. If, during the four centuries of Spanish rule, they had instead been brought into as intimate relations with a nation like the French, the Dutch, or even the English, their natural imitative qualities would have imbibed the characteristics of these nations, and we should now see on these islands a race of people polite and suave like the Japanese, or energetic and progressive like the Dutch Malays of Java or Sumatra, instead of the gloomy and suspicious creature pictured by Foreman. The Filipino is naturally clever and genial in disposition. The cruelty and treachery which he now exhibits are but the reflection of the Spanish character and civilization which he has unconsciously assimilated.
These reflections are borne out by the late General Lawton, who, in a letter written only a short time before his death, said:
a This is a beautiful country, and the people, in my opinion, are not half so bad as they are sometimes pictured. Centuries of bad government and bad treatment have made them suspicious, and it will be some time before we can persuade them that we are not here for the purpose of robbing them and making them slaves. As soon as they are assured of our good will and intentions, and
we are enabled to show them by example that we mean only for their good and welfare, I think we will find the Filipinos will be good citizens.a
And the Filipinos have imbibed Spanish superstitions, as well as many lamentable distinctions of character. Being naturally prone to superstitious beliefs, they accepted, without doubting, all the fantastic tales which the early missionaries taught them.
-Miraculous crosses healed the sick, cured the plague and scared away the locusts. Images of saints and holy characters relieved them of all physical sufferings and the evils of fate. To this day they revere many of these objects, which are treasured in their homes as their most precious possessions. A history of the various shrines all over the islands would fill volumes. Among the most celebrated of these is the shrine of the Virgin of Antipolo, a Our Lady of Good Voyage and Peace,a which is lodged in the parish church of Antipolo, a village in the district of Morong, island of Luzon. The village has a population of nearly 4,000, who depend chiefly upon pilgrims for their subsistence, the arable land near Antipolo being mountainous and limited in extent. The priests also do a good business by selling cheap prints of saints, rosaries, etc., for which a regular shop has been opened in the convent adjoining the shrine. The image was brought from Acu^ulc0.
PECULIARLY CONSTRUCTED FILIPINO HOUSE.
The roof is thatched with grasses of different colors, and the sides of the house are composed of sliding panels made of oyster shells, which admit the light
and temper the heat. The floors and solid portions of the sides are mahogany.