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THE VISAYAS. Constituting a part of the Philippine system is a group of islands known as the Visayas, which have long been famous for their fertility and productiveness, and here is found a veritable mass of humanity. Up to the present time, except at Iloilo, and slight disturbances in the Islands of Negros and Cebu, there has been no special opposition to American control.
The population can be better enumerated by the provinces as follows:
San Jose de Buenavista Bohol ...
.... ............. Capiz Cebu 504,076
. Concepcion Iloilo..............
......... Iloilo Leyte ..............
... Tacloban Negros Occidentales, ...
......... Bacolod Negros Orientales.......
Dumaguete Romblon ......
38,633 .... . ..... ..
. Romblon Samar .......................
Catbalogan Three of these provinces are on the Island of Panay, viz., Capiz, Iloilo, and Antique; and, as the table shows, their total population is 781,325, while the area is 4540 square miles. The province of Iloilo is 99 miles in length by 27 miles in width. Iloilo, the capital, is 355 miles from Manila, and has a population of 10,380. The distribution of the population may be set down as follows: NAME
POPULATION Alimodian .........
12 miles Anilao........
12 miles Arevalo.
4 miles Banate
31 miles Barotac Nuevo .......
... ........ Barotac Viejo
32 miles Buenavista
1 mile Cabatuan ...
13 miles 8,866
23 miles Cordoba .....
2 miles Dingle
21 miles Duenas .......
28 miles Dumangas
24 miles Guimbal
18 miles Igbaras
24 miles Janinay
3 miles 9,482
21 miles Leganes ......
6 miles Leon . ......
16 miles Lucena ........
7 miles Maasin ......
.. 4 miles Miagas .....
...... 24 miles Mina ......
4,357 Molo ........
........ 9,547 ...............
DISTANCE FROM ILOILO
POPULATION Nagaba ..
13,363 Passi .......
10,221 Paz (La.)......
3,641 Pototan .......
14,512 San Dionisio..
1,782 .... San Enrique ....
3,015 San Joaquin
13,918 San Miguel
7.300 Santa Barbara.
10,950 Tigbauan .....
9,109 Tubugan............................... 4.368 .............. Zarraga ...
.................. 5,208 ........
DISTANCE FROM ILOILO
7 miles . .... ... ... 6 miles
1 mile 18 miles ........ 27 miles 31 miles
9 miles 16 miles 75 miles
7 miles 31 miles 8 miles
The province of Cebu comprises the island of that name. The capital, Cebu, has a population of 35,243, and is distant from Manila 460 miles; the area is 2090 square miles, and population, as before stated, 504,076. The city and locality of Cebu long ranked Manila in importance, and is now considered the most important of the Visayas. On account of its varied industries, commercial facilities and numerous inhabitants, it may be fitly termed the mercantile center of the islands. The following indicates the distribution of population:
DISTANCE FROM CEBU
44 miles 90 miles
33 miles 109 miles 51 miles 43 miles 62 miles 52 miles 69 miles 57 miles 23 miles 25 miles ....... ........ 7 miles
DISTANCE FROM CEBU .... 11 miles
9 miles 78 iniles
........ 68 miles 9 miles
6,013 10,647 4,268 5,378 7,000 10,422 12,155
6,567 17,800 6,192 3,102 4,686 23,455 6,719 8,631 6,226
10,922 ..... 10,760
88 miles 31 miles
......... 1 mile 6 miles 39 miles 51 miles
THE SULU ARCHIPELAGO.
South of this group in the Philippine system, are the Sulu Islands or archipelago. The natives here are less civilized than those of Luzon and the Visayas, and while they have warlike proclivities they are wanting in many of the qualities of the barbarian. Of the Mangayans, - there are two distinct types, the highland and the lowland. The lowlanders for centuries have felt the contact of civilization, and morally, physically and intellectually, it has been to their detriment. The highlanders have had less intercourse with the white races; and as a race they are physically superior, having a well defined moral code, a due regard for the virtues of sex, the sacredness of the marriage relation, and the obligations to offspring; they are both brave and honest. A certain wild domesticity, sacredly observant of home and family ties, and scrupulous in regard to the higher virtues of life, permeates the life of the pure native Filipino wherever found; and it would seem that no race with such characteristics could be essentially vicious or take delight in the atrocities of the barbarian. The native learns easily and readily takes to books, education, mechanics and the arts. Such a nature njust be susceptible to the good with which it comes in contact. How much then, of what he now is, is due to Spanish misrule, and now, divested of that, what will the Filipino be or soon become? It is this question with which some of the best of our countrymen are so greatly concerned to-day. There may be those who hold that in national affairs “public good makes public right,” but with the majority is the desire that justice shall be done. Looking at the great admixture of races the wonder is that any special type should remain. It would be interesting to study in detail the effects of the curious intermingling of races which has taken place in these islands, but for want of space we must pass over a long period of bigotry and superstition, of burdens and exactions, to a time when we see the primitive Filipino; then place him in comparison and contrast with the Filipino of the present.
AN EARLY ACCOUNT OF THE ISLANDS.
De Morga, a writer and author, whose work appeared about 1609, wrote extensively on the Philippine Islands. His position in their government, and his reputation, makes his work credible. De Morga Street, in Manila, was named after him. The following are largely paraphrases or excerpts from his book:
"The people who inhabit this great Island of Luzon, both in the maritime districts and in the interior of Camarines province, are of middling stature, of the color of boiled quinces; well featured, both men and women ; the hair very black, scanty beard; of a clever disposition for anything they undertake ; sharp, choleric and resolute.
All live by their labor, gains, fishing and
trade; navigating by sea from island to
island, and going from one province to
another by land. The natives of the other
provinces of this island, as far as Caga
yan, are of the same sort and quality, ex
cept that it is known by tradition that those
of Manila and its neighborhood were not
natives of the island, but had come to it
and settled there in bygone times, and that
they were Malays, natives of other islands
and remote provinces in various parts of
the Island of Luzon. There are a number
of natives of a black color, with tangled
hair ; men and women not very tall in stature,
though strong and with good limbs.
These men are barbarians and of little
capacity; they have no houses nor settled
dwellings; they go in tribes, and Bivouac in
the mountains and craggy ground, chang
A FILIPINO BELLE.
ing their abode according to the season from one place to another, maintaining themselves with some little tillage and sowing of rice, which they do temporarily; and the game which they shoot with their bows, with which they are very dexterous and good marksmen ; also with mountain honey, and roots which grow in the earth.
They are a barbarous people, with whom there is no security ; inclined to murder, and to attack the towns of other natives, where they do great mischief; without its having been possible to take effective measures to prevent them, either to reduce them to subjection or to bring them to a state of peace, although it is always attempted, by good or evil means, as the opportunity or necessity demands.
“The province of Cagayan is inhabited by natives of the same color as the other inhabitants of the island, though of better shaped bodies, and more valiant and warlike than the rest. Their hair is long, hanging down over their shoulders.
They have been in rebellion and insurrection twice since they were reduced to submission, and there has been much work on different occasions to subject them and pacify them again. The costume and dress of these inhabitants of Luzon,
before the Spanish entered the country, usually consisted, for men-coats of Congan, with collars sewed together in front, with short sleeves, coming a little below the waist ; some blue, others black, and a few of varied colors for the chief men ; these they call Chininas. A colored wrapper is folded at the waist and between the legs, so as to cover their middles and half way down the thigh; these they call Bahaques. Their legs bare and their feet unshod, their head is uncovered save for a narrow cloth wrapped around it, with which they bind the forehead and temples, called a Potong. Chains of gold wound around the neck, worked like sperm wax, and with links in our fashion, some larger than others. Bracelets on the arms, which they call Calombigas, made of gold, very thick and of different patterns, and some with strings of stones, carnelians and agates; and others, blue and white stones, which are much esteemed amongst them ;
and for garters on their legs, some strings of these stones and some cords pitched and black, wound round many times.
“In one province which they call Zambals, they wear the front half of the head shaved, and on the skull a great lock of loose hair. The women in the whole of this island wear little frocks, with the sleeves of the same stuffs and of all colors, which they call Varas, without shifts, but they have white cotton wraps, folded from the waist downwards to the feet, and other colored garments fitting the body like cloaks, which are very graceful. The great ladies wear crimson, and some have silk and other stuffs woven with gold, and edged with fringes and other ornaments. Many wear gold chains around the neck, Calom bigas (bracelets) on the wrists and thick earrings of gold in the ears, rings on the fingers of gold and precious stones. The hair is black, and tied gracefully with a knot on the back of the head.
"Since the Spaniards have been in the country many of the natives do not wear Bahaques, (waist cloths) but wide drawers of the same stuffs, and wrappers—and hats on their heads. The chiefs wear braids of beaten gold, and of various workmanships, and use shoes. The great ladies also are daintily shod, many of them with shoes of velvet embroidered with gold, and white robes like petticoats. Men and women, and especially the PART OF THE FAMILY. great people, are very cleanly and elegant in their person and dress, and of goodly mien and grace. They take great care of their hair, rejoicing in its being very black. They wash it with the boiled rind of a tree, which they call Gogo, and they anoint it with oil of sesame, prepared with musk and