Manila, August 23, 1901

IN MANILA AWAITING ASSIGNMENT

For the vast two days, We have had a chance to observe to some ‘extent the practicsl workings of typhoon weather. There are no deep-sea whsrves here like those at Honolulu and San Francisco, and large craft have to lie out a mile or two from the shore-line, the Malecon Drive. Even in the sheltered bay, the sea has been so rough that it was thought best not to try to send the “rooky” teachers ashore right away lest some might meet
with accident in transferring from the transport to the tenders. In fact, a case of this kind actually happened. Also, possibly the arrangements for our accommodations during our temporary stay in Manila were not quite completed at the time of our arrival in the bay. This morning. we came ashore, landing at Fort Santiago, near the mouth, of the Pasig river, from which point we walked (the women teachers had better means of transportation) something like two miles to Malate Barracks, a group of nipa-bamboo structures standing on the old exposition grounds and occupied until ‘recently by the military. The day has been stiflingly hot and humid and we were a bedraggled lot when we arrived at our stopping place.

For some reason or another, school-teachers have always been the butt of jokes and the subject of light remark for a good many other people. No doubt we have come in for somewhat of this sort of treatment here, although the local press notices have been very favorable, a thing which is in decided contrast to what happened at Honolulu, where a notorious hoax was perpetrated upon the American people by some over-imaginative news-gatherer, who set the story going that all unmarried teachers on board the “Thomas” had paired off by the time they reached Honolulu and been married upon their arrival there. This afternoon, a group of half a dozen or more sorry-looking rag-tag-and-bob-tail natives equipped with. a a nondescript lot of battered wind instruments lined up in front of the main building and proceeded to honor us with various popular American airs. The din they made was of the most discordant and nerve-racking sort imaginable. We marveled among ourselves, not being certain whether the “band” was making a sincere effort to entertain us, or whether some practical joker was getting in his work. The latter theory prevailed, but the identity of the perpetrator is still a mystery.

Also, today a number of Filipino school children have dropped in with Baldwin’s First Readers and showed us how well they could read. It was very noticeable that there was not the slightest indication of timidity upon their part and that they wore the air of a people who have long been fighting for their rights and are now for the first time having a chance to demonstrate their abilities. They could read page after page with reasonably accurate pronunciation, but it was very evident that they did not understand s word of what they were reading.

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