Second Month, 20

Our ship called at Zamboanga to-day. It is at the southern comer of the Philippine group. We had just one hour ashore. It is a beautiful little city. Close by the landing are the custom house, Govemor’s residence, treasury and postoffice, all in a lovely setting of flowers and palms. We went up to the Moro part of the town, where were to be seen the gaily attired Moros, with their brilliant head-dresses or fezs. Here we took a few snap-shots and then rushed to the boatlanding. Soon thereafter the Hitachi Maru bore us away to the sunny southern seas.

The past two days have been largely engaged in revising the great post of thirty-three letters and many other packages that awaited us when we boarded our ship at Manila. It is with the barbarian’s joy I observed that a few of our most cultured correspondents make mistakes in spelling, for I am myself a terrible speller. They write Manila with two l’s, and Philippines with two l’s and one p, so for just once in my life I excell them in spelling.


Second Month, 18

At 12:15 noon to-day we left the pier at Manila on the beautiful Japanese steamship Hitachi Maru for Australia. Our kind friends, Wm. T. Hilles and wife, came down to see us off.

Probably 75 attenders at the Union Church service last night seemed glad to hear an address on the relation of the church to militarism. At the conclusion of the meeting a few questions were asked regarding the present war. I never encourage discussion on this subject — there are too many emotions and prejudices represented in a mixed audience to make it helpful. As we were separating, a few men encouraged me by expressing their pleasure because of “the spiritual note to the address.” One young man, dressed in the uniform of the United States navy, came forward, and was evidently laboring under much excitement, as he protested that the great European war was necessary. Before we parted he said, “I have just two months more in the navy — then I go home.” I asked where he came from. “Iowa,” he responded. “A great State,” said I ; “they grow fine men in Iowa.” “Yes,” he replied, “and I will be back in the navy inside of a year in the war.” I asked, “What  war?” He exclaimed, “In a war the United States will have. We will be at war inside of a year.” Then with an expression of disgust he added, “We would have been at war before this if it had not been for Wilson. He is afraid,” laying great emphasis on the word “afraid”. I told him that the people of American generally thought that President Wilson had manifested great bravery, and advised this young fire-eater to “get into God’s eternal quiet.” His lip quivered, and he understood what I meant. So much for our peace-loving navy which we are soberly told desires new guns and battleships only that we may enjoy peace with the rest of the world !

I regretted not seeing more of Bishop Brent, who was absent from Manila, but returned in time for us to call the day before sailing. He is a power in the Philippines. It was a pleasure to listen to his presentation of personal conviction as he conducted us through the beautiful garden of the Episcopal residence. All through the Orient I have seen that whilst there is naturally a great difference in Christian laborers, some of God’s best workmen have been chosen and sent by Him into the foreign field.

Manila has treated us very well. I landed there eleven days ago suffering so much with neuralgia in the stomach that I was afraid the port quarantine doctor would see my distress as I was compelled to stand in line for examination and that he would mistake my trouble for some disease which would impel him to refuse permission to the ship’s company to land. Anyhow, I got on land, and the dry air, even if hot, has wonderfully benefited me. Unexpected opportunities for work have developed. I have actually been able to play the tourist a little and see some of the beauties of this tropical land. So we leave the broad streets of new Manila with its American improvements, and the charming old architecture of the Spanish regime, with regret. Our hearts are afresh filled with gratitude to God because of His mercies to us.

The revolutionary talk, and efforts, in the Philippines at the present time is creating apprehension in some quarters and is treated with contempt in others. It seems strange just at the moment when the Washington Government is endeavoring to grant larger liberty to the people of the islands that efforts to promote insurrections should be discovered. On the face of it there would seem reason for thinking that these little revolts are instigated by mercenary men who do not wish their present influence diminished, and who desire to prove at this juncture the political irresponsibility of the Filipinos. On the other hand, even if such be the case, I very much question if the Filipinos will, for a generation, be able to govern themselves. Too few of them have  the education, ideals, or common dialect, or the political poise and temperament to successfully continue the work that has been carried on by our country. We have done a few millions of Filipinos much service, particularly with respect to education and developing their cities. But I feel that we have impaired the ideals of one hundred millions of our own people by holding colonies, at first against their will, and, subsequently, subjecting them by processes of force which our own country resented being applied to itself in the beginning of its career. Their civil administration does not cost the United States any financial outlay. But unhappily our control of them affords an excuse to the military party in the United States to advocate a big navy, wherewith to presumably protect them, and this carries with it a huge national expenditure and the development of a system and military aristocracy which may yet become a menace to the republic.


Second Month, 16

Last night we were entertained at the home of G. W. Wright, a leading missionary. We were the guests of the  Evangelical Union of Manila. After a social time, in which about 35 people participated, I was called upon to speak to the company. I had felt most decidedly that a message was required of me, which I endeavored to deliver — a word of encouragement and suggestion. Afterward, some simple refreshments concluded a most agreeable occasion. It did me good to be with them.

My discriminating wife declares that the sundaes of Manila are very good. Indeed, for months we have sometimes been favored with excellent ice-cream made from condensed cream. Milk from the “iron cow” is not bad.

This morning I addressed the high school on “International Peace”. The student body constituted 600 young people and, as usual, they manifested intense interest. The Filipino audiences are more emotional and applaud much more easily than do those of China. A curious indication of the national temperament was manifested when I happened to refer to the sufferings of women in times of war. About half the students looked very sober, but the rest of them giggled. At the conclusion of the lecture one of the audience remarked upon the different mental attitude of many Filipinos toward trouble from that of Americans. For instance, a young person will, with smiles, announce that he or she has just lost a parent by death. A teacher in one of the schools of Manila told me recently that when she was going over a lesson she spoke of how Ghazan Khan had some of his enemies thrown into a caldron, of boiling oil. Immediately the whole class laughed outright. She asked, “Why do you laugh ? Would you like to be thrown into boiling oil?” They responded, “No.” At the same time the thought of suffering amused them very much.

Our intercourse with the educators of Manila has deeply impressed me with the feeling that whilst many of them are not church people, or identified with the missionary movement, they are at the same time animated by the most sincere interest in the moral and even religious advancement of the students under their control. The true missionary spirit is in some respects discovered in many of these teachers, and they gladly welcome the aid of outside workers who appeal to the better emotions of the heart. Some of them have warmly thanked me for my public advocacy of the religion of Christ as the hope of humanity. They tell me that God, and trust in Him, are too little spoken of in the schools of the Philippines, as, unfortunately, is the case in those of the home-land. These men are no doubt correct.

We go from place to place in “calessas,” which are peculiar to this country. They are much like old-fashioned chaises, and have broad seats between the two big wheels, whilst the drivers sit on little seats in front, close to the dashers. Sturdy ponies pull these vehicles. It is impossible to walk much in this climate. We see United States army and navy men patronizing these calessas very much. By the way, a few days ago a well-known man in Manila — whose name is nowhere mentioned in this diary — gave me an interesting description of how excitement reigned among the officers of the army and navy one year ago, when our country was so close to war with Mexico. My informant stated that some of these public servants were heard to say, “Now, we will have promotion,” or “Now we will have a chance to get better pay.” But when their hopes of advancement were destroyed by the peaceful attitude of the Washington Government, they were very bitter in denouncing President Wilson for refusing to embark our country into war with Mexico. Men in the army or navy often include most attractive personalities, but professionalism is naturally strong among them. Does this bode ill for the democracy of America?


Second Month, 14

Last night we were most generously entertained at the attractive home of Prof. Wm. T. Hilles, a Friend. Another Friend, Dr. Alvin J. Cox, of the Bureau of Science, has been exceedingly hospitable and kind to us. We have met with most sincere courtesy from many Americans in Manila.

This morning found us at the M. E. service for native Filipinos. All are young people, and most of them are connected with the University. Their pastor, E. S. Lyons, informed me that about seventy-five people present represented eight or nine different dialects, and that a good many of them could not understand the speech of each other, but that all understood English. After the preliminary exercises the meeting was turned over to me, and conducted as a Friends’ meeting for worship, after I had explained our method. I spoke on “Faith” from Hebrews 11: 24, and my sermon was preceded by a long period of silent waiting on God. This was very impressive. In many lands and with many races, and among people of vastly different creeds, I have proved that the Friends’ way of worship is so broad and inclusive that those of most diverse faiths and practice can together participate in it. They can all unite in silent prayer or waiting on God. We had a good meeting.


Second Month, 13

A crowded assembly room, with many standing, bore witness to the interest felt in the international peace question by the students of the University of the Philippines, where I spoke to-day. As on the preceding day, my address seemed to give great satisfaction to the faculty.

A ride to Los Banos yesterday was very interesting. The countryside is most picturesque. Town succeeds town in rapid succession. Quaint old churches, with the priests’ houses attached, and the municipal buildings, all sheltered by tropical foliage and surrounding the plazas in the center of these towns, constitute the central feature of interest to the hastening visitor. The homes of the well-to-do are of Spanish architecture, except where a modern type resulting from American occupation has crept in. The houses of the poor are of bamboo frames fastened with bamboo or rattan cords and covered with Nipa. They are exceedingly inflammable, and a friend has told me how, during a fire, she once saw 300 burned up in one hour. They are built on high posts, and beneath the first floors wagons can be stored and children play. Wide windows are opened during the day, and inside can be seen all the family furniture, and life, but at night these windows are closed, resulting in an appalling record throughout the country with respect to tuberculosis. Often a fanciful bamboo fence separates these simple homes from the roadway. Few flowers are seen. Yet even the most indigent have their ideas of decoration. In every coun-try of the world — so it seems to me — the people of all races feel like the French poet who said, “If I had but two sous in the world, with one I would buy bread, with the other a hyacinth, for the hyacinth would feed my soul.” This spirit is discerned throughout the poverty-stricken Orient.

At the Agricultural College at Alabang, we stopped for lunch. Every courtesy was extended to us, and when some of the young men found who I was, they pressed me to address them, promising an improvised company of over 300 listeners if I would talk on peace.

Around Manila the stranger is impressed with the school life of the Philippines. In the city some fine modern buildings devoted to education are most impressive as denoting the possibilities of the American Administration. Out in the country, old school buildings are filled with swarms of happy children who are acquiring a modern education such as their parents never dreamed of. Most of these children speak English. A definite standard of dress and manners is demanded of them. The most astonishing thing is their devotion to American games. Everywhere is that grand old game of baseball played. Even the girls play it. The effect upon the rising generation is marked in many ways. The physical size and mental power of the young people has perceptibly developed, according to statistics and measurements, within the past fifteen years. Baseball takes the place of cock-fights among the young. In driving around the country we often see men fondly holding roosters in their arms, and in groups, evidently discussing the prowess of their pets. You do not see boys preparing for the pastime. People hereabouts inform me that the cock-pits are now almost altogether patronized by the older men. I was told the other day that “even the old men who hold on to their roosters will go to watch a baseball game, and do not indulge in the cock-pit as they used to.” All this speaks loudly in praise of the American educational system.

Sometimes when driving through the country near sundown the villages are alive with little children arrayed in very abreviated costumes — often one garment extending down to their knees. It is enough in a climate where in winter you feel like sitting down whenever you can, and where, at noon-time, repose of several hours is fashionable. These little folks wave their small brown hands at us and in chorus call out “hello” in the purest American accent.


Second Month, 12

At 7 :30 a. m. we were on the platform of the Normal School facing about 800 prospective teachers. Men predominated, which is unusual in institutions of that character. I spoke on international peace. I was frequently applauded when making appeals to obey the law of righteousness felt in the human heart, and to carry their influence on behalf of good out into their fields of future effort.


Second Month, 11

We have passed a good deal of the past two days in presenting introductions and arranging for future work. The educational institutions are most open with respect to listening to addresses on peace. I had expected not to undertake such labor in Manila, or little of it ; but in the face of such an open door into institutions which are likely to affect the future thought and action of this country I dare not refuse to engage in this work for Christ.

This morning we visited what is probably one of the largest public primary schools in the world — the Meisic School of Manila. It boasts 3,100 pupils and sixty-five teachers, most of the latter Filipinos. At 10 o’clock it was an inspiring sight to see the bright-eyed youngsters lined up in the long porticos around the great square, in the center of the building, and at a given signal make a rush for the luncheon counters in the middle of the square. Then there was much munching and playing. Most of the little boys — about 2,000 of them — were dressed in white, whilst the girls were attired in the brilliant and picturesque garments that so become the natives of this interesting city.


Second Month, 8

We had a hard time getting to Manila. Twice the ships we had engaged passage on were taken out of the service, but finally we got off on a *’ toothpick,” as my wife called it, the steamship Kueichow, a little craft of 2000 tons, and with only four cabins for first-class passengers, a tiny dining  saloon, etc., all heaped together, and quite without, to us, at least, ventilating facilities for disagreeable weather. My wife was the only woman on board. I had been ill, the humidity distressing, and altogether our little voyage from Hongkong commenced under depressing conditions. Nobody had given the China Sea a good name. Happily after the first twenty-four hours we had a smooth sea, and were hourly thankful for it. Our engine pushed us along at only eight knots an hour; so the trip which usually consumes forty-eight hours took almost 4 days for us. I could eat but little of the fare provided, and glad we were to land yesterday meaning and to receive a warm greeting from our friend.

Prof. Alvin J. Cox, who speedily took us in his motor-car to a pleasant boarding-house which he had selected for us. In the drier air of Manila, and with things I can eat, I am improving and hope to soon be ready for work.

Nothing interesting occurred on the ship unless it was the discussions participated in by all hands on things relating to this world and the next. One young man at tiffin one day briskly challenged my use of the word “providence”. I made no reply until another said, “You do not seem very willing to dispute what he says.” I replied, “I have learned that there is not much use in arguing with any man who flys in the face of the simplest facts in the creation, and is so foolish as to claim that he does not believe in a God.”

Then I took my turn detailing the miracles of prophecy, and putting question after question to the would-be non-believer, following it by telling those present of statements made by Sir Oliver Lodge, and others, acknowledging their inability to base spiritual truths on recently questioned scientific so-called facts, and Sir Oliver’s admission, over one year ago, that many scientific beliefs that have been in vogue for a good many decades must be recast. My young opponent reminded me, and I told him courteously thereof, of the old Quaker who met a doubting youth who declared that he would not believe in anything that did not appeal to his senses. The old Friend asked, “Hast thou ever seen thy brains?” “No,” was the reply. “Hast thou ever smelled thy brains?” ‘*No.” “Hast thou ever tasted thy brains?” Reluctantly again came the answer, “No.” Then followed the inquiry, “Art thou sure that thou hast any brains?”

Our conversation concluded by my speaking of the fact that many do not want to believe in a God because they dare not bring their lives in conformity to His laws or go through the processes of repentance and a changed life. Above all, they are so very foolish as to bar themselves out of the joy and peace in believing which upholds them in this life and qualifies them for that which is to come. Possibly I was on that trying little voyage for the purpose of giving a few young men something to think about before they entered into the temptations of their colonial career. They were nice young fellows.

One small table in the little dining-saloon was filled with Americans, and the other one with Chinamen. The latter were educated gentlemen, and most agreeable to meet with. The Americans were mostly assertive, talked loudly, some used indifferent grammar and could eat a course dinner in about twenty minutes. The Chinese were almost exactly the reverse as to table manners. Yet most of the Americans eyed the Orientals suspiciously or refused to talk directly to them when they met on our meager deck space. I was a “go-between.” If our country is to get its share of commerce in the Far East, and wield the influence there that we ought to in many respects, our people must be taught to assume a different attitude from what many of them do toward other races. A broad Christian spirit is our only hope.