'OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
THE) RAINY SEASON IN THE PHILIPPINES.
During the wet season the rain falls in torrents almost every day, until the whole surface of the country is soaked with water,
which also stands in pools and puddles over the ground.
houses are near the roads, but some are off in cocoa-nut groves at the sides.
The people live, in most cases, high up, and the average hut is reached by a ladder of bamboo poles.
The ladders slope upward at an angle of about forty-five degrees. They usually consist of heavy side-pieces and rungs about as big around as your arm, and as long as the width of the door. On the rungs the women and children sit in the evening, as our people do 011 their front door-steps, and quite small babies are to be seen thus balancing themselves and crawling up and down.a
Incidents like this serve to remind us that all men are indeed akin, and that we have no right to regard anything as common or unclean which God has created and endowed with the capacity to love.
Scenes in Manila.
Some one has said that we never lose interest in those places where we were born, and where our dead are buried. So far very few Americans have been born in Manila, but many thousands of our dead sleep their last sleep under the green sod of the tropical isles, as the long rows of numbered boards in the American cemeteries pathetically attest. Hence, whatever may be the future of the Philippine Islands, our peeple can never cease to feel a profound interest in their chief city. Business enterprises have also been established there of a character that will endure, and it is probable that for all future tijne Manila will be an American city in its business and social life, as it has been Spanish in the past.
The Bay of Manila is like an inland sea or lake. It is twenty-eight miles from the city to Corregidor Island, which stands in the mouth of the bay like a cork in a bottle; and when you reach the midway point going down in a vessel, the shores can be but dimly seen on either side, like distant clouds 011 the horizon.
The Pasig River, which unites Laguna de Bay with the Bay of Manila, and makes a second Venice of the city by debouching through a number of passages and canals, is about fifteen miles in
f a \
length, with a number of small tributaries which our American map-makers have not regarded as of sufficient importance to be indicated or named. The river is navigable only for small steamers and native boats, many of the latter being of a very picturesque character, as evidenced by numerous photographs in this work.
The foundations of the city and the country immediately around it are so low and flat as to be practically on a level with the bay, and many of the soldiers in their letters home speak of the blue waters of Manila Bay as appearing higher than the citya a fantasy of vision familiar to all who have ever viewed large bodies of water.
The scenery in this locality, and, in fact, throughout the archipelago, is very fine, as all testify who have seen it.
a Of all the places I have ever seen,a writes a correspondent, a none is of as varied beauty as the Island of Luzon. Any way that you look is a scene that an artist would rave about. It would take a volume to describe the soul-inspiring views, and we have the most beautiful sunsets imaginable. There is a plant along the trench we occupy that wilts as though scalded on touching it. Taking a stem between the thumb and finger, all the leaves immediately wither. It is a wronder. I have not learned the name of it. To those desiring to get close to nature's heart, the Philippine Islands are a rare opportunity.a Another correspondent thus describes a sunset which he witnessed at Manila, and the hyperbole
of his language may be excused in consideration of the splendor of the scene:
a It was the most beautiful and vivid picture of the 4 Great Artista ever spread upon the canvas of the earth, sea and sky. Rain had been falling the greater part of the afternoon, but the dull, gray clouds broke in the west and let the golden rays of sunlight steal through the rifts, like the search-light of heaven, onto the bay and the great, white city of Manila. The clouds rolled back like a great curtain and hung in folds over the tops of the mountains beyond Manila, and made a hazel background to the picture I am trying to describe.
a The sun sank low over the waves beyond Corregidor, and slowly the whole world seemed to be flooded with saffron glory, and the windows of the old Cathedral reflected
NATIVE RAFT OF BAMBOO POLES, ON THE PASIG RIVER.