1903 Report of the Division Superintendent for Batangas on Conditions in the Province - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore 1903 Report of the Division Superintendent for Batangas on Conditions in the Province - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

1903 Report of the Division Superintendent for Batangas on Conditions in the Province

The annual Reports of the Philippine Commission provide a comprehensive picture of life and conditions in Batangas — and elsewhere in the Philippines — early during the American colonial era. Excerpts of these reports that are relevant to the Province of Batangas are made available in this web site for the benefit of teachers, students, researchers and enthusiasts of Batangas history, culture and folklore. For citation purposes, the pages given are as they appear in the reports themselves.

Not all the pages were correctly interpreted by OCR (optical character recognition) scanning so had to be painstakingly retyped from the original documents, which is why Batangas History, Culture and Folklore refers to pages similar to these as “transcriptions.” This particular transcription contains text almost in its entirety from the report of the Division Superintendent for Batangas, M.A. Colton.

Batangas Provincial High School 1914
The Batangas Provincial High School.  Image digitally extracted from the July 1914 edition of the Bureau of Public Works Quarterly Bulletin.


[p. 731]


The following report for the period September 1, 1902 to September 1, 1903 is submitted by Division Superintendent M. A. Colton for the Division of Cavite, Tayabas, and Batangas during the first three or four months, and during the remainder of the period for the division of Batangas.

In the early part of this period, the provinces of Principe and Infanta were added to the Division of Cavite, Tayabas, and Batangas. For lack of teachers, however, nothing could be done at that time in this territory.

Of my three years’ service as division superintendent in the Philippines (September 1, 1900, to September 1, 1903), the most unsatisfactory period was from July, 1902, to December, 1902. The department was in a transition state and effective work was impossible. The office of clerk to the division superintendent had been abolished and deputy division superintendents were instructed to teach. The work which is now, under the reorganized system, done by 6 men, 3 superintendents and 3 clerks, was then supposed to be done by the undersigned.

In addition, the department of public instruction was economizing in every way (economy made necessary I suppose, by the epidemic of cholera). But economy of traveling expenses of teachers was very difficult when transfers had to be made on account of cholera. Scarcely a teacher in this division lost any time, however, on account of this epidemic. This was possible because, although in time the whole

[p. 732]

division was swept by cholera, yet at a given time a considerable part of the division was more or less free from it. In some towns, where the attack was not quite so severe, schools did not cease; indeed, it may be a question whether in many cases, it is not better for the children at such a time to be in a clean place under the discipline rather than playing and eating fruit in infected places.

The attendance was seriously affected by the cholera. Smallpox is often prevalent, but it appears to be mild in its effect on the native. A great effort was continuously made in this division to keep up a good attendance, as had been our custom from the beginning. This was attended with considerable success, especially when we consider the difficulties in the way. In parts of the division, namely, in all of Batangas, and in a part of Tayabas, the people were in straits financially as a result of the war, and children were obliged to work. Again, funds were lacking, as will be explained, with which to hire adequate houses and employ teachers.

Attention is called, however, to the very large attendance at Tayabas town. This is due to the excellent attitude of the presidente and the town councilmen, with whom I considered a compulsory law as early as February 1902. A new teacher was put in charge of the town schools after the vacation, and he gave excellent support to the presidente in maintaining the attendance.

This average attendanceof about 750 is the second largest ever maintained for one town. The record for this division is an attendance maintained for three months during “concentration” at Tanauan, Batangas Province, where for April 1902, the average attendance was 1,981. In several other cases, the average attendance has exceeded 500 in one town, exclusive of barrio schools, except those within town limits — i.e. limits of central town — e.g. Lucban, Atimonan, Lopez, Batangas, Bauan, Taal (Taal and Lemery being one town).

The main factor in securing agood attendance is the attitude of the presidente and council. Other factors nearly as important are the attitude of the American teacher and that of the people. In the territory under consideration, there has been little opposition on the part of the church, either officially or privately, toward the public schools. There were several dozen private schools, more or less, under church influence, and where the curriculum consisted principally of catechism, but in general the private schools have only an incidental connection with the church. Several formal schools were maintained by the church in Cavite, and in San Rogue, and in one or two other places. In these two places, the interest in the Spanish language is naturally large, and is an influence toward private schools. But the church school in Cavite gradually died.

In December 1901, I made a report (which please see for a description of private schools) in answer to a circular from the general superintendent’s office, containing among other data a statement as to the different kinds of private schools there were then in the division. The particular kind of private school which has received most development is to be described as follows: some relative, or friend of a family, or two, takes a dozen children into his house during the day to study. He goes on with his daily occupation, or else sits around and smokes and gambles with friends while the children are supposed to study. He spends very little time in instructing them, and they very little time in actual study. Catechism is a main part of the curriculum, and, indeed, the school, or, rather, class, exists because of the desire for religious instruction.

However, the number of private schools and their attendance has been steadily on the wane. One groof of this is seen in the doubling and trebling of our attendance as compared with last year and the year previous. The presence of a good public school usually kills the private schools by reason of its superiority. We attract pupils even from the Spanish schools in Manila. Not only do the best families often send their children to us, but this is becoming the rule. Again, our teachers in many cases come from the very best families, and this means a great deal in a land where class distinctions are so great and closely observed. The “muchacho” does still carry the books of his little master to school, but often enough, the older sister, or brother, of this little master is teaching the “fellow-muchachos" in the same school.

The greatest bit of industrial education engaged in so far by the American teacher has been the example set by him in carrying a package, etc, through the streets and thereby showing the natives that a little manual labor is not incompatible with honor and dignity.


Fifty thousand pesos were appropriated out of the rice fund for building a main structure for the town schools and high school of Batangas town, and 5,000 each for an industrial annex for males and for females; that for males is nearing completion, the contract limit for the finishing of the building being September 1, 1903.

[p. 733]

I believe that the best way to begin this industrial work will be to select a number of strong barrio boys who are willing to work and by furnishing the material make it possible for them to earn their living at school by making school benches, furniture, blacksmithing. etc. At first, there will not be much support from the boys in the town, but those who have to earn a living by manual labor will be willing to be shown a better way. The necessity for the introduction of modern carts instead of old saw-log vehicles will make a demand for workmen.

In the women’s annex, great attention should be paid to plain sewing instead of laying emphasis on the finest embroidery, which is less useful and very hard on the eyes of young children. There is a great need of teaching plain sewing, cooking, and the giving of ideas about cleanliness and kitchen sanitation. Both boys and girls will take kindly to music and drawing. A great deal can be done in both cases by a practical demonstration of the use of modern tools and utensils in the industrial work.

The main school building, for which 40,000 pesos is allotted, is to contain on the upper floor the Batangas high school, and on the lower floor, the town schools. The provincial governor is the president of the building committee; the division superintendent of schools, the members of the provincial board, and three representative natives are the other members of the committee. At the instance of the division superintendent, several meetings of this committee have been held, and plans in the rough with some estimates of cost of materials are ready to be forwarded to the insular architect for his guidance in making us final Plans for the main building. The lower story can be made of stone, as this material is is cheap and readily obtainable near Batangas. The upper story should be made of hard wood.


The relations of this office with the various provincial officers of the three provinces have always been friendly. But, however friendly our relations have been socially, only one of the three treasurers (which officer has great power for or against schools) has really been in the least helpful; but, on the other hand, they have been either neutral, indifferent, or really an influence against the schools by reason of refusing to use their power in the right direction. It is a pleasure to testify to the active cooperation of one of these officers. He had been resident of a school board in the States and brought experience and sympathy into the matter.

As to the relations between the division superintendent and the municipal presidentes, they have usually been quite cordial. In two or three cases only was it necessary to appeal to force one sort or another to bring such officials to the point of executing the law. My relations with all the presidentes of Batangas are extremely friendly. Many Of them are superior men, such men, for example, as the present presidentes of the towns of Batangas and Bauan, both towns of about 40,000 inhabitants.


The attitude of the people in Batangas Province toward the schools is excellent. They are thoroughly satisged with them, but for one exception — that is, they desire religious instruction. This desire arises largely from the previous custom in the matter. Now, each family has the trouble of making special provision for the religious instruction of their children. On this account, some children, especially younger ones, and more particularly girls, are kept out of the public schools to study catechism. It is considered quite necessary to ground the children well in this while they are young — that is, they must memorize the catechism and prayers.

I am informed that the church will open official schools in their various convents throughout this province. There will be no great disadvantage to the public schools in this, provided all the children go to some school, as there are enough children to go around and to spare.

It has been my custom, whenever I get an opportunity, to recommend that the govermment take some steps to insure, in some slight measure, competence on the part of the teachers in private schools, and oblige a certain proportion of the instruction to be carried on in English. For particulars, please refer to the paper on barrio schools, read before the superintendents’ convention in March, 1903.


Many transfers have been necessary in this division. In addition to the ordinary reasons for transfers, many transfers came necessary on account of the very small number of teachers in proportion who were originally placed in Batangas Province. Because of the war in Batangas in 1901, only a dozen teachers were put into that province, while 40 went to the smaller province of Cavite. The cholera caused many

[p. 734]

temporary transfers. Again, I should say that there was twice as much aickness in Tayabas Province during the rainy season as in the other two provinces put together, and a number of teachers were transferred on this account. Some female teachers were transferred because of the transfer of troops. Males could be left in ungarrisoned towns.

Although this territory of Cavite, Tayabas, and Batangas has been long disturbed by war and ladrones, there does not seem to have been any great danger of loss of life. But there was always more or less danger of falling into the hands of the ladrones while traveling. The division superintendent and his deputies have often found it necessary to walk almost impassable mountain trails in the rain season, under all sorts of conditions and dangers. No teacher has been injured by runes, or insurrectos, in this territory, although several have fallen into their hands to be released almost immediately. However, Mr. H. H. Buck, deputy division superintendent of Cavite Province, was captured, had a fight, and, in the excitement, escaped, carryin away two revolvers belonging to the enemy. The other two deputies went through dangerous country, but especially is this true of Mr. G. P. Morrill, deputy for Batangas Province. The division superintendent and his deputies traveled through this country sometimes with an escort, but oftener without any. But one ran about as much risk of drowning as of any other, through crossing swollen streams and traveling in bancas in all sorts of weather, and lanufiing in heavy surfs. Traveling through a rainy season leaves one a physical wreck.


The American teachers have as a rule worked faithfully and hard. Some have worked much more than the required number of hours. Some have given both extra time and their own money also where needed. In speaking of the normal schools, I shall mention voluntary work on the part of several teachers. In one or two cases, it was rumored that teachers gave short time to the night school work in 1902. This was apparently remedied by a circular from this office mentioning the minor and stating that any night school would be closed if this were found to be the case. A few teachers went to great lengths in agitating for a transfer. Others were disgruntled for one reason or another, but in the main, the work of the American era has been satisfactory.

As to the work of the American teachers in Batangas, it has been very satisfactory. Of the two teachers who were really unsatisfactory, one has resigned, the other has been transferred. This teacher, among other things, gave only about two-thirds of the time required to the school work. This matter was soon remedied by transferring her and placing her under another teacher where she was obliged to work. On the other hand, in general, it is a pleasure to state that nowhere have I found more earnest and industnous and self-sacrificing teachers than in Batangas Province.

The relation existing between the American teacher and the people of his town has usually been cordial. In a few cases, the teacher has held aloof, and in others there was incompatibility of disposition — that is, the teacher was unsuitable from a social point of view. It will, of course, be admitted that much of this social work is really self-sacrifice on the part of the teacher. On the other hand, a certain amount of it relieves the monotony of existence in out of the way places. In some towns, there is really what might be termed society, and, in such cases, it is really a pleasure to the teacher to go out among the people and talk Spanish. The sociability of the teacher is really a very vital matter to the schools. On that often depends the attitude of the presidente, who, by custom, is usually (but not invariably) king in his own bailiwick.

There is, of course, naturally anti-American feeling in those provinces where the war first began and ended last, but this is usually tempered by a trust begotten of the knowledge of the honesty and justice of the American officials. In many cases, the teacher has come to be looked up to, if not as a protector, at least as an effcient go-between. This means merely that the teacher speaking English and knowing Spanish is often able to help a native in difficulties. Thus, a feeling of loyalty to the teacher grows up, and the people promptly show it if we attempt to transfer the teachher in question. Upon one occasion, a teacher was transferred to secondary work in another of my provinces. The people in the town whence he was taken immediately began sending petitions right and left requesting that he be retained in their town. Another teacher was put in this town. A few months later, in speaking of the new teacher to me, the secretary of the town said, “Capturo la simpatia del pueblo.” In several cases, they have waylaid Governor Taft with their petitions. In one case, particularly, I told the presidente I would arrange the matter to his satisfac-

[p. 735]

tion, but he insisted on delivering the petition to Governor Taft. It was not everyday he got such a chance, and he meant to improve the opportunity. This is not at all of this case, but that is, perhaps, another story.

As a rule, those teachers who know Spanish have accomplished most socially and have best gained the goodwill of the people, but there are one or two notable exceptions where the teacher has made his way to the hearts of the people by his attitude toward his pupils and by opening his house every evening to receive young men who were learning English. American customs are ing introduced — not that I think American customs by any means always or necessarily best, but I mention this to show the influence of the American teacher. At the normal schools during vacation, a young native was occasionally seen walking with a single lady and holding her parasol over her. Again, I have seen night school girls gomg home singing “Sweet Alice Ben Bolt,” and at other times doing things innocent enough, but quite incompatible with Spanish custom.


The native teachers have almost invariably been exceedingly friendly with the American teachers. The one or two only exceptions to the rule are to be laid at the door of the American teacher. The native teachers have cheerfully accepted the American teachers as their instructors, and they are coming more and more to realize the value of English to them in their positions. Their conviction that their promotion depends upon their study and progress has made them very eager. They are more influential in the community than formerly. Not only do they come now from better families, but, knowing more English than any other member of the community, they acquire prestige by conversing with American officials and travelers and by interpreting in courts and for the presidente.


Our two vacation normal schools, respectively at Lipa and Batangas, held sessions of eight weeks, beginning May 4, 1903. In each case the principals, respectively Mr. Russell Trace, at Lipa and Mr. H. C. Theobald, at Batangas, were assigned for the whole session of eight weeks. The whole teaching force available — part of which was obtained by taking teachers away from their regular school work — was, excepting a little additional help obtained during the last month, the time of 18 teachers or four weeks each, two of these teachers, however, being natives.

Two American teachers volunteered to help us at Lipa during the last month, namely, Mr. S. S. Milligan and Mr. H. H. Sharrard. To them two teachers are due our sincere thanks for a month’s work without pay. They have given their time so ungrudgingly, outside of school hours, to the work throughout the year that it is a pleasure to recognize their devotion to the service.

Attendance of native teachers and candidates at normal schools, sessions eight weeks.

Teacher School attendance Lipa and Batangas
From 75 to 100 candidates were refused admittance at each school because they were not able to fulfill the requirements for entrance, which were as follows: all teachers in the service were admitted, as, of course, they fulfilled the requirements, except in one or two cases, as to age. The candidate for a teacher’s position, and for admittance to the school, must have had some previous instruction in English, as much at least as a term in a day school, or its equivalent in night school work, or elsewhere. Second, the candidate must be ready to accept a position as teacher immediately on finishing the course. Third, the candidate must be not less than 16 years of age nor more than 35. (Three or four of the teachers were more than 35, but none of the candidates.) Fourth, the candidate must attend regularly and study. This last requirement proved unnecessary as there was great enthusiasm and steadfastness on the part of all. This is partially attested by the percentage of attendance.

[p. 736]

Every town in the province was represented. The 6 large towns had 30 or more in attendance, and a majority of the towns at least 10 or more. With the teaching force available, we could not have handled all that presented themselves, including those refused admittance; a few of these were manifestly unsuitable, but most of them were refused for lack of knowledge of English, and would probably have done good work if we had had the teachers to spare for their instruction.

Circulars and letters had been sent out in abundance and interest had been aroused by various means. It began what might be called an educational boom, especially as regards youn men and women. This agitation and interest redounded greatly to the advantage of the various high schools which are to be treated of in another paragraph. Many went directly from the vacation normal schools to the high schools.

The normal-school curriculum included the regular elementary subjects of the primary schools and a normal course. Music was taught, especially in connection with the singing of appropriate school songs. An interesting feature of the work was the hour or more in the afternoon devoted to conversational games of all sorts, debates, mock trials, etc.

After this exercise, the young men played baseball. Any player who spoke a word of any other language than English was immediately retired from the game. By the way, in this connection, I should like to mention the names of Messrs. Pierce, Borden, and Carstens, as teachers who have devoted considerable time to teaching the boys this game in general. Some interesting games have already been played, and the game is gaining in favor. I have always found baseball a good way to interest the children in school. It was the way we first interested the Moro boys in Jolo.

Our teachers average rather under than over 25 years of age. All except one of the very old native teachers have fortunately dropped out, so that what was once a great problem, namely, to get rid of them, is no longer so. Most of them have voluntarily relinquished the work, seeing they were no longer able to carry it on. A few were discharged for utter incompetence, but it was unwise to get rid of them wholesale for fear of offending the neighborhood where many had acquired influence. The one exception, an old lady, 53, at Tanauan, sticks to it and has made remarkable progress. Her pronunciation is very good. However, Batangas Province was not afflicted as were some with a whole host of these old people. When we employ a number of barrio teachers about the 1st of August 1903, the average age will be reduced to about 22 years.


At the end of vacation, about the 1st of July 1902, we established one high school in each of the three provinces of Cavite, Tayabas, and Batangas. It was recommended that two schools be established in Tayabas Province, one at Lucena, and one at Atimonan, and at least three in Batangas Province, respectively at Batangas, Lipa, and Taal. At such time, this recommendation was rejected, presumably on account of lack of teachers and funds available for the purpose, and perhaps, also, it was deemed wise to begin by degrees. In shall speak, then, in order of the one school established at that time in each of the provinces of Cavite, Tayabas, and Batangas. It was decided to locate the school in the provincial capital in each case.

[The notes of Mr. Colton on the high schools in Cavite and Tayabas are not included in this section.]

[p. 737]

In Batangas, Batangas Province, a good dwelling house was rented by the provincial board, and everything that the board could do to further the interests of the school was done with dispatch. The attendance was very good, considering the cholera and rainy season, together with other ills. As the concentration camps had been broken up only in April, and the people had not yet harvested, they were naturally desperately poor and unable to send their children to the provincial capital to school.

In 1903, in January, about 20, and in June about 40 pupils, were sent up from the Batangas primary schools to the high school. This made up in a measure for the withdrawal of pupils from other large towns where the new high schools have been established, as will be seen.

In Batangas high school, at first very few girls presented themselves, but in a few days, several daughters of principal citizens entered, and thereafter it has seemed proper apparently for boys and girls to attend the same school. The smaller attendance of girls than boys is due in part to the opinion that girls do not need instruction, especially higher instruction, as much as boys. They are kept busier at prayers and also at work than are the yen men. This is stil more true with respect to smaller girls. The girls almost never have so large an attendance as the boys. Often, it is less than half so large.

My criticism of the Batangas course of study, and more especially of the Tayabas course, was that it was too complex and too advanced. That now in use is quite simple. I did not direct just what should be taught, but advised simplification and made numerous suggestions and criticisms. I also sent the principals a written criticism of the class work as it has come under my observation. Of my criticism of his original programme and course of study, Mr. Theobald remarks, perhaps with some justice: “The criticism has been made that too much was attempted at first, and this is true, but it was necessary to attempt work which would tax the pupil’s ability somewhat while amusing his interest and that of the people in a new kind of school, instead of making it too much like the class work from which the pupils came. The first attempts have not been without their good effects; for the majority now see the necessity of first acquiring a more fluent use of English in order to receive what we have now shown our willingness to impart.” Many of the pupils did not come from the primary schools.

In the beginning, we foresaw that we should have to be quite wary in our treatment of prevalent ideas about secondary instruction. This will be seen in our attitude toward Latin and Spanish. It was necessary to make some concessions. The same is true of our new high schools of 1903. But after six months or a year, they are ours completely, that is, we have then, won their confidence and respect. A good example of this necessity of great care in the beginning is furnished by the secession of 46 pupils from one of our new high schools. That is, I say they seceded and then presented me their complaint instead of the reverse order of procedure. It is too long a story to relate here; suffice it to say that they were mixing up a semipolitical municipal question with certain school considerations. Certain small signs of distrust are, perhaps, only to be expected here in Batangas, where there had been war since 1896 more or less continuously. By war, I mean, of course, the sort of passive bushwhacking of the Filipino which passes for war, which mean seriously unsettled commercial conditions, great agitation, but little loss of life. The Tagalos are great

[p. 738]

agitators, and this is exemplified among the teachers and in the schools. But I believe the Tagalos are the most intelligent and best people in the Philippines.

A prospectus was sent out in May, 1902, to all presidentes and teachers. This contain general information about the high school to be established in the three provinces. It was designed thus to give information as to the course of study and foment interest in the new schools. Notwithstanding this prospectus, somewhat extravagant ideas prevailed at first as to the work which would be done. Many of the pupils desired to study Spanish; but, as was expected, when they really learned their needs and as the work progressed, the pupils were willing in most cases to relegate the Spanish to its proper place in our programme, namely, that of a branch of study, a foreign language studied as such, rather than in any way a basis language for the study of the various subjects. Spanish should be taught here just as French or German is in the States. Some wanted to study Iatin, but we managed to put this off for a while, as there are many things for them to do before studying Latin.

The curriculum of the schools will be seen in the catalogue of the Batangas high school, attached to this as an exhibit. The classes of the first years study arithmetic, beginning with fractions; geography, history (with emphasis in these last two subjects on the Philippine side), English grammar and composition, etc. The third-year class in Batangas are studying algebra. After they have been at school some six months, they are willing to allow their instructors to choose their studies for them. They are then willing to forego Spanish and Latin for a while at least; but at first — that is, on entering — they must be handled tenderly.

Drawing has been taught informally, but has in most cases been uphill work, as the teachers are not acquainted with the art, not having been chosen with that object in view, but for other important qualifications. Some music has been taught in the same manner.

No industrial work has been possible, because we have neither the facilities nor the teachers for such work. As I have intimated, such work, to be successful in the Philippines, should be carried on with minimum of theory and a maximum of practice, in order that the pupils might so on in some of the remunerative work; for example, if the pupils could spend half a day at least at carpentering, etc, to sell the product, and so pay their living expenses. Thus, pupils might be recruited from the lower classes of the population. The peop1e are not now able to support grown children at school. A large amount of prejudice is to be overcome. Manual labor is scrupulously avoided by the natives, especially by those who have acquired literacy, if by hook or by crook they can get positions as clerks, even with much smaller pay.

A native teacher was desired for each school, (1) to teach Spanish if it proved necessary; and especially, (2) to form a connection between the school faculty and the people — that is, to make the people feel more as if the school belonged to them; (3) to prepare a Filipino for carrying on the work later when there will be fewer American teachers; (4) by his influence, to increase the attendance on the school. The general superintendent, upon my nomination, appointed three native teachers, one for each of the three high schools. These teachers were selected for their especial knowledge and influence. The native teacher had already begun work previously in Batangas high school through the liberality of the provincial board of that province.

[The next three paragraphs are not included for lack of any real relevance to Batangas.]

[p. 739]

In Batangas high school, the highest class began some 16 strong and has dwindled to 7 now. Half a dozen have been given places as teachers; four or five others have secured positions as clerks through their knowledge of English, etc. This class is rated, as will be seen, as a third-year class. The course has been arranged for five years, but very soon the first year may be done in the primary schools. In future years, our incoming pupils will be confined to those who have passed through the primary schools, but this beginning year many entered who have never been to any American school except, perhaps, to night schools.

The American teachers for the high schools were chosen with great care. The best teachers who knew Spanish were elected. The requiring of a knowledge of Spanish has proven an excellent thing. In no other way could these teachers have acquired so much influence among the people. One of our best teachers, who was to have been principal of the Batangas high school, died of diphtheria.

Five other new high schools were established in Batangas Province in July, 1903. Each of these schools is situated in a town containing from 30,000 to 45,000 inhabitants, and when the inhabitants recover from their financial difficulties, the attendance will be very large. However, the attendance is satisfactory as it is. The Batangas high school opened after vacation with about 120 pupils. The other high schoools began their existence with the following enrollments: Bauan, 116; Lipa, 105; Tanauan, 71; Taal, 93; Balayan, 96. Each of these last two schools will soon have more than 100 pupils, but we shall be obliged to use some of these pupils as teachers in barrios.

We have been exceedingly short of teachers for this secondary work. In some cases, we have had to take teachers from very necessary primary work provisionally.

A private subscription was made in each of these towns in order to help secure desks. Those pupils who felt so disposed were requested to bring a chair and a small table to school for their own use. The provincial board allowed us 25 pesos house rent and 5 pesos for a janitor in each of the five towns.

The proportion of young women attending these new schools is very large, and is due to the influence of the public schools, and especially to the vacation normal schools. Our best pupils do not want to become teachers now, but prefer to continue their school work, which is, it seems to me, a very good sign. The average age is high in the high schools. The reason is, as I have hinted before, that there are many elder children and young people who were “ashamed” to go to the primary school. Some have had considerable Spanish education. These naturally make rapid progress as a rule. In the high schools established outside of Batangas, the proportion that came from the primary schools is less than half of the whole this year, for the reason already explained. These outside pupils average very high in age, say 18 or 20 years. A few pupils of this age, say some dozen in each large primary school, attended the primary schools last year. Many more attend this year through the influence of the normal school and of the high schools, which is making education popular among the young people.

There is an enthusiasm such as has never been known among the young people. The children have shown this disposition before, but it has not hitherto extended in any great degree to the young people from 18 to 25 years of age. There is a great eagerness to talk English. They accost each other in the streets in English, and it is becoming a habit to use it as a “court” or society language. This was true of Spanish, but not nearly so many ever got instruction in Spanish as are profiting by the English. The Government should take this tide at its “full.” Learning English may not teach them the unrighteousness of insurrection, but it will teach them the utter uselessness and folly of it. This is precisely what the young men of Lipa and Taal, those two strongholds of Tagalog pride and feeling, need.

The school fund for this next year, if all collected, will be about $17,000 United States currency. This is insufficient, and many towns will be very poorly supplied with native teachers. Many promising barrios will have no schools. To give an example, Cuenca has a fund of $117. Schoolhouse rent is $800 per year. Teachers’ salaries in the town should be, at lowest calculation, in the town $30 and in the barrios $30 per month; that is, there is a deficit of about $700. Cuenca is an example of a small town. Let us take a large one. Bauan has 42,000 inhabitants. More than 30,000 of these people will be entirely without school facilities, because there is only money enough to establish about 6 barrio schools. Lipa and Batangas, towns about equally large, can have each only about 10 barrio schools, leaving some 25,000 people not within reach of schools. If the government authorizes the appointmentof some 10 or 12 native teachers in Batangas Province, to be paid by the insular government, the situation will be somewhat relieved by thus releasing municipal funds.

[p. 740]

The average salary paid teachers in the old division of Cavite, Tayabas, and Batangas was about 12 pesos in November 1901. The figure is very low on account of the fact that the few barrio teachers who were employed were paid almost infinitesimal salaries. The average for Batangas Province, it will be seen, is about 18 pesos per month for the year 1902-3. In these cases, the salaries were taken from general municipal funds. With the collection of the land tax, the salaries are to be increased, to take effect in Batangas Province August 1, 1903. Under the new arrangement or schedule of salaries, Batangas town, the capital, pays its 16 native teachers an average of 31 pesos per month. These teachers are rather well-prepared for the work and could not be secured for much less. They must each spend at least 5 pesos per month horse hire, in order to ride into town every afternoon for a two hours’ teachers; class. However, under the condition just stated and on which all barrio teachers are appointed, their salaries are practically less by about 5 pesos than the amount paid them. These teachers could not walk the distance, especially in the rainy season.
Notes and references:
1 “Fourth Annual Report of the Philippine Commission, 1903, In Three Parts, Part 3,” by the Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department, published 1904 in Washington D.C. by the Government Printing Office.
Next Post Previous Post