GEOGRAPHY OF LUZON
Pampanga, Nueva cija, Bulacan, Morong, Laguna, and Cavite. Until the opening of the Manila-Dagupan railroad the whole transport of the Archipelago was by water, and the possession of navigable rivers meant progress and wealth, whilst the absence of rivers meant stagnation and poverty. Around the city the land is quite flat, but at about four miles distance there is a sharp rise to a plateau of volcanic tuff, the surface of which is from sixty to eighty feet above sea level, of which more anon. The River Pasig is the overflow from the lake and the outlet for the River San Mateo, which runs into it at right angles. The lake serves as a receiver for the great floods that come down the San Mateo valley ; for the level of that river at Santolan, the intake of the waterworks, sometimes rises more than twenty feet. When this occurs, the flood on reaching the Pasig is divided ; part runs into the lake, and part into the bay. The current of the Pasig in that part between the junction of the San Mateo and the outlet from the lake is reversed. Then when the flood subsides, the water which has entered the lake runs out very slowly into the bay, for the head produced by the greatest flood becomes insignificant from being spread over the vast extent of the lake.
Rice, sugar, cocoa-nuts, bamboos, timber, and fruits are the principal products of the province of La Laguna. The inhabitants supply the Manila markets with poultry. The Pasig and the lake are navigated by light draught steamers which ply daily to Binan, Calamba, and Santa Cruz. There are also numerous native small craft, which bring down the produce. To the south of Manila the province of Cavite slopes gently up from the shores of the bay and from the lake to the high cliffs at the northern end of the volcanic lake of Taal. The valley is intersected by numerous streams all of which run into the bay. Part of this province, near Manila, is a stony and sandy desert, but other parts of it are extremely fertile, and large crops of rice, with some coffee, and cacao, and fruits, are raised. The Augustinians and Dominicans have large estates here, and have expended considerable sums on dams to retain water for irrigation.
The Lake of Bombon, or Taal, has in its centre an island containing the remains of the volcano. From the nature of the surrounding country it is conjectured that on the spot now occupied by the lake a volcanic mountain,The Lake of Bombon, or Taal, has in its centre an island containing the remains of the volcano. From the nature of the surrounding country it is conjectured that on the spot now occupied by the lake a volcanic mountain,