THE VISA VAS; A PROMISING RACE 305
it must be remembered that the Visayas cultivate most of the rice, maize, and other food-stuffs which they consume, and also make their own instruments of agriculture. Besides this, llo-ilo exported to other parts of the Philippines a million dollars' worth of textiles of cotton, silk, and other fibres, made by the Visayas women in hand-looms. The women in Antique make the finest pina, a beautiful transparent texture of the utmost delicacy, woven from the fibres of the leaves of a non-fruiting pine (ananas). When doing the finest work they have to keep their doors and windows closed, for the least draught would break or disarrange the delicate filaments. The export from other ports in Visayas of textiles of cotton and silk is considerable, and, in addition to what they sell, the Visayas women weave most of the material for their own clothing and for that of the men.
The Visayas also export mat-bags for sugar, which are called bayones ; mats for sleeping on, called petates or esteras ; pillows stuffed with cotton, hides, mother-of-pearl shell, Balate (Biche de Mer), edible bird's-nests, guttapercha, gum-dammar, wax, rattans, coffee (of indifferent quality), and leaf tobacco. Both the island of Panay and the coasts of Negros are dotted over with cane plantations.
The Visayas extract oil from cocoa-nuts and forge excellent weapons from scrap iron. The bands from bales of Manchester goods are much esteemed for this purpose.
If we take all these points into consideration, the Visayas may not appear so deplorably indolent as they have been said to be. When writing of the other races, I have pointed out that the indolence imputed to them rather goes beyond what is warranted by the facts.
It will be understood that there are degrees in the civilisation of the Visayas, and as amongst the Tagals and other races, considerable differences will be found to exist between the dwellers in the towns and those in the outlying hamlets, whilst the Remontados may be considered to have relapsed into savagery.
The Visayas do a certain amount of trade with the heathen hill-men of their islands, and as will be pointed out when describing* these tribes, it is hard to say whether the Christian Visayas or the Mahometan Malays rob these poor savages more shamefully.
The Visayas are a promising race, and I feel sure that when they have a good government that will not extort too