OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
Interesting Facts About the Philippine Islands.
BY GEN. JOSEPH WHEEIyER.
The early history of the Philippine Islands is to a great degree involved in mystery, but through the researches of several Spanish historians during the nineteenth century, some little light has been thrown upon it.
It appears to be generally admitted that the original inhabitants wrere a very dark and inferior race, called a Negritos;a but many centuries ago people of other nations, attracted by the rich soil and comparatively healthful climate of the Philippines, made their homes in various parts of these islands. The Arabs in considerable numbers settled in the islands nearly a thousand years ago. Chinese, Japanese and Hindoos also made permanent settlements. Intermarriages took place and resulted in the production of a mixed race found in possession by the Spaniards when Manuel de Legaspi, in 1564, forty odd years after Magellana s voyage, took possession of the islands.
It could not be said, even then, that they were a barbarous and totally uncultured people. They had ships and carried on com-
who were exposed had my hearty sympathy. No amount of protection from rubber coats seemed to be of service. The sentinels were constantly and thoroughly saturated with water. Those in Manila had good quarters, and after finishing their tour of duty they were well housed and were able to make themselves comfortable with dry clothing.
Manila is about twenty-five miles from the entrance of the bay. The original city, located on the left side of the Pasig River, wras laid out 300 years ago, and is really an enclosed fortification. It is built up closely, with narrow streets, and encircled by massive walls, with six large gates, ramparts, sentinel towers, and a deep, broad ditch, into which water from the river or bay can be thrown by means of sluices constructed for that purpose. A century and a flalf ago this fortification would have been regarded as formidable. It is very much on the plan of a vauban front, and there it has stood for some three centuries. The scars made in the walls by the English in 1762 are still visible. It is urged by some that this fortification should be removed, but I think this would be unfortunate, and would rather see it preserved as the finest monu-
These people belong to a tribe on the island of Luzon of whom but little was known previous to our war with Spain. They are very dark, small in stature and exceedingly fierce in disposition. The men wear their hair in long, thick masses, hanging down frequently below the waist, as shown in the illustration.
merce with China, Japan and India. They had factories where they worked in metals, iron, brass, silver and gold. They manufactured powder, made brick, excelled in wood carving, and some of their products of iron were spoken of as superior, and even as superb. The first Spanish colonists spoke very favorably of the state of civilization in the islands, reporting that the natives were a peaceable, quiet people, and appeared to be governing with wisdom.
It was in August that I reached Manila. A typhoon had been raging some days, and the bay was very rough, which is always the case in storms, as Manila Bay is more of an inland sea than a harbor. I was fortunate in being permitted to go ashore with the officers of the port who came out to meet us. Immediately upon landing, I hastened to the headquarters of General Otis, but as he was ill at his residence, I reported to General Schwan, the chief of staff. The next morning I returned, found General Otis and expressed to him my desire for service in the field and my readiness for immediate duty.
It was the rainy season and the fall of water was excessive and almost constant. This did not make it disagreeable to those who could be under cover, but the sentinels on post and those soldiers
ment of antiquity in our possessions. It is, indeed, a unique specimen of medieval architecture.
The a Walled Citya is about 4,000 feet long and 2,000 feet broad. The population within the walls, which is very dense, is, however, only a small portion of the real population of the whole city, as, after a gradual growth of three centuries, Manila and its various outlying districts is now a closely built-up city, with a population which has been variously estimated, one official statement putting it as high as 500,000. This is unquestionably much too large, and I think 300,000 would be the outside limit. A partial census recently taken indicates even a much lower figure. The localities outside the walls are designated by distinct names: Binondo, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Quiapo, San Miguel, Sampaloc, Tondo and Malate.
These parts are more modern and the architecture is generally of the character adopted by Spaniards. The most attractive of these is Malate, the southern suburb, that portion extending along the water being a very desirable location for residences. The houses face upon a broad street, and those on the water side have grounds extending to the bay, with_bathhouses and pavilions,
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