…From the port of Pasacao in November 1897, I sailed for Manila with my family aboard the steamer Saturnus. We rested in Manila three days and then went aboard again, this time on one of the little steamers that daily sail to the province of La Laguna. In this province I presented myself to the my new captain, who, after granting me some days of rest, found it convenient to assign me to the post of Pila.

This town is located a league more or less from the capital. It is a rich town and its folk are addicted to all kinds of diversion. My predecessors at the post had been rather strict with the townspeople, not permitting dances and other frolics to last later than ten ‘o’clock at night. One day a son of the municipal captain came to quarters to see me. His name was Regino Relova. He invited me to a dance they proposed to hold that night. I excused myself from attending it. Then he said they would be infinitely grateful if I permitted the dance to last until eleven o’ clock or midnight. I told them they could dance all night if they wished to since I have no orders to the contrary on the matter. He was very pleased with my answer and he related what had been happening under my predecessors. My policy made me popular with all the unmarried young men and women in town and there was no fiesta that I did not attend.

In mid-January 1898, my relief arrived along with the communication confirming my release from the corps and my assignment to the said battalion. I took leave of all my friends and on departing from town what was my surprise to find many of these friends on horseback, ready to accompany me to the town of Santa Cruz.

We all rode to that capital and after presenting myself to the district commander and the captain of the line I stepped out to rejoin my friends. To express the gratitude and affection they professed to owe me they had ordered a succulent meal at the establishment of a Spaniard. After the meal, which, I repeat was succulent and did not lack even champagne, a moving scene unfolded. On bidding farewell to my friends, I was embraced first of all by my friend Regino, who forthwith began to cry like a child, whereupon all the others likewise burst into tears. I therefore hid them in one of the interior rooms so that none might see them.

The Spanish owner of the establishment inquired the reason for the lamentation and I replied that it was on account of my being separated from them. He said he was acquainted with the various of my friends and knew them to be distinguished persons and of fine sensibilities.

As soon as they had calmed down, I allowed them to step out but I did not even give them my hand for fear they would start wailing again and would get me crying too-as had happened before! Never can I forget the town of Pila and my beloved friends there!

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