24 April 1792

The continuous Igorot attacks against travellers on their way from Nabua to Nueva Caceres made me take the necessary precautions to avoid them. For this reason, I left in the morning of April 24 escorted by 10 pikemen, 4 archers and a principal. It was a felicitous trip. I reached Naga at 6:00 in the afternoon. The terrain is not rugged or hilly and is naturally favorable for ambuscades. It is not fully cultivated due to the scarcity of water and hardly are some common plants seen. However, in the outskirts of the capital, there are some good meadows where quite big herds of cattle and horses graze.

Naga or Nueva Cáceres, capital of the province of Camarines, hardly looks like a pueblo. It consists of a disorderly group of small nipa huts in which the Cathedral, Episcopal Palace, Casa Real and Seminary, partly constructed in stone, stand out. These edifices, however, derive every bit of their importance from the poverty of the rest. The nearby flat expanse of arable lands are fairly well cultivated. In the city, much cloth fabrics are woven mainly from abaca either solely or blended with silk or cotton. Riggings are laid in large quantities, which are transported by water until mid-way of the Pasacao road and by carts or carabaos up to this pueblo [Pasacao] from where they are shipped to Cavite.

The river leading to Pasacao is uncommonly beautiful: its gentle waters ever pure and limpid, flowing serenely, enriching and spreading over a sprawling plain of lasting verdancy. The vegetation, copious and lively everywhere, heralds an endless spring for this gifted spot.

The small plants that mantle the earth, abloom with flowers of a thousand forms and very lively colors, perfume the air with delightful fragrance. They are sheltered by a natural canopy spread by various kinds of middling trees interlacing their dense, fruit-laden boughs from the winds and storms whose violence would undoubtedly be fatal to their frail stems. Over this second order [of medium-high trees] sturdy narras stand out majestically, lifting their tufted tops and stretching their knotty branches at great lengths in contempt of hurricanes and the passage of centuries. The deer, wild boar and wild carabao pressing together beneath their protective shades partake with pleasure of the succulent pastures that these fertile lowlands felicitously offer them, safe from the snares of human predators. A covey of lovely little birds perching on the small branches and hidden by the foliage were then greeting with song the blushing dawn and joyfully waiting for the advent of the beneficent star whose first rays appeared a little after over the slopes of the towering mountains which (crossed out word and blotted word)….

The wharf for loading the cordage is protected by a small inconsequential fort, which houses the warehouse where the cordage is stored. The place is small and accessible only to shallow-draft vessels.

The road to Mambulao from Nueva Cáceres, to which I returned the same day, is likewise exposed to the attacks of the fierce Igorots. It was necessary to travel on it with the same precautions which consequently was of little profit to botany.

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