OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
a Some changes had taken place in the town. Our friend of the mournful countenance had departed from the convento, and his successor was a fat and jolly friar wa ho piped for his people to dance, and made himself generally agreeable to them.
a At the tribunal we found an acquaintance who had been bandmaster when we parted, presiding as gobernadorcillo. He was delighted to see us, and, although it was past midnight when we arrived, sent word of our coming through the village, and the population turned out en masse to welcome us.
a Before we retired the capitan came to us with a very mysterious air, and remarked that he had a surprise in store for us in the morning. We were not to fail to be on hand when the procession of cabezas de Barangay passed by on its way to mass.
a Accordingly, we turned out bright and early. In due time the procession formed and started for the convento, to escort the padre to church; but for the life of us we could not see anything extraordinary about it. The shirts of the cabezas stood out from their waists at the usual angle; there was a fair assortment of battered instruments, and a motley crowd to play them ; but nothing out of the ordinary, and we began to fear that the %obernadorcillo was too subtle for us. We were not destined to miss the surprise, however. Just as the band came opposite the balcony on which we were standing, the capitan waved his cane in the air, and the musicians saluted us with the familiar melody to which the wordsa
a Johnny get your gun, get your sword, get your pistolr Nigger on the house-top, wona t come down,*
STATUE OF MAGELLAN, AT MANILA.
are usually set. The sight of those solemn cabezas marching to church to that tune came very near upsetting our dignity, and a little later, when the same familiar strains floated out from the sacred edifice itself we simply collapsed. The Filipinos usually play entirely by ear. The bandmaster had learned the melody from us, had taught it to his musicians, and added it to the Siquijor repertoire of sacred music.a
Music is taught in all the higher schools, and it is the most prominent feature at every festival and public entertainment, as well as in the family circle. Every family possesses some sort of a musical instrument, and, when they can afford it, several different kinds are frequently found in the same house. There are probably more pianos in the island of Luzon, in proportion to the population, than anywhere else in the world, and many of them are of the most exquisite tone and workmanship.
The Tagalogs are fond of the marvelous and the romantic. Their corridos (romances, or popular legends) travel from hand to hand, and when the authors have no paper they use the leaves of the plantain. There is rarely a bahay where there are not some books in Tagalese, and there is hardly a family that does not boast a poet. Some of these are very good, and occasionally there are found at festivals and funerals excellent improvisors.
At funeralsa the most impressive ceremony of the Filipinosa they relate the life of the deceased from the cradle to the grave, and sound his praises in long speeches in verse, to the construction of which the Tagalese language lends itself better than any other.
SCENE ON THE PASIG RIVER AT MANILA.
The singular-looking boat in the foreground represents a class of native steamers that ply the inland rivers of the island of Luzon.
A NATIVE SUGAR FACTORY, ISLAND OF LUZON.
country do not require them. Like all the Polynesians, the Tagalogs are an extremely clean people. They bathe frequently, usually several times a day, and change their clothing at every bath. This extraordinary cleanliness applies not only to their persons, but to their houses, cooking, and everything connected with their daily life.
Though not naturally artistic, as are the Japanese, the Tagalogs have shown many evidences of good taste in that line. This is manifested in the elaborate embroideries executed by the women, as well as the productions of native painters and sculptors, some of which have been honored with high prizes at the Madrid Art Exhibition. They are very apt in the mechanical arts, doing excellent work in silver and wood-carving, and as copyists and imitators they are unexcelled.
As a people, they are natural musicians. Every village has its orchestra or band, and in the evening all the inhabitants turn out to enjoy the melody. Even little boys and girls of five or six years of age are said to play the harp, the guitar, or the piano with excellent taste and as if by instinct. Their ear for music is intuitive. They readily acquired all the popular airs played by our military bands, but their application of our music was often extremely ludicrous. All music is music to the
Tagalog, who recognizes no incongruity in playing a A Hot Time in the Old Town To-nighta or a Marching Through Georgiaa at a funeral or a church dedication. The melody captivates him, and he does not stop to inquire into its appropriateness. Prof. Dean C. Worcester relates the following ludicrous incidents in illustration
of this peculiarity, in his interesting work on the Philippine Islands: