Page images
PDF
EPUB

and nine-tenths of his men had their native queridas. When the 'lieutenant left the place and came up to Cebú, peparatory to sailing to the States, the woman came and lived with him. In another place we were told that the women all took to the hills while the town was being garrisoned by a volunteer regiment. The results of this cohabitation are beginning to be apparent, and are deeply deplored by the best of the native people.

[graphic][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

One young fellow —a fine type of his race—told the following story: When a volunteer regiment came to his town, he was taken out and given a beating as being an insurrecto sympathizer. The next day he took to the hills, and joined the insurgent forces and became a captain. By and by he saw the uselessness of continuing the struggle, and, a regiment of regulars having succeeded to the place, he came in, surrendered, and was made chief of police, and succeeded in inducing a thousand of his countrymen to lay down their arms.

Anex-soldier told of helping one day to capture three hombres, who were suspected of knowing the whereabouts of the insurrecto army. This soldier was ordered by the lieutenant in charge to shoot them one by one unless they gave the desired information. He refused to do so, and was threatened with being court-martialed, but, still refusing, the lieutenant got up and shot the first man himself. The other two promptly told all they knew. This soldier said that giving the water-cure was such an everyday performance that it excited no comment.

Our soldiers often indulge in the deadly native drinks to excess. We came across one lonely grave where the fellow had killed himself drinking twenty bottles of bino in one night.

The most hopeful thing about the situation at the present time is the attitude of all classes toward education. The American government has shown a desire to give the Filipinos, even while in arms, the best thing it has to offer — the free school system ; and the Filipinos, considering their condition, have shown a most commendable spirit toward this altruistic movement. Everywhere is shown a strong desire for the American teacher and his work. Presidentes and padres are eager to learn English, and it is nothing uncommon to find them working away at the books alone.

In the towns around this island there are usually not a halfdozen people who can speak Spanish. The native language is devoid of all culture, so it seems eminently proper that we should give these people a common language that contains the results of our progress for thousands of years.

We attended some of the native schools. The conditions were the rudest. A bamboo schoolhouse, a backless bench along the sides of the room, some children squatting on the floor, no chairs, tables, boards, or charts, a book containing the catechism in Vizágan— this was the school layout. All the children study aloud, and the best scholar is he who can make the most noise. The ignorance of the native country teacher is unfathomable, and when we found the salaries paid them we did not wonder at the class attracted, or rather driven, into the service. One woman

a fat old matron of fifty or more-received one and a half pesos per month — something less than seventy-five cents. From this amount the salaries range up to thirty dollars, the highest paid in Cebú.

[ocr errors]

The American teachers are trying to close these little barrio schools in which only the native dialect is taught, to train up assistants able to speak English and teach according to our ideas, and to concentrate the pay upon the really efficient teachers.

The American teacher has many discouraging conditions to contend with. He has difficulty in finding a house, and more difficulty still in finding food upon which he can live. He must try to persuade the town to build and equip a suitable schoolhouse. He must train his native teachers, and use all sorts of devices to get the children to attend after the novelty has worn off.

That the teachers have, as a class, gone at their work with characteristic enthusiasm and resourcefulness is unquestionable. That they are generally regarded by the natives in a very different light from the army people is likewise true. But that some out of the large body have fallen below the accepted standards of morality is equally true. One teacher owned his fighting cocks, and was a leading abettor of this favorite Filipino pastime. He was often seen coming from the pits of a Sunday afternoon - the usual time for the combats — with his clothes bespattered with blood. He contended that his conduct did not lessen his standing in the community; on the contrary, it heightened it when his cock won. He also got drunk, but, it was said, “never ungentlemanly so.' The division superintendent thought best, nevertheless, to drop him.

There is another case, that of a young woman whose indiscretion led an army officer to acts for which he was court-martialed and dismissed from the service. To send unmarried girls into towns in which they were the only white women, and in which they could not have the commonest conveniences, was all a mistake. The leavening effects, however, of the schoolmistress are beginning to be apparent, and there is no other agency doing more to win the people to our ideas than the school system.

SAMUEL MACCLINTOCK,

Principal Cebu Normal School, CEBU, P. I.

A NEW IDEA IN SOCIAL FRATERNITY.

The past century saw a mighty impulse toward bettering the condition of the weak. Slaves were liberated, women received recognition as rational beings, children were given rights other than those accorded by the whims of parents, and laborers were allowed to meet in self-respect, and to assert the dignity of their calling

With this amelioration of social conditions, men of diverse classes approached each other at the close of the century in a different attitude from that which would have been possible at its beginning. Some of our most intelligent citizens not only theorized about social relations, but tried their theories by practical experiments. Settlements and clubs have gone into the heart of the crowded tenement districts and have made life assume a more roseate hue to many a heavy laden one.

Yet the field is so great that every new case of genuine fraternity between those in different walks of life is worth while telling to the world.

In a crowded block in San Francisco, on Tehama street, between Fifth and Sixth, stands a house where representatives of all classes of labor, and of all social conditions, meet and discuss in the most friendly way all topics of human interest. The mistress of the house, Miss Octavine Briggs, is a visiting nurse, who established herself here to be in the center of her work.

Miss Briggs is a sister-in-law of Professor Bernard Moses, of the University of California, now absent as a member of the Taft Commission in the Philippines, and most of her life has been spent amid the advantages of a university community. Intellectual, witty, accomplished, with a charm of personality, and an unusual understanding of human nature, she seemed fitted best for society, in the limited sense of the word; and her friends were all surprised when she decided to win a diploma from the California Women and Children's Hospital rather than a degree

from the university.

After graduation from the hospital, Miss Briggs worked for over a year as nurse under the Associated Charities, and lived at the college settlement in South Park. This life gave her an insight into the needs of the people of the district, and she felt that one of their greatest necessities was the influence of a home and inspiring friends.

With financial aid from some broadminded men and women, she rented a house on Tehama street, No. 45272, and there made her home as artistic and dainty as any in the more favored districts of the city. In fact, there are many treasures in it that are enviously eyed by people of means and culture. In the living-room two of Keith's landscapes

HOUSE AT LEFT IS 4527% TEHAMA STREET, bring in the California sunshine, a sepia copy of Millet's "Shepherdess” gives an ennobling calm to labor, prints of children show the joy of action, and a Madonna reveals the exalting influence of love. In the bookcase Tolstoi, Spencer, Henry George, Mill, Ruskin, and other serious thinkers rather predominate over writers of fiction, verse, and travel. On the piano, instrumental and vocal music await their turn to delight the listening ears of the neighborhood. Good magazines lie invitingly on the table and in the cozy corner.

Old brasses gleam down from a shelf, and here and there flowers add the culminating touch of refinement.

The only other room on the first floor is the kitchen, and because many of her neighbors have their kitchen as the only general living-room, Miss Briggs has expended some thought on hers. It is an especially attractive room, with its light-tinted

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »