The Filipinos are exceedingly hospitable and friendly, and from the time they found that I was inclined to be sociable, I have scarcely been able to get any work done on account of invitations to this, that, and the other sort of affair. I spent one evening the past week with a lot of merry-makers of the younger set at the home of the presidente. There was a queer character present in the person of a seemingly half-witted fellow who thought himself a great clown and a master of the guitar. His singing was like Friar Tuck’s, I fancy, and he played his instrument in all sorts of positions, accompanying his discordant racket with grimaces strongly suggestive of violent cramps. It was evident that he was well filled up on tuba, and “betel-nut” drooled from both corners of his mouth. The Filipinos were highly amused by his performances, although to my mind they were quite devoid of anything in the way of cleverness.*
Foot-note — *It is not difficult to amuse a primitive people. I have seen & whole village of American Indians literally convulsed by the antics of three or four “delight-makers” who were doing nothing more than squatting upon the ground, picking over a few pebbles, and talking gibberish.
One evening recently, a native friend of mine took me out for a little stroll about the village. First, we stopped in at a modest home where the people were mourning the death ofa child. I ssy mourning, but in reality it seemed more like merry-making; not, however, that the people do not feel their loss keenly, but they have a sort of stoic philosophy of life which enables them to smile over what can’t be helped, even although their hearts may be ready to break. When a child dies, the merry-making goes on for three nights. Of course, the relatives do not participate, but all the friends of the family are welcome to come and join in the hilarity.
On this particular ocaasion, several couples during the course of our stay danced the folk dances known as the “jota” and the “curacha.” Doubtless these dsnces a are distantly reated to the hula-hula of the Hawaiians and in times gone by must have been much more animated performances than they are now.
Later in the evening, we dropped in where another wake was going on.. There I saw a game very much like the game of “forfeits” as played in the States.
This afternoon, I rode a native pony down to Cabatuan to call on my American friends and get some mail that had come from the States. The steed I bestrode was remarkably like “Qld Gunpowder” and I wore myself into a state of almost complete exhaustion getting him over the ten or twelve miles of distance.