Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Philippine Islands
PHILIPPINE ISLANDS (Span. Islas Filipinas), or Philippines, an archipelago in the south-east of Asia, extending from 4° 40′ to 20° N. lat., and from 116° 40′ to 126° 30′ E. long. On the west and north-west it is separated by the China Sea from China and the Indo-Chinese peninsula; towards the east lies the Pacific; on the north a number of smaller islands stretch out towards Formosa; and on the south, while a double connexion with Borneo is formed by the lines of the Palawan and Balabac and the Sulu Islands, the basin of the Celebes Sea, with a central depth of from 1000 to 2600 fathoms, extends, for a distance of 300 miles, between its southernmost island (Mindanao) and Celebes. As the number of the Philippines is believed to exceed 1400, and the larger islands are in several cases only beginning to be properly explored, it is impossible to give a definitive statement of their aggregate land-area. A measurement on Domann's map (1882) resulted in 114,356 square miles. Nor is it in regard to the area alone that our knowledge is defective. Though for three centuries the greater part of the territory has been nominally in Spanish possession, the interior of some of the larger islands has never been surveyed; several of the native tribes, especially in Mindanao, are altogether independent; the geology of Luzon, the best known of all the archipelago, is to a large extent matter of conjecture; and the visit of a passing botanist or naturalist is enough to add facts of primary importance to the register of flora and fauna. While none of the summits, with the exception perhaps of Apo in Mindanao, exceeds 9000 feet—the loftiest probably being Halcon in Mindoro (8865 feet), Malindang in Mindanao (8685 feet), Mayon in Luzon (8275 feet), and Malaspina in Negros (8190 feet)—all the islands may be described in general as mountainous and hilly. The principal ranges have a tendency to run north and south, with a certain amount of deflexion east or west, as the case may be, so that the orographic diagram of the archipelago as a whole would have a certain similarity to a fan with northern Luzon as its centre of radiation. The geologist finds his task in the Philippines exceptionally difficult, owing to so much of the surface being covered with a dense vegetation, which often obliges him to be contented with no better indication than the pebbles of the alluvium. Nowhere, almost, are there cuttings or excavations to open up the records of the rocks. It seems certain, from the frequency not only of large tracts of coral reef along the coasts but of raised beaches at a considerable distance and elevation inland, containing shells similar to those of the adjacent seas, that much of the archipelago has been heaved from below the sea-level within comparatively recent times. As the neck of land between the Bay of Sogod and the Bay of Ragay or Guinayangan and that between this latter bay and the Bay of San Miguel consist of alluvium, tuffs, and marls, with modern shells, it appears probable that the southern parts of Luzon were at no very distant date separate islands. According to Drasche, southern and central Luzon comprises (1) a group of chloritic slates and gneiss; (2) diabases and gabbros; (3) Eocene limestones; (4) volcanic minerals and tuffs; (5) recent formations with marine fossils—tuffs, limestones, clays, and marine and fluvial alluviums. In his travels through the more northern parts of the island the same geologist verified the existence of (1) diorite, gneiss, protogenic and chloritic slates; (2) an extensive system of stratified conglomerates and sandstones; (3) modern volcanic rocks (quartzose trachyte, amphiboliferous and sanidinic trachyte, amphiboliferous andesite and dolerite); (4) tuffs and tufaceous sandstones, with banks of limestone and marl; (5) banks of coral and breccia of coraliferous limestone, and recent volcanic products. The late origin of the coralliferous limestone is shown by the corals belonging to genera still existing in the Indian Ocean—Galaxea, Favia, Meandrina,Porites,and Astracopora and being specifically similar, though not identical. A remarkable feature is the stratification of the limestone.
Volcanic forces, as has been already implied, have had a great share in shaping the archipelago, and a large number of the mountains bear the stamp of their former activity. But those that still have the credit of being working volcanoes are comparatively few.
Monte Cagua (3910 feet), discovered by Claudio Montero on the north-eastern promontory of Luzon, appears to discharge smoke continually, and the Babuyanes group (to the north of Luzon) contains several orifices belonging to the same centre of eruption,—a regular volcano in Babuyan Claro, a solfatara in the Didica rocks, and a volcanic island thrown up in 1856. Of greater importance are the three burning mountains of southern Luzon—Taal, Albay, and Bulusan. Taal lies 45 miles almost due south of Manila. Being only 850 feet high, it is remarkable as one of the lowest volcanoes in the world. The present craters are situated in a small triangular island in the middle of Lake Bombon or Bongbong. A tradition exists (and has been accepted without question by many writers) that this lake, covering an area of 100 square miles, and having in the south and east a depth of 109 fathoms, was formed in 1700 on occasion of a terrible eruption, which undermined the whole mass of a gigantic mountain, 8000 or 9000 feet high; and, whether (for this is extremely doubtful) the event took place within historic times or not, the vast deposits of porous tuff in all the surrounding country appear to show that such a volcano must have existed. The water in the lake is now sweet, but tradition again asserts that it was at one time salt, possibly through direct communication with the sea. As it is exposed to strong evaporation and discharges into the sea by the Pansipit without being recruited by any considerable affluent, it is probably fed by subterranean sources. To the east of Lake Bombon stands the extinct volcano of Maquiling, at whose foot are the hot springs of Los Baños; and about 15 miles farther east is Majaijai (7020 feet), of which the last eruption was in 1730. Away in the south-east of Luzon there is quite a series of high volcanic cones,—Isarog, Iriga, Mazaraga, and Albay or Mayon. The last, one of the most active volcanoes in the archipelago, is extremely regular in form, rising gradually from a base about 50 miles in circuit. The first partial ascent was made by Esteban Solis in 1592, and the first complete ascent by Paton and Stewart, two young Scotchmen, in 1858. A terrible eruption on 1st February 1814 partially destroyed Camalig, Budiao, Albay, Guinobatan, and Daraga, and proved fatal to 12,000 persons, the matter thrown out forming vast deposits deep enough in some places near the mountain to bury the loftiest trees. A similar fate befell the same district during the eruptions that occurred between 20th July and 24th October 1867. On 31st October 1876 one of the terrible storms for which the Philippines are notorious burst on the mountain; the floods, pouring down the sides of Mayon and sweeping along with them the loose volcanic debris, brought destruction on Manilao, Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao, Oas, Polangin, Libon, and other places, filling up the roads, breaking down the bridges, and completely ruining upwards of 6000 houses. During 1881 and 1882 the eruptive forces were again exceedingly active. Still farther to the south, in the very extremity of Luzon, stands the volcano of Bulusan, which, after being for a long time apparently extinct, began again to smoke in 1852. According to Jagor (Reisen, p. 66), it repeats in striking fashion the forms of Vesuvius, having two peaks,—in the west a bell-shaped dome, the eruption cone, and in the east a high ridge similar to Monte Somma, probably the remains of a great circular crater. As in Vesuvius, the present crater is in the centre of the extinct one. In the island of Negros, 150 miles south-south-west of Bulusan, there is the volcano of Malaspina or Canlaon (8190 feet); the island of Fuego probably takes its name from its volcanic phenomenon; and about 90 miles farther to the south-east a new volcano burst out in 1876 in the island of Camiguin (not to be confounded, as it sometimes is, with Camiguin off the north coast of Luzon), near the village of Catarman. In the great island of Mindanao we have the three volcanoes of Macaturing (Sugut, Tolloc, or Cottabató), inland from Illana Bay, and Apo and Sanguil (Sarangani or Butulan), both in the central Cordillera and the latter almost at its southern terminus. Though the last great eruption of Cottabató was in 1856, it is still active at intervals, and in 1871 the town of the same name was partially destroyed by earthquakes. Apo, according to Schadenberg and Koch, has three summits, in the midst of which lies the great crater, now extinct and filled with water. Considerable energy is still displayed by the solfataras and boiling springs lower down.
It is difficult to say how these various volcanoes are related to each other; José Centeno suggests with considerable probability that they form two lines of activity, an eastern comprising Isarog, Albay, Bulusan, Camiguin, Apo, and Butulan, and a western Buguias (extinct), Arayat (extinct), Taal, Canlaon, Macaturing. Three only of the larger islands, it will be observed, contain actual centres of eruption, and some of the larger volcanoes appear to be in the later stages of their activity,—Albay generally discharging an incoherent form of lava, whilst Taal and others discharge nothing but ashes. Other phenomena usually associated with volcanic activity are common enough throughout the archipelago: there is a great deposit of sulphur in the middle of the island of Leyte; inflammable gas bursts out in the south of Panay; and there are hot springs at Buguias, at Los Baños or Maynit, already mentioned, at Pagsanghan, at San Luis or Maynit in Batangas, in the Taysan Mountains, at Tibi or Tivi, &c. At Los Baños there was a regular bathing establishment erected by the Franciscans in 1671; but it was burned down in 1727, and, though rebuilt by public subscription in 1880, may be said to be in a chronic state of decay. The Tibi springs, described in detail by Jagor (Reisen, pp. 114, 115), are remarkable for beautiful cones produced by the deposit of siliceous material. The water in some cases is hot enough to cook food. They are situated on the east coast of Luzon on Lagonoy Bay.
Earthquakes.—Earthquakes are sufficiently frequent and violent in the Philippines to affect the style adopted in the erection of buildings; in 1874, for instance, they were very numerous throughout the archipelago, and in Manila and the adjacent provinces shocks were felt daily for several weeks. The most violent earthquakes on record in the Philippines occurred in July 1880, when the destruction of property was immense, both in the capital and in other important towns of central Luzon.
Minerals.—Though hitherto little advantage has been taken of its existence, there appears to be in several of the islands a fair amount of mineral wealth. Two coal-fields are known to exist, one beginning in Caransan in the south of Luzon, and probably extending southwards across the Strait of San Bernardino to Catbalongan in Samar, and another occupying the Avestern slopes of Cebu and the eastern slopes of Negros, and thus probably passing under the Strait of Tañon. In the first basin there is a bed from 10 to 20 feet thick cropping out at Gatbo, which has given good results as a fuel for steamboats; in the second Centeno reports at least five beds of varying thickness and quality. The first discovery of the mineral was made in Cebu in 1827. Hitherto little success has attended the schemes of exploitation. Iron-ore of excellent purity occurs in various parts of Luzon, in Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga, Camarines Norte, and notably in the Camachin Mountains between the Bulaon and the Garlan; but, with the exception of a few small foundries in Bulacan province, there are no iron-works in the country. In this department there was actually more activity a century ago. Copper-mines are worked at Mancayan, Suyuc, Bumucum, and Agbao in the province of Lepanto, by the Cantabro-Philippine Company, founded in 1862; and the heathen natives of that region (perhaps having learned the art from Chinese or Japanese strangers) appear to have long been accustomed to manufacture copper utensils for their own use and for sale in the Christian settlements. The ore at Mancayan contains upwards of 16 per cent. of copper, 24 of sulphur, 5 of antimony, and 5 of arsenic. For a short time after 1847 copper-mines were worked at Assit in the island of Masbate; and it is known that copper ores exist in the provinces of Tayabas and Camarines Sur (Luzon), Antique (Panay), and the island of Capul. Gold is very generally distributed throughout the archipelago, but mostly in insignificant quantities. From the deposits in Camarines Norte (in Paracale, Mambulao, Labo), where it occurs in placers and in quartz and other rocks, about 30 oz. per month are obtained. Much more important are the gold-washings of Misamis and Surigao in Mindanao, the former of which yield about 150 oz. per month. Neither the mercury nor lead veins discovered at different times have proved of economic value.
Climate.—As the north part of Luzon is as far from the south of the Sulu Islands as the north of England from the south of Italy, and as the archipelago is divided by the line of the ecliptic, the climate of one region differs considerably from that of another, though the general characteristics are everywhere tropical. The northern islands lie in the region of the typhoons. Three seasons are usually recognized,—a cold, a hot, and a wet. The first extends from November to February or March; the winds are northerly, and, though there is no need for fire, woollen garments can be worn with comfort in the mornings; the sky is for the most part clear and the atmosphere bracing; and Europeans look forward to this period as the most enjoyable of the year. The hot season lasts from March to June, and the heat becomes very oppressive before the beginning of the southerly monsoon. Thunderstorms, often of terrific violence, are of frequent occurrence in May and June. The wet season is usually ushered in by the heavy rains locally known as “collas.” During July, August, September, and October the rain comes down in torrents and large tracts of the lower country are flooded. According to the observations of the Jesuits at Manila during the eight years 1870 to 1877 the total rain fall (distributed over 113 days) amounted to 66.6 inches.
Fauna.—The mammals of the Philippines are strikingly few, especially when contrasted with those of such an island as Java; but their number may yet be slightly increased, and nine-tenths of them are peculiar species. Since Cynopithecus niger was struck out of the list, the only monkey known to science is Macacus cynomolgus (chongo of the Tagals), found in all the islands; but there are also pure white monkeys (not albinos) in Mindanao, and specimens are occasionally sold at Manila. The lemuroids are repre sented by the strange little Tarsius spectrum, the insectivora proper by Galeopithecus philippensis and a “tupaia,” or squirrel-shrew. Of carnivora there are three species, two civets and a wild cat, as well as the ordinary domestic animal. The rodents comprise only a few squirrels, Sciurus philippensis, &c., a porcupine, and two or three rats. Of bats there are between twenty and thirty species. The wild boar is regularly hunted in all the islands; the natives throughout the archipelago keep large numbers of black pigs; and the Babuyanes group take their name from babuy, “a pig.” Of deer there are three species, Cervus mariannus, C. philippensis, and C. Alfredi; and a chevrotain or mouse-deer (Tragulus) is found, more especially in Bataan. Tapa, or sun-dried deer s flesh, is a favourite food with the natives. The statement that the horse has become wild in the interior of several islands is founded on a mistake. The ordinary domestic variety, probably of Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese origin, is “generally small, but well-shaped and hardy, the largest and best breeds coming from Batangas, Albay, and Camarines, the smallest and probably the hardiest from Ilocos” (D. M. Forbes). For all kinds of field work the buffalo (“carabao”) is employed; ordinary cattle and goats are common enough, and some of the former are of great excellence. As there is a Tagalog name for it, it has been supposed that the elephant was at one time to be met with in the Philippines; and in the Sulu Islands, at least, it is said to have existed in the 17th century.
The birds of the Philippines proper show the isolated character of the group by the absence of a large number of ordinary Malayan forms, and at the same time there is a considerable proportion of genera from Australia, India, and China. Viscount Walden (Trans. Zool. Soc., vol. ix., 1877) found the known species numbered 219, and R. B. Sharpe, by the assistance of Professor Steere's collections, brought the total up to 287 species, of which 151 were peculiar to the Philippines. To these must be added several species hitherto only found in the Sulu Islands. Palawan has a strong Bornean element. It is enough here to mention a number of peculiar woodpeckers, beautiful little parakeets (Loriculus), a number of pigeons (including at least one peculiar genus, Phapitreron), cockatoos, mound-builders, and a peculiar hornbill, Penelopides, known from its note as “calao” to the natives, who frequently tame it. The principal game bird is the jungle-fowl (Gallus bankiva).
Alligators abound in some of the lakes and rivers; and turtles, tortoises, and various kinds of lizards are familiar enough forms; one of the last, the “chacon,” is believed by the natives to be a defence against earthquakes. The beauty and variety of the butterflies and the destructiveness of the termites are obtrusive features of the insect life; the land-shells are peculiar, numerous, and remarkable for delicacy of form and colour. Some of the molluscs attain gigantic dimensions; the “taclobo” shell sometimes weighs 200 ℔, and is used for baptismal fonts. One of the most valuable kinds of fish is the “dalag” (Ophiocephalus vagus), and one of the most peculiar the Hemiramphus vivipara.
Flora.—The flora of the Philippines is essentially Malayan, intermixed with a Chinese element, but with sufficient individuality to constitute a sub-region. According to Llanos's edition of Manuel Blanco's Flora de Filipinas, 4479 species are known belonging to 1223 genera and 155 orders. Among the dicotyledons the orders most abundantly represented are: Leguminosæ (77 genera), Rubiaceæ and Compositæ (each 41), Euphorbiaceæ (32), Urticaceæ (25), Acanthaceæ (28), Apocynaceæ (22), Asclepiadaceæ (20), Sapindaceæ (20); and among the monocotyledons Orchidaceæ (80), Palmæ (28), Araceæ, (27), Graminaceæ (7?). Of ferns there are 50 genera. The forests contain more than 200 kinds of wood thought worthy of trial in the arsenal at Manila. Among them may be mentioned the teak-like molave (Vitex altissima and geniculata) the dongon (Sterculia cymbiformis); the ipel (Eperua decandra), greatly prized for its hardness; the lauan or lawaan (Dipterocarpus thurifer a light stringy wood, often used by the Malays for their canoes; the bolongaeta (Diospyros pilosanthera), employed for fine kinds of furniture.
Products.—Mangoes, plantains, mangosteen, jack-fruit, medlars, and in general most of the Malayan fruits are to be met with; the lanzon occurs in the north, and the durian in the south, more especially in the Sulu Islands. Rice is the staple food of the natives, but, though it is extensively cultivated, the supply is not always equal to the demand. Sweet potatoes (camote), a kind of yam (palawan), the ground-nut, and gourds are pretty generally grown, as well as occasionally peas, potatoes, and in the higher regions even wheat. The plants which are of primary commercial importance are tobacco, Manila-hemp, sugar-cane, coffee, and cocoa.
Tobacco was made a Government monopoly by Captain General José Basco y Vargas in 1781, and remained so till 1st July 1882. Though it was free to any one to grow the plant to any extent he pleased, the Government was the only purchaser, fixed its own price, and, paying its debts according to its own convenience, was sometimes three or four years in arrear. Besides, certain districts were bound to furnish a certain quantity of the leaf, and the peasant was thus often forced under severe penalties to devote himself to the tobacco crop when he would have obtained better results from something else. The best tobacco comes from the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan, and it is there that the cultivation is most systematically carried on; but the plant is also grown in other provinces of Luzon (Union, Ilocos, Lepanto, &c.) as well as in the Visayas Islands. The average production in the ten years 1872-81 was 214,400 quintals (each 101.43 English ℔), of which 114,400 were from Isabela and Cagayan. About 25,000 quintals were sent to Spain as tribute, and another portion was sold by public auction for foreign export. For tobacco of the first class from Cagayan and Isabela the Government paid in recent years between 13 and 14 dollars per quintal, for the second class between 10 and 11, for the third between 7 and 8, and for the fourth between 6 and 7. About 280 million cigars were manufactured annually in six factories employing 20,000 hands, 95 millions for foreign export and the rest for home consumption. Of the foreign cigars 50 millions went to Singapore, Java, the Moluccas, and India, 30 millions to China and Japan, 4 millions to Australia, and 11 millions to Europe. Hitherto tobacco-planting has been carried on (with few exceptions) only by people of small means; but since the abolition of the monopoly several companies have been started, and the whole condition of the industry will probably soon be greatly modified. Abacá or Manila-hemp (q. v.) is best grown in the south-east of Luzon, in Samar, Leyte, and Bohol. Its cultivation requires little trouble, and the plantations, usually small, are each the property of a native family. Hand-labour and a few simple machines of native construction are all that is required in the preparation of the fibre. The abacá districts are generally very poor. Coffee was introduced, probably from Brazil, in the latter part of the 18th century, but the first plantation on a large scale was formed only in 1826. The cultivation is now pretty extensive. Philippine coffee appears in the European markets as Manila or Zamboanga coffee. The former, which comes from Batangas, Cavite, and Laguna to the amount of 70,000 piculs (a Spanish picul = 140 ℔) per annum, is a small but well-flavoured berry; the latter, principally grown in Mindanao and Sulu, which send a good deal of their produce direct to Singapore, is in less repute, because, while the berry is larger, less care is bestowed on the gathering and sorting. France was at one time the only great purchaser of Philippine coffee, but about two-thirds of the crop now finds its way to Spain, England, the Netherlands, and Austria. In general far too little care is given to the plantations. Sugar is extensively cultivated, and the export has increased from 1,399,434 piculs in 1871 to 3,382,664 in 1881. About a third of the whole is produced by Pampanga; and Cavite, Laguna, Pangasinan, Bulucan, and Bataan also contribute. About 1,200,000 piculs are exported from Iloilo, which collects from Panay and Negros, &c. The finest is probably that from Capiz in Panay, where, as in this southern district generally, the violet-coloured cane is grown. Most of the larger plantations (some exceeding 1000 acres) are monastic property, and are leased out to Chinese half-breeds, who are said to succeed better than Europeans. The smaller are cultivated by the proprietors with the assistance of their families and relatives, and less frequently of bond or hired labourers. A tendency has shown itself since 1870 to create larger estates, and to import better machinery; but it will be some time before the Philippine sugar-crop is generally treated according to scientific methods. The finest Manila quality is sent to Spain, and the secondary qualities to England; for the Iloilo sugars the United States are the principal destination.
Trade.—Before the conquest there was considerable commercial intercourse between the Philippines and China and Japan, but this, which would naturally have developed enormously if the Spanish trade between Manila and America (Navidad and Acapulco) had been left free, was interrupted, and at times almost completely stopped, by a series of absurd restrictions, devised in the supposed interest of the trade between Spain and America. For a long period only a single galleon, under Government supervision, was allowed to proceed yearly from Manila to Acapulco, the value of the cargo each way being bound not to exceed a certain sum. Direct trade with Europe via the Cape was commenced in 1764; but, as if the exclusion of all except Spanish ships was not sufficient, a practical monopoly of this field of enterprise was in 1785 bestowed on the Royal Company of the Philippines. With the close of the 18th century a certain amount of liberty began to be conceded to foreign vessels; the first English commercial house was established at Manila in 1809; and in 1834 the monopoly of the Royal Company expired. Manila remained the only port for foreign trade till 1842, when Cebu was also opened; Zamboanga (Mindanao), Iloilo (Panay), Sual (Luzon), Legazpi or Albay (Luzon), and Tacloban (Leyte) are now in the same category, but only Manila, Iloilo, and Cebu have proved of real importance, as they are the only ports where foreign-bound vessels have hitherto loaded. The following table shows how rapidly the trade of the country has recently developed.
The American trade increased in this period from 101 vessels (129,439 tons) to 164 (202,653). The value of the imports rose from $11,987,162 to $25,493,319 and of the exports from $14,837,796 to $23,450,285. In 1883 333 vessels (270,000 tons) entered at Manila alone, the Spanish numbering 110 (93,000 tons) and the British 132 (92,000 tons); the exports in the same year were valued at $29,996,000.
The manufactures of the Philippines consist of a variety of textile fabrics (piña fibres, silk, cotton), some of great excellence and beauty, hats, mats, baskets, ropes, furniture, coarse pottery, carriages, and musical instruments.
Islands and Provinces.—The Batanes and Babuyanes, the most northerly of the Philippines, have an area of only 280 square miles, with 8700 inhabitants, who pay no tribute. The rearing of horses is the principal occupation. The chief settlement is San José de Ibana in the island of Batan. Camiguin, the southernmost of the Babuyanes, is about 30 miles from the coast of Luzon.
Luzon or Luçon, with an area of 40,885 square miles, is the largest island in the whole archipelago, and as the seat of the Government at Manila it is the most important. The northern trunk, so to speak, extends north and south for 340 miles. From the mountains known as Caraballos of Balar or Nueva Ecija two ranges bifurcate and stretch northward—the Sierra Oriental, skirting the eastern coast till it ends at Cape Engaño, and the Sierra Occidental, keeping all the way at a distance of 25 or 30 miles from the western. Between these ranges lies the basin of the Rio Grande de Cagayan, which with its numerous affluents (Bangag, Nayon, Mayat, Pongul, Ibulao, &c., from the east; Calao, Cabagan, Pinacananauang, and Tulay from the west) forms the largest river-system in the whole archipelago. On the western slopes of the Sierra Occidental rise two other large rivers—the Abra, which reaches the sea at Vigan or Villa Fernandina, and the Agno, which after a winding course falls into the Gulf of Lingayan. To the south-west of the mountains extends a comparatively flat region, which continues southwards to the Bay of Manila and forms one of the richest agricultural districts in the island. It is watered by the lower part of the Agno and its lower tributaries, and the Rio Grande de Pampanga with its affluents, which ultimately discharges into Manila Bay, and thus forms a convenient water-way for conveying produce to the capital. There are also in these lowlands a number of extensive lagoons, such as that of Candava. To the west of the flat region the country rises into the considerable Cordillera de Zambales, which contains a number of peaks 5000 or 6000 feet high, and terminates northwards in a great peninsula forming the Gulf of Lingayan and southwards in a similar promontory (Sierra de Mariveles) which helps to form the Bay of Manila. To the east and south of this bay the general configuration is again hilly and even mountainous; but the large area of 350 square miles is occupied by the Laguna de Bay, connected with Manila by the Pasig, on which small steamers ply. The depth of this basin, though the southern side is bordered by a semicircular range of extinct volcanoes 6000 or 7000 feet high, seldom exceeds 4 fathoms. Two long capes project from the northern side, the western one being continued by the island of Talim. From the south-east corner of the trunk of Luzon there extends for 180 miles a very irregular peninsula formed by a series of Cordilleras running in a north-westerly and south-easterly direction. The following are the provinces and districts into which Luzon is divided, with their chief towns: Manila (258,274 inhabitants in 1877), Manila; Bulacan (252,149), Bulacan; Pampanga (226,309), Bacolor; Principe (4158), Baler; Bataan (49,999), Balanga; Zambales (94,551), Iba; Pangasinan (293,291), Lingayen; Union (113,370), S. Fernando; Ilocos Sur (201,049), Vigan; Ilocos Norte (156,715), Laoag; Abra (42,647), Bangued; Cagayan (72,697), Tuguegarao; Isabela (38,616), Tumauini; Nueva Vizcaya (16,107), Bayombong; Nueva Ecija (123,771), San Isidro; Laguna (132,504), Santa Cruz; Cavite (132,064), Cavite; Batangas (275,075), Batangas; Tayabas (53,668), Tayabas; Camarines Norte (30,661), Daet; Camarines Sur (156,400), Nueva Caceres; Albay (257,533), Albay.
To the south-east of Luzon lie the Visayas—Samar, Leyte, Bohol, Cebu, Negros, and Panay, with various smaller islands.
Samar (area, 4367 square miles) is separated from the Albay peninsula by the Strait of San Bernardino, 10 miles across. From north west to south-east it is 120 miles long; its greatest breadth is 60 miles. The provincial capital is Catbalongan on the west coast, on a bay difficult of access. The island is watered by a number of considerable streams—the Catubig, Loquilocum or Ulut, Suribao, &c. At Nipa-Nipa on the south-west coast there is a remarkable series of rock-caves in which the people were wont to deposit their dead in coffins. The narrow but extremely beautiful Strait of S. Juanico separates Samar from the island of Leyte. The lesser islands of Buat, Parasan, &c., are included in the province of Samar (178,890 inhabitants). Leyte (2716 square miles) is 100 miles long and 30 miles wide. The chief town and port, Tacloban, lies at the eastern entrance of the Strait of S. Juanico. Sulphur for the Manila powder-factory is obtained from the solfatara at Monte Manacagan. According to Jagor, the east coast is rising and the west is suffering from the encroachments of the sea at Ormoc to the extent of fifty yards in six years. South-west of Leyte is Bohol (area, 1496 square miles); the chief town is Tagbilaran, at the south-west corner. The province (226,546 inhabitants) comprises Siquijor and other islands. The important island of Cebu (2413 square miles; provincial population, 403,405) is 135 miles long from north to south, but only 30 miles broad at the most. The chief town, Cebu, is the capital of the Visayas group and is next to Iloilo in the matter of commerce. It is only along the coast that cultivation is easy, and none of the villages lie far inland. Parallel with Cebu and separated from it by a strait 15 miles wide, is Negros (4670 square miles; population, 204,669), with large sugar plantations, but only one large town, Jimamaylan, and no good ports. Bacolod is the administrative centre. North-west of Negros lies Panay (4633 square miles), which is divided into the three provinces of Antique (124,103), Iloilo (410,430), and Capiz (243,244), in accordance with its physical conformation. Iloilo is the chief town and the seat of the see of Jaro. Off the south-east coast of Panay lies the island of Guimaras (215 square miles).
In a line with the peninsula of Tayabas (Luzon) and the island of Leyte is Burias (190 square miles), which forms a province by itself (128 inhabitants), and Masbate (1211 square miles) and Ticao (121 square miles), which, comparatively sterile and thinly peopled (17,170), are united together. West of these islands is a considerable cluster, I. de Tablas (327 square miles), Sibuyan (159 square miles), Romblon, &c., constituting the province of Romblon (28,154). Mindoro (3934 square miles), one of the largest of the Philippines, lies only 10 miles south of Luzon, but its interior, peopled by about 30,000 Manguianes, a race of doubtful affinity, is practically unexplored, and its eighteen “Spanish” villages are scattered along the coast at great distances from each other and with no proper means of communication. The principal settlement is Calapan, on the north-east coast. Marinduque (348 square miles), included in the province of Mindoro (58,128), is a flourishing island with 48,000 inhabitants exporting various staples. South-west of Mindoro are the Calamianes (17,041 inhabitants), a great cluster of very small islands, the two largest being Busuanga (416 square miles) and Calamian; and beyond these extends for 230 miles in a south-westerly direction the island Palawan or Paragua (4576 square miles), which nowhere exceeds a width of 30 miles and sometimes narrows to 10. It is little visited, and apart from Puerto Princesa, the chief town (578 inhabitants), there are few Spanish posts. The Sulu or Joló Archipelago (948 square miles; about 100,000 inhabitants), annexed by Spain in 1878, consists of about 150 islands divided into the Balanguingui, Sulu, Tapul, Kecuapoussan, Tawi-Tawi, Tagbabas, and Pangutarang groups. Many of the smaller islands are uninhabited, but the larger are occupied by an industrious Mohammedan population. They formerly constituted, along with a portion of northern Borneo, an independent state with an hereditary sultan and a regular nobility of great political influence. The highest hill in the principal island, Buat Timantangis, or Hill of Tears, is so called because it is the last point visible to the natives as they sail away from their native land. Sulu, the present capital, lies on the north coast of the island of Sulu.
The whole chain of the Sulus is practically a continuation of the south-western promontory of Mindanao or Maguindanao (37,256 square miles), the second largest island of the archipelago, containing the Spanish provinces of Surigao (56,246), Misamis (88,376), Zamboanga (14,144), Davao (1695), Cottabató (1282). Since about 1876 much light has been thrown on this interesting island by the Jesuit missionaries. It is remarkably mountainous, and appears to be divided by the Rangaya or Sugut Cordillera, which runs north west and south-east, and is continued throughout the great western peninsula of Zamboanga, and, at the other extremity, bends south to form the peninsula of Butulan. Between the Rangaya range and that of the Tiruray lies the valley of the Rio Grande, a river navigable as far as Matingcahuan (70 or 80 miles) and connected with two great lakes, Lingauasan and Buluan, which during the rainy season merge, or nearly merge, into one. On the north side of the Rangaya range and connected with the sea by the river Iligan is the great crater-lake of Lanao, which with its little group of secondary crater-lakes probably gave rise to the name of the island, Magitindanao, “Land of Lakes.” Towards the east and sloping northwards extend the valleys of the Cagayan, the Tagoloan, and the Agusan. This last is the largest river in the whole island. Rising in the Kinabuhan Mountains in the south-east, it pursues a very sinuous course for more than 200 miles and falls into Butuan Bay; in the lower regions it is navigable for craft of considerable burden. Mindanao is throughout well peopled, much of it being occupied by independent Mohammedan sultanates.
Administration, &c.—The Philippines are subject to a governor-general with supreme powers, assisted by (1) a “junta of authorities” instituted in 1850, and consisting of the archbishop, the commander of the forces, the admiral, the president of the supreme court, &c.; (2) a central junta of agriculture, industry, and commerce (dating from 1866); and (3) a council of administration. In the provinces and districts the chief power is in the hands of alcaldes mayores and civico-military governors. The chief magistrate of a commune is known as the gobernadorcillo or capitan; the native who is responsible for the collection of the tribute of a certain group of families is the cabega de barangay. Every Indian between the ages of 16 and 60 subject to Spain has to pay tribute to the amount of $1.17—descendants of the first Christians of Cebu, new converts, gobernadorcillos, &c., being exempted. Chinese are subject to special taxes; and by a law of 1883 Europeans and Spanish half-castes are required to pay a poll-tax of $2.50.
Ecclesiastically the Philippines comprise the archbishopric of Manila and the suffragan bishoprics of Nueva-Caceres, Nueva-Segovia, Cebu, and Santa Isabel de Jaro, which were all constituted by the bull of Clement VIII., 14th August 1595, with the exception of the last, whose separation from Cebu dates only from the bull of Pius IX., 27th May 1865. The Agustinos Calzados were established in the Philippines in the year 1565, the first prelate being Andres Urdaneta, and they have convents in Manila, Cebu, and Guadalupe. The Franciscans date from 1577, and have convents at Manila and San Francisco del Monte; the Dominicans (1587) at Manila and San Juan del Monte; the Recollects or Strict Franciscans (1606) at Manila, Cavite, and Cebu. The Jesuits, restored in 1852, maintain the missions of Mindanao and Sulu; and they have charge in Manila of the municipal athenæum, the normal school for primary teachers, and an excellent meteorological observatory. There are also sisters of charity, and nuns of the royal monastery of Santa Clara, founded in 1621.
Education.—A good deal has been done for the diffusion of primary education among the natives (every pueblo is bound to have a school), but the standard is not a high one. The press is under strict civil and ecclesiastical control, and all discussion of Spanish or general European politics is forbidden. Several daily papers, however, are published at Manila, El Diario de Manila dating from 1848.
Population.—As far as is known, the original inhabitants of the Philippines were the Aetas or Negritos, so called from their dark complexion. They still exist sporadically, though in limited numbers (perhaps 25,000), throughout most of the archipelago, the Batanes, Babuyanes, Samar, Leyte, Bohol, and Sulu excepted. Their headquarters are the northern part of Nueva Ecija, the provinces of Principe, Isabela, and Cagayan. To their presence in Isla de Negros the island owed its name. They are dwarfish (4 feet 8 inches being the average stature of the full-grown man), thin and spindle-legged, have a head like a Negro's, with flattish nose, full lips, and thick frizzled black hair, and possess an extraordinary prehensible power in their toes. They tattoo themselves, and wear very little clothing. Cigars they often smoke with the burning end between the teeth—a practice occasionally observed among the civilized Indians. They have no fixed abodes. Honey, game, fish, wild fruits, palm-cabbages, and roots of arums, &c., constitute their food; they sell wax to Christians and Chinese in exchange for betel and tobacco. The dog is their only domestic animal. The Negritos seem to have been driven into the more inaccessible parts by successive invasions of those Malay tribes who in very different stages of civilization and with considerable variety of physical appearance now form the parti-coloured but fairly homogeneous population of the islands.
First among these rank the Tagals. They are by preference inhabitants of the lowlands, and generally fix their pile-built dwellings near water. In Manila, Cavite, Batangas, Bulacan, Morong, Infanta, Tayabas, and Bataan they form the bulk of the population, and they also appear in Zambales, Principe, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Mindoro, Marinduque, Polillo, &c. Their language (Tagalog) especially has made extensive encroachments on the other Philippine tongues since the conquest. The Tagal is physically well developed, has a round head, high cheek bones, flattish nose, lowbrow, thickish lips, and large dark eyes. The lines from the nose to the mouth are usually strongly marked. The power of smell is of extraordinary acuteness. A pair of trousers and a shirt worn outside constitute the dress of the men; that of the women differs by the substitution of the saya or gown for the trousers. Agriculture, and especially the cultivation of rice, is the Tagal's staple means of living; they are also great fishers and keep swine, cattle, and vast numbers of ducks and fowls. Externally they are mostly Roman Catholics; but abundant traces of their old superstitions may still be observed. Cock-fighting and theatrical entertainments are in great favour with the Tagals; they have quite a passion for playing on musical instruments, and learn to execute European pieces with great success. Before the arrival of the Spaniards they had an alphabet of their own (see Stanley's translation of Morga), and they still possess a body of lyrical poetry and native melodies. On the death of an adult a feast is sometimes held among the better families, but the funeral itself is conducted after the ordinary Roman Catholic fashion.
The Visayas inhabit all the islands to the south of Luzon, Masbate, Burias, Ticao, and Mindoro, and to the north of Borneo, Sulu, and Mindanao. In the 15th and 16th centuries they were called “Pintados” (i.e., painted people) by the Spaniards. Though they had attained a considerable degree of civilization before the conquest, they readily accepted Christianity and assisted in the subjugation of the Tagals. The mountains in the interior of some of the Visaya Islands are occupied by savage Visayas, generally styled Infieles, Montesinos, or Cimarrones. The Calamianes, who inhabit the islands of that name, and the Caragus, who inhabit the east coast of Mindanao from Cape Surigao to Cape St Augustin, are usually classed with the Visayas.
The Igorrotes or Igolotes proper (for the name is by many writers very loosely applied to all the pagan mountain tribes of Luzon) inhabit the districts of Bangued, Lepanto, Tiagan, Bontoc. From their cranial characteristics they seem to be distinct from the Tagals and other “Malay” tribes, and they are said to show traces of Chinese and even Japanese intermixture. Dirty and savage-like in person, they are none the less industrious agriculturists—laying out their fields on artificial terraces on the mountain sides, and constructing irrigation canals with remarkable skill; and they also excel as miners and workers in metal. In the matter of sexual morality they form a striking contrast to the licentious Malays; they are monogamists, allow no divorce, and inflict severe punishment for infidelity. Though an attempt to subdue the Igorrotes was made as early as 1660, it was not till 1829 that Spanish supremacy was acknowledged.
For details in regard to the other tribes of the Philippines the Ilocanes, Parnpangos, Pangasinanes, Ibanags or Cagayans, Tinguianes (Itanegas or Tingues), Apayaos, Catalanganes, Vicols, &c.—the reader is referred to Professor Ferd. Blumentritt's monograph, Versuch einer Ethnographie der Philippinen, Gotha, 1882. No fewer than thirty languages are officially recognized. In 1865 it was estimated that Yisaya was spoken by upwards of 2,000,000 persons, Tagalog by 1,300,000, Cebuano by 386,000, &c.
Chinese immigrants, in spite of massacres and administrative restrictions, form a powerful element in the Philippines; in Manila alone they numbered 30,000 in 1880, and there is hardly a pueblo of any size in which one or more of them is not to be found. The petty trade and banking are nearly all in their hands. Chinese mestizos or half-breeds (Mestizos de Sanglay, or Mestizos Chinos) are numerous enough to form separate communities; in 1867 they were said to be 211,000 strong. The European element has never been numerically important—some 8000 or 9000 at the most; but there has grown up a considerable body of European mestizos. Traces of Indian sepoys are still seen in the neighbourhood of Manila, where sepoy regiments were quartered for about eighteen months after the conquest of Manila by the English. Owing partly to Philip II.'s prohibition of slavery the Negro is conspicuous by his absence.
There are no accurate statistics of the whole population of the Philippines; and even the number of the Spanish subjects was up till 1877 only estimated according to the number of those who paid tribute. Diaz Arenas in 1833 stated the total at 3,153,290, the ecclesiastical census of 1876 at 6,173,632, and the civil census of 1877 at 5,561,232; Moya y Jimenez, founding on certain calculations by Del Pan, and admitting an annual increase of 2 per cent., brings the number up to 10,426,000 in 1882.
History.—The Philippine, or, as he called them, the St Lazarus Islands were discovered by Magellan on 12th March 1521, the first place at which he touched being Jomonjol, now Malhou, an islet in the Strait of Surigao between Samar and Dinagat. By 27th April he had lost his life on the island of Mactan off the coast of Cebu. The surrender of the Moluccas by Charles V. in 1529 tended to lessen the interest of the Spaniards in the Islas de Poniente, as they generally called their new discovery, and the Portuguese were too busy in the southern parts of the Indian Archipelago to trouble about the Islas de Oriente, as they preferred to call them. Villalobos, who sailed from Navidad in Mexico with five ships and 370 men in February 1543, accomplished little (though it was he who suggested the present name of the archipelago by calling Samar Filipina); but in 1565 Legazpi founded the Spanish settlement of San Miguel at the town of Cebu, which afterwards became the Villa de Santisimo Nombre de Jesus, and in 1571 determined in large measure the future lines of conquest by fixing the capital at Manila. It is in a letter of Legazpi's in 1567 that the name Islas Filipinas appears for the first time. The subjugation of the islands, thanks to the exertions of the Roman Catholic missionaries and to the large powers which were placed in their hands by Philip, was effected, not of course without fighting and bloodshed, but without those appalling massacres and depopulations which characterized the conquest of South America. Contests with frontier rebellious tribes, attacks by pirates and reprisals on the part of the Spaniards, combine with volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tornadoes to break the comparative monotony of the subsequent history. Manila was captured by the English under Draper and Cornish in 1762, and ransomed for £1,000,000; but it was restored in 1764.
Professor Blumentritt published a Biblioqraphie der Philippinen in 1882; minor lists of authorities will be found in his Versuch einer Ethnographie, in Moya y Jimenez, &c. It is enough to mention Morga, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, Mexico, 1609 (English translation by Henry E. J. Stanley, Hakluyt Soc., 1868); Chirino, Relacion de las I. F., Rome, 1604; Combez, Hist. de las Islas de Mindanao, Joló, &c., Madrid, 1667; Agustin, Conquistas de las I. F., Madrid, 1698; Juan de la Concepcion, Hist. general de Philipinas, Sampaloc, 1788; Zuñiga, Hist. de Philipinas, Sampaloc, 1803 (English partial translation by John Maver, 1814); Comyn, Estado de las I. F. en 1810, Madrid, 1820 (new edition, 1877); Mas, Informe sobre el Estado de las I. F. en 1842, Madrid, 1843; Mallat, Les Philippines, Paris, 1846; Diaz Arenas, Memorias hist. y estad., Manila, 1850; Buzeta and Bravo, Diccionario estad., &c., de las I. F., Madrid, 1850; La Gironnière, Vingt ans aux Philippines, 1853; Semper, Die Philippinen u. ihre Bewohner, Würzburg, 1869; Ferrando, Hist. de los PP. Dominicanos en las I. F., &c., Madrid, 1870; Jagor, Reisen in den Philippinen, Berlin, 1873; Scheidnagel, Las Colonias Españolas de Asia, Madrid, 1880; Cañamaque, Las Islas Filipinas, Madrid, 1880; Cavada, Guia de Filipinas, 1881; Francisco Javier de Moya y Jimenez, Las I. F. en 1882, Madrid, 1883. (H. A. W.)
|VOL. XVIII.||PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.||PLATE XI.|
|J. Bartholomew, Edinr.|
|ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, NINTH EDITION|
- According to the Spanish hydrographic maps, the height of this mountain is 8813 feet; but the barometer of Kajal and Montano's expedition (which ascended to the top in 1880) indicated 10,270 feet, and that used by Schadenberg and Koch in 1882 no less than 10,827 (see Bull. Soc. de Géoge., Paris, 1881, p. 566).
- It was supposed till quite recently that there were two mountains in this district,—one being Macaturing, the other Sugut, Polloc, or Cottabató.
- The best résumé of geological facts in regard to the Philippines is J. Roth, “Ueber die geologische Beschaffenheit der Philippinen,” published as an appendix to Jagor's Reisen, but, like the other appendices, left out in the untrustworthy English translation. Drasche gives a good deal of fresh material in Fragmente zu einer Geologie der Insel Luzon, reproduced in Boletin de la Comision del Mapa Geologico de España, vol. viii., 1881. Perrey has collected information about the Philippine earthquakes in Mém. de l'Acad. de Dijon, 1860, &c.
- See Wallace, Geogr. Distr. of Animals, and Island Life.
- First ed., Manila, 1837; second ed., 1845; Llanos's ed., 4 vols., 1877-80 (summary in vol. ii. ).
- The figures of the censuses may be trusted for the provinces of Luzon, &c., but often give no idea of the actual native population of the remoter districts.
- For the antiquities discovered there, see Z. für Ethnol., Berlin, 1869.
- See for full description in Geographical Magazine, 1875, and Bol de la Soc. Geo. de Madrid, 1878.
- See the elaborate accounts of Koner in Z. der Ges. für Erdk., Berlin, 1867, pp. 105, 142, and of Garin in Bol. de la Soc. Gen. de Madrid, 1881, as well as the old report of Dalrymple in Oriental Repository.
- See Montano in Bull. Soc. de Géogr., Paris, 1882, and Blumentritt's monograph and map in Zeitsch. der Ges. für Erdk., Berlin, 1884.
- In Mindanao they appear as Mamánuas.
- See Meyer, in Z. f. Ethn., vols. v., vi. , vii.