OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
way affected the woman of Luzon. There is positively no affiliation whatever. And this was not an easy thing for an American soldier to understand, after he had seen service in Cuba and Porto Rico, and then been transferred to the Philippines. But he learns it and cries aloud, a From whence cometh this virtue?a a and he remembers that she is a woman.a
The women so unfavorably described by Mr. Comfort belong to the poor and laboring class of the Tagalogs, whose life is hard and laborious and who have but few opportunities to better their condition or improve themselves in mind and person. General Wheeler says that this class of women do a great deal of hard physical labor, which breaks down their constitutions and destroys the instinctive refinement of their sex. They labor in the fields equally with the men, wearing large hats made of grass, bamboo or palm leaves, which are sometimes thirty inches in diameter. They are also sometimes seen carrying umbrellas like those that we use in America, while working in the fields.
that, until you have reached your seat at dinner, they dance in attendance without a sound, as they go about barefoot, that being the universal custom. They make perfect servants, rarely forgetting what they have once been taught.a
These Tagalog housewives not only train their servants perfectly, but they likewise bring up their children in a manner that is highly commendable. The same correspondent whom we have quoted above gives several interesting incidents relating to the young people of the islands. He says of the martial spirit of the boys:
a That a martial spirit has grown among the Tagalogs, and is continuing to grow, can be seen by the most unobserving. During the last moonlight the older boys of about twelve or fifteen, got all the smaller children of the Indian settlements together, and, forming them in sets of fours, with a Philippine and American flag side by side, have marched them around the streets. I suppose there have been fifty of these little bands of little folks playing
MUSIC BY THE BAND.
This band, composed of a Filipino harp a couple of violins, and numerous harmonicas and jewsharps, was known among the soldier boys as the a Wild and Woolly.a The photograph is one of Mr. Dottera s best, and reproduces the features so clearly that the members of the famous a banda will be easily recognized by all their acquaintances.
Yet, after all, the natives are admirably polite to their women. A correspondent writes from an interior town of Luzon, where you would hardly expect the best of manners to prevail:
a Their politeness is extreme. I have often noticed a native stopping at some kiosk by the roadway, behind the counter an old woman sitting knitting between sales; to her the wanderer would always, even before he asked the price of what he desired, lift his cap. Meeting each other on the public highways is always the occasion for lifting the hat, if there are women with either party; if men, simply a greeting, but always given with a bow.
a While dining with a native family, soon after my arrival, I was struck with the quiet and dignified manner of the servants, and I naturally attributed it to the training of the housewife whose guest I was, but since I have kept house myself, I find that it is ground into them. When you reach home in the evening, one of them is always standing at the gateway to take whatever packages you may have; a bow and 'Buenos Nochesa greets you, and after
soldier, and wThen someone would cry, a Viva los Philippines/ the response that would come back from their lusty little throats very forcibly demonstrated that the pent-up enthusiasm of several generations back was about to let itself out in this age. They would always finish their cheer with a Viva los Americanos,a and thereby showed a trait of diplomacy rarely found in people quite as young as they are.a
Mothers w7ho train their children to love their country and adore liberty are worthy of commendation, whether the spirit they inculcate makes trouble for the stronger nations whose greed impels them to rule the weaker ones or not. We quote again from the same correspondent, who is a gallant captain in our army and a very intelligent and observant man:
a It is said of these people that they are not fit to govern themselves, and their lack of education is brought up as a case in point, yet I have not come in contact with one who cannot write. The boy to whom you pay $8 (Mexican) a month writes and