OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
has often been called a a large child,a and, in fact, no words could describe him more accurately. Much has been said of his traditional laziness, but this has been greatly exaggerated. In the field, it is true, his labor is worth but little, for he does not take kindly to agricultural pursuits, but in the cities and villages, employed at the various trades and industries, domestic tasks and even rough labor, he is not more indolent than the average inhabitant of tropical climes. He lives in an enervating atmosphere; a handful of rice is his daily food, but even under these conditions he labors from eight to ten hours a day without showing unusual lassitude or fatigue. His indolence is the result of generations of tropical ancestors. Even the nervously energetic American is unable to shake off the debilitating effects of the climate. Moreover, the native was deprived by the Spaniards of all participation in the affairs of his own government, and he fell into the habit of listlessly yielding to the conditions of his environment, preferring the pleasures of indolence to laboring for the benefit of his oppressors. He frequently manifests an unwillingness to work without pay in advance, and when this condition has been complied with he generally refuses to perform the stipulated task on any conditions Whatever, knowing that his would-be employer has no recourse
absence of the brightness and effervescence that constitute so charming a characteristic of the little people of our race. The children of the natives are quiet and subdued, seeming to feel the burden of oppression that has rested upon their elders for so many generations. The aged everywhere are treated with respect and veneration, but the people do not manifest that spontaneous sympathy for the sick and suffering that distinguishes our own race. It is said that in nearly every well-to-do Filipino household there will be found from one to two or three a poor relations,a who are regularly installed as members of the family and treated with such consideration and kindness as to make them feel that they are welcome to the best the table and house afford. Let us hope that this is a part of the Christian civilization which the Spaniards have bequeathed to these people, and that their brutal wars and centuries of peculation and injustice have not been entirely devoid of good. All who have associated with the better classes of Filipinos declare that their hospitality is without reproach. They embrace every opportunity to entertain and feast visiting strangers, and their guests are always welcome to the best they have. This custom is so universal that but few hotels are to be found in their country, strangers, as a rule, being entertained as honored guests by the best
A TAGALOG FAMILY.
These people are very prolific. The families usually average from ten to twelve children, while in numerous instances they will number from eighteen to twenty.
except in the slow processes of the courts, and these have no terror for the impecunious and easy-going native. This deplorable characteristic is no doubt the result of generations of Spanish injustice and robbery, for in the past these people were often forced to labor for their oppressors with no other incentive than the lash and the shadowy promise of a golden crown in the hereafter. The more humane methods of modern times have measurably corrected this evil, but there is still much to be desired.
The Tagalog, like all the races of Malay extraction, is very passionate, and likewise cruel to his enemies when they fall into his power, but not more so than the civilized races were a century ago; and his conduct in this respect, even at the present time, will bear favorable comparison with that of the Spaniards. Mercy and generosity in the treatment of a conquered foe were features of modern civilization that he had no opportunity to learn until the Americans came. In their family relations they manifest a tenderness and devotion that are commendable. Parents look after the wants of their children with affectionate solicitude, and children likewise pay the utmost respect and deference to their elders. The noisy boisterousness so common among American children is never witnessed in the islands; but at the same time there is an entire
families in each community. Some beautiful instances of this character are related elsewhere by American army officers and civilians who have traveled extensively through portions of the islands inhabited by the Tagalogs. They are very ambitious to appear well socially, and this is one of the reasons assigned for their unbounded hospitality. They love to make a display, and are fond of ceremonies and the pomp and glitter of processions.
The hut of the Tagalog is open alike to the foreigner and the acquaintance. It is thus that he understands the law of hospitality. Travelers are always made welcome, and the Tagalog will go to great trouble, and often to no little expense, to house and feed a stranger, virhile members of his own race are never turned from his door. When an a Indioa passes a bahay (house) where the family is at a meal, and he feels so disposed, he greets them, takes his place in the circle, and, without further ceremony, helps himself to the common dish of a morisqueta.a No one thinks of questioning him as to who he is, where he comes from or where he is going. When night overtakes him he enters the first convenient a sueloa (the common sleeping-room), where the whole family may be asleep, and neither man nor woman objects. Their houses know not locks or bolts, because they are never needed and the customs of the
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