When I saw that nobody was hurt, I joined in the cackles of the prisoners, who were doubled up with joy at the discomfiture of the American teacher. He was in a blind rage, which was not diminished by the outcries and lamentations of the Governor and a horde of clerks, who swarmed out to express their grief over the wanton destruction of a landmark. Privately, I don’t believe they cared a rap, but the opportunity to reproach an American for bad judgment comes so seldom to the Filipinos that they refuse to let it escape.
Basilio never moved a muscle when the crash came. He had stood buoyantly expectant; he received it flamboyantly calm. A smile of ineffable pleasure then seized upon his features, and with the breaking forth of the chorus he rose to joyous action. He spun on his heels like a dervish. He threw handsprings, he walked on his hands, he exhausted, in short, all that he had been able to acquire in the abandon of the previous weeks; and then gravely righting himself, he went over and began to pick up squabs. These he offered to the American with a perfectly wooden countenance, and with the simple statement that they were very good eating. He acted as if he thought the teacher had done it all for that purpose.
Children’s Games—The Conquest of Fires
Children’s Games—How Moonlight Nights Are Enjoyed—The Popularity of Baseball Among the Filipinos—My Domestics Play the Game—The Difficulty of Putting Out Fires—Need of Water-Storage for the Dry Season—Apathy of the Public at Fires—Examples Showing the Loyalty and Devotion of Servants When Fires Occur.
Filipino children are not so active as the children of our own race, and their games incline to the sedentary order. Like their elders, they gamble; and like all children, the world over, they have a certain routine in which games succeed one another. At one season in the year the youngsters are absorbed in what must be a second cousin to “craps.” Every child has some sort of tin can filled with small spotted seashells. They throw these like dice; they slap their hands together with the raking gesture of the crap-player, and utter ejaculations in which numeral adjectives predominate, and which must be similar to “lucky six” and kindred expressions.
Following the crap game there is usually a season of devotion to a kind of solitaire which is played with shells on a circular board, scooped out into a series of little cup-like depressions. They will amuse themselves with this for hours at a time. The shells are moved from cup to cup, and other shells are thrown like dice to determine how the shells are to progress.
The commonest form of child gambling, however, is that of pitching coppers on the head and tail plan. You may see twenty or more games of this sort at any time around a primary school. Sometimes the game ends in a fight. Sometimes the biggest urchin gathers up everything in sight and escapes on the ringing of the bell, leaving his howling victims behind.