A B C D E F
G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 10 000

You can read its for free!


Text on one page: Few Medium Many
On the right bank of the
river, going up from the bay, is the old walled town, and around the
walls are the weedy, moats or ditches. The heavy guns and frowning
cannon from the walls suggest a troubled past. This old city is built in
triangular form, about a mile on each side, and is regarded as very
unhealthful, for the walls both keep out the breeze and keep in the foul
air and odors. The principal buildings in the old part of the city are
the cathedral, many parish churches, a few schoolhouses, and the
official buildings. The population in the walled city is given at
20,000. Up to a few years ago, no foreigner was permitted to sleep
within its walls on account of the Spaniards' fear of a conspiracy. A
bridge across the Pasig connects old Manila with the new or unwalled
city, where nearly all of the business is done and the native and
foreign residents live.

[Illustration: BRIDGE OVER THE PASIG RIVER.

This bridge connects the old walled city on one side of the river with
the new unwalled city on the other. Sea-going vessels ascend the river
up to the bridge.]


EARTHQUAKES AND TYPHOONS.

[Illustration: THE SHIPYARDS AND ARSENAL AT CAVITE.

Cavite is a city of about 5000 inhabitants, ten miles from Manila. The
Spanish arsenal and the only shipyards in the colony are located here.
It is the chief naval station of the islands, and has always been
considered the key to Manila from the sea. It was seized by the
insurgents in 1872, and again in 1896, and it was its forts that so
harassed Dewey with their bombardment, and it was one of the first
places occupied by the Americans after the fall of Manila.]

It does not take one long to exhaust the sights of Manila, if the
people, who are always interesting, are excepted. Aside from the
cathedral and a few of the churches, the buildings of the city are
anything but imposing. In fact, there is little encouragement to
construct fine edifices because of the danger from earthquakes and
typhoons. It is said that not a year passes without a number of slight
earthquake shocks, and very serious ones have occurred. In 1645
nearly all of the public buildings were wrecked and 600 persons killed.
A very destructive earthquake was that of 1863, when 400 people were
killed, 2,000 wounded, and 46 public buildings and 1,100 private houses
were badly injured or completely destroyed. In 1874 earthquakes were
again very numerous throughout the islands, shocks being felt at
intervals in certain sections for several weeks. But the most violent
convulsion of modern times occurred in 1880 when even greater
destruction than in 1863 visited Manila and other towns of Luzon.
Consequently there are very few buildings to be found more than two
stories high; and the heavy tile roofs formerly in use have, for the
most part, been replaced by lighter coverings of galvanized iron.

[Illustration: RAISING THE FLAG ON FORT SAN ANTONIO DE ABAD, MALATE.

This old fort was silenced by Dewey's guns August 13, 1898, with the
assistance of land forces under General Anderson. The Astor Battery on
shore under Captain March supported General McArthur's forces on the
right wing. It was the California and Colorado Volunteer Regiments, with
the Eighteenth Regulars, who finally drove out the Spaniards and
occupied the position where the Californians at once raised the Stars
and Stripes. The marks of Dewey's shells are seen on the side of the
fort.]

These light roofs, however, are in constant danger of being stripped off
by the typhoons, terrible storms which come with a twisting motion as if
rising from the earth or the sea, fairly pulling everything detachable
after them. Masts of ships and roofs of houses are frequently carried by
these hurricanes miles distant. The better to resist the typhoons, most
of the light native houses are built on bamboo poles, which allow the
wind to pass freely under them, and sway and bend in the storm like a
tree; whereas, if they were set solidly on the earth, they would be
lifted up bodily and carried away. Glass windows being too frail to
resist the shaking of the earthquakes and the typhoons, small,
translucent oyster shells are used instead. The light thus admitted
resembles that passing through ground-glass, or, rather, stained glass,
for the coloring in the shells imparts a mellow tinted radiance like the
windows of a cathedral.

[Illustration: A POPULAR STREET CONVEYANCE.

As elsewhere, carriages and street cars are used in Manila, but there
are hundreds of the above "native cabs," for carrying single persons
short distances, and they are liberally patronized.]


MANILA AS A BUSINESS CENTER.

The streets of Manila are wretchedly paved or not paved at all, and as
late as 1893 were lighted by kerosene lamps or by wicks suspended in
dishes of cocoanut oil. Lately an electric plant has been introduced,
and parts of the city are lighted in this manner. There are two lines of
street cars in Manila. The motive power for a car is a single small
pony, and foreigners marvel to see one of those little animals drawing
thirty-odd people.

The retail trade and petty banking of Manila is almost entirely in the
hands of the half-castes and Chinese, and many of them have grown
immensely wealthy. There are only about three hundred Europeans in
business in the whole Philippine group, and they conduct the bulk of the
importing and exporting trade. Manila contains a number of large cigar
and cigarette factories, one of which employs 10,000 hands. There is
also a sugar refinery, a steam rice mill, and a rope factory worked
partly by men and partly by oxen, a Spanish brewery and a German cement
factory, a Swiss umbrella factory and a Swiss hat factory. The single
cotton mill, in which $200,000 of English capital is invested, runs
6,000 spindles.

The statistics of 1897 show that the whole trade of Manila comprised
only forty-five Spanish, nineteen German, and seventeen English firms,
with six Swiss brokers and two French storekeepers having large
establishments. One of the most profitable businesses is said to be that
of selling cheap jewelry to the natives. Breastpins which dealers buy in
Europe for twelve cents each are readily sold for from $1.50 to $2.00
each to the simple Filipinos. Almost everything that is manufactured
abroad has a fine prospective market in the Philippines, when the
condition of the people permits them to buy.

A certain charm attaches to many specimens of native handiwork. The
women weave exquisitely beautiful fabrics from the fiber of plants. The
floors of Manila houses are admired by all foreigners. They are made of
hard wood and polished with banana leaves and greasy cloths until they
shine brightly and give an aspect of cool airiness to the room.

[Illustration: A WEDDING PROCESSION.

As in Asiatic countries, weddings in the Philippines are occasions of
great ceremony. No marriage would be considered "in style" without a
gorgeous procession.]

Any kind of amusement is popular with the Filipinos--with so much
leisure on their hands--provided it does not require too great exertion
on their part. They are fond of the theatre, and, up to a few years ago,
bullfighting was a favorite pastime; but the most prominent of modern
amusements for the natives and half-castes is cockfighting. It is said
that every native has his fighting cock, which is reared and trained
with the greatest care until he shows sufficient skill to entitle him to
an entrance into the public cockpit where he will fight for a prize. The
chickens occupy the family residence, roosting overhead; and, in case of
fire, it is said that the game "rooster" is saved before the babies.
Professor Worcester tells an amusing story of the annoyance of the
crowing cocks above his head in the morning and the devices and tricks
he and his companions employed to quiet them. The Manila lottery is
another institution which intensely excites the sluggish native, and
takes from him the money which he does not lose on the cockfights. Under
the United States Government this lottery will, no doubt, be abolished
in time. It formerly belonged to the Spanish Government, and Spain
derived an annual profit of half a million dollars from it.


GENERAL COMMERCE OF THE PHILIPPINES.

It is hardly necessary, so far as the commercial world is concerned, to
mention any other locality outside of the city of Manila. To commerce,
this city (whose total imports in 1897 were only $10,000,000 and its
exports $20,000,000) is the Philippine Islands. Its present meagre
foreign trade represents only an average purchase of about one dollar
per inhabitant, and an average sale of two dollars per inhabitant for
the largest archipelago in the world, and one of the richest in soil and
natural resources. The bulk of these exports were hemp, sugar, and
tobacco; and, strange as it may seem, the United States received 41 per
cent. of her hemp and 55 per cent. of her sugar for the year 1897,
notwithstanding the fact that we had not one commercial firm doing
business in that whole vast domain.

The city of Iloilo is on the southern coast of the fertile island of
Panay, and, next to Manila, the chief port of the Philippines. It has an
excellent harbor, and the surrounding country is very productive, having
extensive plantations of sugar, rice, and tobacco. The population of
Iloilo is only 12,000, but there are a few larger towns in the district,
of which it is the seaport. Though the city at spring tides is covered
with water, it is said to be a very healthful place, and much cooler
than Manila.

The other open port, Cebu, on the eastern coast of the island of the
same name, is a well-built town, and has a population of about 13,000.
From this point the bulk of the hemp for export comes.


GENERAL CHARACTER OF THE ISLANDS.

It is impossible to speak of the other islands in detail. Seven of the
group average larger than the State of New Jersey; Luzon is as extensive
as Ohio, Mindanao equals Indiana; and, as we have stated before, about
four hundred of them are inhabitable, and, like Java, Borneo, and the
Spice Islands, all are rich in natural resources.



Pages: | Prev | | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | 112 | | 113 | | 114 | | 115 | | 116 | | 117 | | 118 | | 119 | | 120 | | 121 | | 122 | | 123 | | 124 | | 125 | | 126 | | 127 | | 128 | | 129 | | 130 | | 131 | | 132 | | 133 | | 134 | | 135 | | 136 | | 137 | | 138 | | 139 | | 140 | | 141 | | 142 | | Next |

N O P Q R S T
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.