20-21 June 1792

On the 20th I boarded a parao, sailed downriver and entered Manila on the 21st at three o’clock in the afternoon.

(Probably because of the political tone, the following three paragraphs were crossed out but are still legible:) Impartial observations of this journey whose accuracy cannot be doubted without temerity present a deceptive appearance but real picture of the miserable state (crossed out words) in which the lovely provinces of Camarines, Albay and Tayabas lie and the general dejection of their unhappy inhabitants. In vain is their progress (crossed out words) a few years ago aggrandized and in vain is the effort to delude with ostentatious reports of concocted progress the people’s excessive credulity. These arbitrary accounts that suggest personal interest of a few individuals only serve to give the government erroneous ideas of the real state of the islands and lull it to sleep in deceptive peace over a fancied blissfulness. The extensive plantations of white mulberry trees, cotton and pepper supposedly covering entire provinces have disappeared. The few that one meets are hardly sufficient to confirm the existence of their kind at the same time as they demonstrate the facility with which an average scale development could have propagated them ad infinitum. The ‘‘enormous harvests’’ of indigo and sugar have never gone above the average, and instead of increasing them daily as it is assured, they have diminished to an insignificant point and, according to all appearances, they are quickly coming to an end.

These are the data upon which political calculations ought to be based in connection with these valuable industries which are waiting only for the powerful hand of the government in order to grow, of which they are susceptible, by introducing in the islands the activity, industry and riches which are presently wanting. Only the government, by taking careful thought, is in a position to lead the islands to that goal for which they are predestined by their matchless fertility and advantageous position.

Finally on the 20th of June, the rainy season having set in more permanently, I had to put an end to my botanical chores in the lake area and sail for Manila where I happily arrived at 3:00 in the afternoon the day after with the pleasant sentiment of having fully carried out the instructions that had been given to me.

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