Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Philippine Islands

Philippine Islands, a Pacific group N.E. of Borneo, E. of the China Sea, and N. of Sea of Celebes, consist of forty islands large and small, containing over 114,000 square miles, the principal islands being Luzon, Mindoro, Negros (producing much alum), Samar, and Mindanao (which produces cassia, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper). The surface is much varied by wooded mountains, plains, lakes, and rivers. In the west rain prevails from June to September, and then the rain shifts to the east. The rains cause temporary lakes, from which the heat raises much moisture, and the climate is tempered by land and sea breezes. The islands are subject to earthquakes. The chief minerals are gold, iron, copper, sulphur, coal and marble. There is much large timber, and rice, Manilla hemp, pine-apple, cocoa-palm, cotton, coffee, sugar, indigo, tobacco, tamarind, and various other fruits are cultivated. The buffalo - used in agriculture - and cattle are also found wild, and there are horses, deer, hogs, goats, sheep, monkeys, abundant game, birds, crocodiles, fish, etc. The sea-swallows' nests are largely exported to China for food. Besides the wild "tribes, such as the Negritos, who inhabit Negros chiefly, and the Itus, who resemble the Dyaks, there are the more civilised Spanish Christian subjects, who are called Taguls in Luzon and Biscayans elsewhere, and many Chinese and half-castes. The chief industries are the manufacture of textile goods, hats, cordage, cigars, and there is a great export and import trade. Manilla is the residence of the Governor-General and of the Archbishop. The islands were discovered by Magellan in 1520. In 1898, in the Spanish-American War, a great naval battle was fought at Manilla in which the Spanish were defeated. The town was afterwards bombarded.