Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Wednesday, March 15th, 1899

Manila, Luzon Island –Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo.

Cloudy all day with light showers at intervals. Bible reading in Exodus prayer; breakfast –cooked, partaken of, dishes washed; then in company with Rev. Chas Owens walked down town. While Owens was bargaining for some thread I sat down on a stool to rest in a “Chino” store on Calle del Rosario.  One of the firm (evidently) hurried over to me with a book in his hand and without a word of apology set me to work teaching him English. The Chinese could read quite well. It was amusing how quickly he utilized a fragment of time and an opportunity to educate himself. Such a man must excel. We called at the Hacienda de Administracion where crowds of Filipino men blocked the sidewalks on both sides of the street waiting for their turn to get out Cedulas –personal identification paper. Some have waited 3 days. Owens got me past the American sentry in a few minutes.

Purchased groceries at a Spanish store & sent the same home by “Muchacho” –our Biscayan [Visayan] Filipino servant boy. Then went on to the post office where I rec’d fifty copies of “El Evangelista” Aña [Año] XVI. Feb. 1899. No. 182. & 19 copies “El Amigo de la Infancia”, Jan’y 1, 1899.

Got shaved in a Spanish barber shop.

Returned home to dinner & passed the afternoon reading, etc. Wrote a letter to Private M.L. Devine (Landon) who I heard thro’ Mrs. Owens is over on Corregidor Island in the U.S. hospital down with dysentery. Privates Hummer & Harris of the 3d Reg’t, heavy artillery, brought the news. They came while we were absent. Brother Glunz (Christian Commission) also called. Had a long talk with him. The Commission tent has been taken down. Glunz says considerable difficulty attends his efforts to do good, especially over at the Brigade or General Hospital, where a different physician is in charge of every ward, & a different “officer of the day” –doctor– is changed every day whose sanction must be obtained to visiting a patient. Said also he does not go there often on account of so many restrictions. From what I have heard & see in these military hospitals, they are exceedingly poor places to reach a patient with the Gospel of Jesus. The time to seek Christ & salvation is while in health.

Coo Piaco, the Chinese boy who for some time has been in the habit of coming to No. 2 to take English lessons of Rev. Owens is the son of a manufacturing tobacconist. Told Owens that just on the eve of the Filipino-American war, when Filipino recruits & sympathizers were leaving the city, they bought $500. worth cigarettes in one day! Perhaps cigarettes here considered necessaries of life.

Mrs. Ysabel Wood, my mestizo landlady, sent her youngest boy up stairs this evening with a rent receipt, which meant that she wanted me to pay up. I did so. Handed over to the boy 35 Mexican silver dollars, which pays the rent of casa No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, for the month of March. It is now about 9.30 p.m. I hear the rapid sputter of firing out on the front. Sounds as if the “scrap” is going on at or near Malibon [Malabon].