OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
which is one of the wonders of Manila. The interior of this edifice is finished with the beautiful natural wood called molave, and the carving is thus described:
a Words fail me in describing the gorgeousness and beauty of the carving. The entire interior is carved, and eleven years were spent in accomplishing the beautiful effect, so many biblical scenes are exquisitely portrayed in the carvings. This beautiful work was done by the native Filipinos. Some one said, a They are not a smart people, their heads are empty / but a quick repartee was, a Their brains are in the ends of their fingers.
For some months after the Americans came it was a rare thing to see any women other than slippered Fili-pinas on the street. Occasionally a few American ladies might be seen shopping in the forenoon or driving late in the afternoon, but not one of the Spanish or wealthier class of Filipino women was visible. Now all that is changed. Possibly the freedom and confidence of our own countrywomen have encouraged them; at any rate, there is hardly a dry goods or millinery store but has a number of native and Spanish customers during business hours, while many of these ladies have resumed their afternoon drives on the Luneta, where a regimental band plays for an hour before sunset. Undoubtedly, not much business is done in certain departments, particularly among the Chinese merchants dealing almost entirely with the native population, but in other directions it is thriving. Tailors, shoemakers, hatters, and workers in straw and cane have their hands full. The stocks of India stores, jewelers and grocers are daily diminishing, and there is every indication of increasing business along
WEALTHY CHINESE MERCHANT OF MANILA.
Many of the Chinese merchants have acquired large fortunes by thrift and cunning. They usually adhere to their native customs and dress, and are heartily disliked by the Filipinos
GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO.
President of the Republic of the Philippines. This photograph was presented to one of the American officers on the evening of the day on which the American and Fili" pino armies captured Manila from the Spaniards.
the Escolta. One reason for the decline of the Chinese trade is explained by one of our soldiers, who says that while he and a comrade were making some purchases in a Chinamana s shop they discovered a number of dried rats hung up for sale. They left much quicker than they had come, and when the rat story spread, as it did on rapid wings, the soldier boys thereafter religiously kept away from the shops of the almond-eyed merchants. Rats and leprosy are too closely associated in the American mind to constitute attractive trade inducements. But after all, the Chinaman is the favorite cook and servant-of-all-work in the islands, and he could hardly be dispensed with. The Filipino is also a very good house servant, but he lacks both the experience and the initiative of the Chinaman. He is merely an imitator, and not a first-class one at that, while the man from China invents as well as imitates. The Celestials are great money-makers, and they have instituted a number of curious customs in the propagation of that industry.
a Here in Manila,a says a correspondent, a they make your chocolate while you wait. Right into the house a Chinaman comes with his basket and he rolls the crushed cacao beans and sugar, and then makes a supply of chocolate that is sweeter and more palatable and cheaper than the commercial brand sold in our home stores.
a When the Chinaman comes he lays aside his hat and shirt, and, stripped to the waist and barefooted, he begins his work. In the basket is the chocolate or cacao bean, from which the rancid oil has been extracted, and which oil long ago has anointed the hair of some Filipino belle, or lighted some Filipino home. The beans first come on the board bitter and brackish. With a rolling pin the Chinaman grinds them into a fine powder. When it is done he opens another basket and dips out the sugar for the sweetening and the final mixture. The sugar is what would probably grade a coffee C/ if it were in commercial circles. Like the bean, it grows on the island. Industriously the Chinaman rubs, and gradually the chocolate forms on the bottom of the board and drips off in sticky sweetness into the basket beneath. The family gathers about to sample the product and the Chinaman stops to smoke a cigarette while judgment is being passed.