OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE. 631
FILIPINO VILLAGE NEAR MT. BALER.
This photograph was taken by Mr. Dotter immediately after the capture of the place by a small party of Americans. It affords an excellent idea of the
general character of native villages.
Altogether this animal may be considered the most useful in the Philippines. It serves for carting, plowing, carrying loads on its back, and almost all labor of the kind where great strength is required for a short time. A native possessed of a bohie knife, a buffalo and good health, need not seek far to make an independent living. Finally, buffalo meat is an acceptable article of food, when nothing better can be had; by natives it is much relished. Its flesh, like that of the deer and ox, is sometimes cut into thin slices and sun-dried, to make what is called in the Philippines, tapa, and in Cuba, tasajo.
The value of a buffalo varies in different districts. In Albay, for instance, where hemp is the chief agricultural product, and plowing is seldom necessary, a buffalo can be purchased for $10, while in the sugar-yielding island of Negros, $30 would be considered a very low price for an average trained animal.
The ordinary buffalo is about the size of an average Durham cow, and one writer at least claims that they belong to the same genus, but he would hardly dare to make this statement to any self-respecting American cow.
The caraboa has a skin like the hog, and the hair also resembles the bristles of that animal, being thin and stiff so that the hide shows plainly through
into is that of the artillery horse, and he will probably escape this on account of his bathing proclivities, which might be inconvenient during the progress of a battle. On the other hand, the stampede of a battery of mad buffaloes might be as effective as the charge of a regiment of American volunteers, provided it could be guided in the right direction.
The buffalo is harnessed singly in shafts, which are attached to a hooplike yoke around the neck. They do not work in a double yoke, like our oxen, but are quicker and more active in their movements than the ox. Buffalo milk is used universally by the natives, and also by the Americans, for there are but few cows or domestic cattle of any kind in the Philippine Islands. For this reason the authorities have substituted young buffaloes for cows in obtaining vaccine virus. The skin of the caraboa calf is of a delicate pink color and very tender, and it produces virus of an excellent quality.
The only beast of prey known in the Philippines is the wild cat, and the only animals to be feared are the buffalo and the
the hair all over the body. They are like the hog also in their fondness for wallowing, and if this instinct is not indulged they go raving mad and become very dangerous. For this reason their drivers stop frequently during the day, and unhitching them from their carts or plows, allow them to immerse themselves in mud or water for ten or fifteen minutes at a time. The huge beasts perfectly understand the motions of their drivers, and being freed from their burdens they walk demurely down into the river, canal or lagoon, and sink their entire bodies under the water with the exception of their heads. Scenes like this are familiar all over the island of Luzon, or wherever the buffalo is domesticated.
In Manila they are attached to drays and vehicles of various kinds, and when a street-cleaning brigade was organized by the Americans, they formed one of its leading features. They are also used as draft animals in transporting supplies to the soldiers, and in hauling bamboo poles for the military telegraph lines. About the only branch of the service that the buffalo has not been pressed
tamarau, a species of small buffalo found in the forests of Mindoro. In appearance and habits it is very similar to the caraboa, only smaller and more difficult to tame. Bull tamaraus are very vicious and dangerous when approached too closely, but they are at the same time exceedingly wary, and tamarau hunting has its features both of peril and exasperation. The tamarau also has enough of the chamois in his disposition to give him a fondness for high mountains, and he has been found at an elevation of more than 6,000 feet. Here he tunnels pathways through the thick bamboo undergrowth, and hunters bold enough to seek him must follow these on their hands and knees, taking the risk of coming face to face with an angry bull at any moment. The natives never hunt this little beast, being deathly afraid.of it.
The favorite resort of the wild cat is the thick forests, where it lies concealed during the day and prowls at night in search of its prey. They possess the cunning and stealthly watchfulness of the ordinary cat, and approach and spring upon their prey just as