A Woman's Impression of the Philippines eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 221 pages of information about A Woman's Impression of the Philippines.
alms-giving, the more arrogant the secret attitude of the giver.  They trusted less to their own strength than to others’ weakness.  They relied less on their own knowledge than on others’ ignorance.  Whatever solidarity the aristocracy had and has to-day is of a class nature rather than of a racial.  In the insurrection against Spain it allied itself with its lower-class brethren simply because Spain forced it to do so.  Had the friars made concessions to the aristocracy as a class, and permitted them a voice in Filipino affairs, there would have been no insurrection against Spain, nor would the entrance of a Filipino governing class have made large changes in the conditions of the great mass of the Filipino people.

Under a democratic Government the present aristocracy cannot retain its present place and prestige, and a portion of its eagerness for independence comes from a recognition of that fact.  The American Government has practically opened the way for the creation of a new aristocracy in establishing the public schools.  In the provinces the primary schools are patronized by rich and poor alike, though it has required considerable effort to make the poor people understand that their children have as much right to the enjoyment of school privileges as have the children of the rich.  The secondary schools of the provinces are patronized chiefly by the middle and upper classes, and in the city of Manila the children of the really wealthy hardly ever attend the public schools.  The wealthy citizens of Manila prefer to send their sons to the religious schools, and their daughters to the colegios, or sisterhood schools, of which there are many.  While English is taught in all these schools, general instruction is in Spanish; the courses of study include the usual amount of catechism, expurgated history, and the question-and-answer method of “philosophy” of the old Spanish system.  If the American Government remain here, a new aristocracy, the result of her public school system, is inevitable.  If it should not remain here, the Spanish-reared product will continue to hold its present place.

CHAPTER XII

Progress in Politics and Improvement of the Currency

Our First Election of a Governor—­More Feeling in Our Next Election—­We Organize a Self-Governing Society in the School—­Improvement in Parliamentary Procedure—­The Boys Imitate the Oratory of a Real Politician—­A Much-mixed Currency in the Philippines—­Losses to the Teachers Through Fluctuations in Exchange—­The Conant System Brings Stability—­The New Copper Coins Astonish the Natives.

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A Woman's Impression of the Philippines from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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