746 OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
nail of her right hand to grow long. They are athletically inclined.
They can ride and swim with great dexterity. They are also very fond of dancing. One old-time custom now prevails in the Philippines that will undoubtedly pass away with the beginning of the new life. It is an old marriage custom, and obliges the lover to serve in the house of his intended bridea s father for several months previous to the ceremony. The marriage feasts usually last for several days. Then the bride, who has often not seen more than fifteen summers, is led away to her husbanda s home, a house probably built by his own hands.a
The same writer gives this amusing account of the ease with which some of the Americans pick up the idiom of the country:
a What seems remarkable to me,a he observes, a is the ease with which Americans pick up Spanish,
and the confidence they seem to have in their linguistic abilities. Many of them appear to think they are more master of Spanish than it would be possible for any Spaniard to become master of
English. Mr.-has only been in Manila a few months, not more
than a half dozen all told, and the ease with which he rattles off Castilian is something amazing, as the following will show: Mr.
- to a jeweler on the Escolta, a Me watchee muchee brokee,
muchee dirtee; me wante watchee fixee; you sabe, see?a Jeweler: a Yes, I understand; the gentleman over there will fix your watch.a a
The following estimate of the Filipino character is given by Foreman. It applies, of course, to the common, uneducated and half-civilized class, and is not entirely just even to them. But it embraces many peculiarities characteristic of these people, which are not found among any of the other races. It seems impossible even for the most intelligent white people to associate with these Malays and not become prejudiced against them ; hence, perhaps, if we desire to be rigidly just, the best thing we can do is to let them alone. Foreman says:
a A friend of minea a Frenchmana who has lived in the colony
A battle is in progress at this and the order
BRINGING IN THE WOUNDED.
A photograph taken in the outskirts of Manila during the progress of one of the battles near that city.
point, but a white flag is seen approaching from the position of the native army, to cease firing is given, while the men anxiously await the result.
about half a century, had a servant with him for nearly forty years. The son came back from a journey, bringing with him a portmanteau containing $1,000. The old servant opened it and extracted therefrom about twenty or thirty dollars. He did not deny it. So my old friend, aged about seventy years, gave his domestica aged about fifty years, and still called a boya a as sound a thrashing as his years wrould permit, for the want of smartness, he said, in not taking the whole sum.
a When the hitherto faithful servant is remonstrated with for having committed a crime, he not infrequently accounts for the fact by saying, a Senor, my head was hot.a When caught in the act on his first start in highway robbery or murder, his invariable excuse is, that he is not a scoundrel himself, but that he was a inviteda by a relation or compadre to join the company.
a He is fond of gambling, profligate, lavish in his promises, but lache in the extreme as to their fulfillment. He will never come frankly and openly forward to make a clean breast of a fault committed, or even a pardonable accident, but will hide it until it is found out. In common with many other non-European races, an act of
generosity or a voluntary concession of justice is regarded as a sign of weakness. Hence it is that the experienced European is often compelled to be more harsh than his owA nature dictates. In 1887, the director-general of civil administration visited the provinces, and lent his ear to the native complaints, with the intention of remedying certain inconvenient practices prejudicial to the people. The result was that on the first of March, in the following year, a body of head men had the boldness to present themselves at Manila with a manifesto demanding reforms which implied nothing less than a complete revolution in the governmental system, consequently a large number of the parties to the manifesto were imprisoned.