OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
while its rival is more than half hidden by the foothills of the Sierra de Cara-vallos. For similar reasons the summit of our own continent, Mount Popocata-petl, near the City of Mexico, does not look half so high as the magnificent peak of Orizaba, with its tower-steeple and dizzy precipices. But in that case the verdict of competent surveyors is confirmed by an indorsement in Nature's own handwriting: The snow-hood of Popocatapetl reaches half way down to its shoulders, while that of the coast giant is a mere cap.
But, in spite of Spanish barometers, the Filipinos stick to it that Mount Saygan is the pinnacle of all their sierras, and the view from its summit is certainly hard to beat. The inland panorama is a boundless expanse of verdure, with a. yellowish green savanna
here and there, and a few plateaus towering above high-timber line. In the south the sea stretches to a sharp-drawn sky line, and in the northeast the coast cliffs rise stupendousa sheer tower w^alls of two to three thousand feet, seamed by crevices and
HARROWING A FLOODED RICE FIELD WITH a CARABOAS.a
clouded by vast swarms of sea birds that nest in the crevices.
At intervals of a few miles, coast rivers break that rampart of towering rocks, and along their banks hundreds of Chinese immigrants have pitched their tents or constructed slightly more solid tabernacles of rocks and driftwood.
Sea storms may demolish the roofs of these structures, and earth tremors endanger their foundations, but against the risk of famine the pigtailed squatters are as safe as Tamalina s companions in the gingerbread coliseum. There are inexhaustible fishing grounds within easy reach; turtles in the lagoons and crabs on the beach, but, above all, the cliffs abound with birds, including the builders of the edible swallow nests.
There was a time when those lumps of insipid gelatine could be sold in any offered quantity anywhere between Yokohama and Canton. The Japs have since learned to prefer French ragouts, but China is still a land of specialty tastes, and ir
NIPA HUTS AND FILIPINO FAMILY.
any of the larger seaport towns nest-paste can be sold at eight dollars a pound, though a superlative omelet of the same weight would bring only eight small coppers. The same champions of conservatism also continue to pay five dollars a pound for ginseng
roots, the most useless of all vegetable nostrumsa at least from an analytical chemista s point of view, since its efficacy as a faith cure cannot be doubted.
The junks of the Canton commission dealers call about twice a month, and their caterers explore the cliffs every sunshiny day of the year. Numbers of them combine for the purchase of a rope-tackle outfit, and lower the collectors in a basket with all sorts of extra handles for a swift grab in case of accident, besides attaching a duplicate rope to the occupanta s waist belt.
But the plurality of the hunters dispense with such contrivances, and save membership fees by clambering about., on their own hook, in the literal grapple-stick sense of the word. By means of a hooked pole and pronged shoes they climb up the crevices like cats, with a leather bag strapped to their shoulders in a manner to leave their hands free for purposes of self-preservation. Wherever there is a cave in the cliffs the walls are studded with nests, and to reach a bonanza of that sort, the Chinese
FILIPINO PLOW AND a CARABOAa IN PARTLY FLOODED RICE FIEI D.
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