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.

For the next two hours I was persecuted with truck-sellers.  Ordinarily the fishermen were unwilling to stop and sell in the streets or in private houses, preferring to do all their business in the market, but that morning, I could have had the pick of half the catch.  Finally came a woman who had had a straight tale from the first woman.  Woman number two had nothing to sell, but, after a minute, she pulled out a jagged old media-peseta and said that she had heard that I said that a media-peseta was worth ten of the new gold pieces.  If I was as good as my word, why not change her media-peseta for gold?  I said that I would do it if she would give me the new media-peseta, but that I could not do it for the old.  When she wanted to know where she could get a new media-peseta, and I told her the Treasurer would redeem old silver at the government ratio, she went off to get a new media-peseta, but it was plain that she distrusted me.  The people flocked to my house all day trying to get me to buy something and to pay them in the new coins.

It was remarkable how easily and quickly one circulating medium disappeared and another took its place.  At first there was some trouble about getting the poor people to recognize the copper on a basis of a hundred to a peso.  They were willing enough to receive change on that basis, but, in giving it, tried to treat the new centavo as a dacold, eighty to the peso.  I had to have one Chinese baker arrested for persistently giving short change to my muchacha, and the Treasurer had a long line of delinquents before him each morning admonishing them that they could not play tricks with Uncle Sam’s legal tender.  But on the whole the change went off quickly and without much friction.

This morning I asked my maid, an elderly woman, if she remembered the old money we had four years ago.  She struck her forehead with her hand, and thought a long time.  Finally her face lit up.  She remembered those Iggorote dacolds and a silver five-cent piece—­“muy, muy chiquitin” (very, very small).  She said that the Tagalogs called the dacolds “Christinas” after the mother of the Queen-mother.  But the difference between a stable and a fluctuating medium meant nothing to her, and probably many of her countrymen have almost forgotten that there was ever any other than Conant in the land.

CHAPTER XIII

Typhoons and Earthquakes

How Typhoons Assert Themselves—­Our First Typhoon—­Six Weeks’ Mail Brought by the General Blanco—­Her Narrow Escape From Wreck:—­A Weird Journey on a Still Smaller Steamer—­Another Typhoon—­Rescue of Captain B——­ —­Havoc Wrought by the Typhoon.

In the month of November two more American women teachers arrived at Capiz, one of whom joined me, and our society was still more increased by two army officers’ wives, and the wives of the provincial Treasurer and the Supervisor.  This made nine women in all, and we began to give dinners and card parties, and assume quite metropolitan airs.

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