OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
tobacco-raising province of Isabella, and is situated near the head of navigation on the Rio Grande; Aparri is situated at its mouth, in the province of Cagayan, and is the only seaport of the valley. These towns are laid out in regular streets, and have many squares of substantial frame buildings. They have each a population of between ten and fifteen thousand. We spent three days at Ilagan, and I think that it was here that we were brought into closest touch with the Filipino character. The cultured class, which I have spoken of before, was strongly in evidence; and I think that before leaving we had discussed views with nearly every member of it. They all realized that they were passing through a crucial period in the history of their people, and young and old were eager to acquire all possible knowledge that might assist them to think clearly at this crisis. Their realization of the gravity of their position did not, however, rob their character of its natural gayety, nor make them forget their duty as hosts. On the evening following our arrival a ball was given in our honor, which was attended by all the elite of the town. There were present about fifty young
performance of the play we saw our friendsa these typical young Filipinosa in a light in which very few of our nation have had an opportunity to view them. They comported themselves with credit in a position where humor, intelligence and artistic ability were the requisites of success.
a During our stay at Ilagan we lived at the house of the mayor. This building was of great size, and was built of magnificent hardwood from the neighboring forest. One wing, containing a reception-room and two bedrooms, was turned over to us. The reception-room was very large, with a finely-polished floor, and with windows along two sides. It contained a piano and a set of excellent bamboo furniture, including the most comfortable chairs and divans imaginable. There were two tall mirrors on the wall, and a number of old-fashioned pictures and framed paper flowers. In this room our friends gathered in the afternoon and took measures to make the time pass pleasantly for us. Whenever the conversation threatened to lose its animation, there was always some one at hand ready to accede to our hosta s request to play
UNITED STATES SIGNAL, CORPS.
This is what the boys in the Philippines call a a flying telegraph train.a It is a signal corps preparing to erect a military telegraph in the island of Luzon.
women and twice that number of men. All were dressed in European fashion. The girls were pleasant and intelligent; the men comported themselves in all respects like gentlemen. It was hard to realize that we were in the very heart of a country generally supposed to be given up to semi-savages. At intervals between dances many songs were sung, usually by one or two of the guests, while all frequently joined in the chorus. The national hymn was repeated several times with great enthusiasm. The ball lasted until nearly 3:00 oa clock in the morning, and broke up with good feeling at its height.
a On the second evening we were invited to attend the theater, where two one-act Spanish plays were presented by the young society people of the town. The theater itself had been constructed by the villagers only a few weeks before. It was a large bamboo structure, one end of which was used as the village market, while the stage occupied the other end. The stage arrangements wrere good; curtain, side scenes and footlights all en regie. In the
the piano or to sing a favorite song.
a There was one form of hospitality which we met both at Ilagan and Aparri that we would gladly have avoided. I still shudder when I recall the stupendous dinners that were spread before us night after night. The Filipinos pride themselves on their cookery, and it is indeed excellent. There could be no cause for complaint on that score. There is never any suspicion of the greasy and garlicky flavor to the food that characterizes a Spanish meal. Our host at Ilagan employed three cooks, each of whom in turn officiated at the preparation of one of the three dinners which we ate in that town. It is impossible to say which one deserved the palm. The shortest of the three dinners numbered fifteen courses and seemed interminable. In addition to fish, rice, chickens and other domestic products of the country, there was served game of many sorts, including doves, snipes, deer, mountain buffalo and boar. It was astonishing how many of the dishes were a coniida del pais,a and must be sampled by the
or~ a -.r.