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There are many places of interest in the neighborhood of Manila which should be visited by the sightseer who comes to the capital of the Philippines. These trips will consume but a few hours time and as the street car lines reach most of them the excursions can be made at a trifling expense.
San Juan is a barrio on the outskirts of Manila, and it was at the bridge which crosses the river on whose banks this barrio is located, that the first shots of the Philippine insurrection were fired. The ride takes one past the steel church, one of the famed landmarks of Manila, Santa Mesa Heights and other places of interest. The return may be made by San Miguel, passing Malacañang Palace, the residence of the Governor-General.
Malabon and Caloocan should also be visited. The ride takes one through the district of Tondo, the most populated native section of the city. At Caloocan is located the largest cockpit in the islands and here thousands of people swarm with their fighting roosters every Sunday. The old church at Malabon is quite an interesting structure as it was shelled by the American gunboats during the first days of the insurrection when the city was surrounded by the native troops. At Malabon is also located the old sugar refinery.
La Loma Cemetery is one of the show spots of the city and is one of the finest cemeteries of the world. It is located at the end of Cervantes car line and guarding it, like a huge sentinel, sharply outlined against the sky, stands the old church of La Loma.
The trip to Pasay takes one through the residence districts of Ermita and Malate and past the observatory, the Malate church, Fort San Antonio de Abad, which was shelled by Dewey, August 13th, 1898,and is now used as a transportation corral by the Quartermaster's Department of the U. S. Army; the residence of the Commanding -General, the Army and Navy Club, the Elks Club, and Manila's elegant New Hotel on the Luneta.
Fort William McKinley is located on the Pasig River about seven miles from Manila and is said to be the largest post of the United States Army. It may be reached by street-car lines, by river launches, by the Manila Railroad steam cars or by automobile or carriage. The site of the fort is one of the most commanding near the city and gives an extended and beautiful view of the harbor, Laguna de Bay and the surrounding country. Extensive improvements have been made by the government and from the waste land of a few years ago has arisen one of the model and one of the most healthful army posts to be found anywhere.
One of the most beautiful drives out from Manila is to the gorge of Montalban, near which place is the great reservoir from which Manila takes its water. The little town of Montalban on the banks of the Mariquina River is where General Lawton met his death in the days of the insurrection and the spot where he fell, often visited by tourists, is forever made memorable by a beautiful shaft of white marble. The road to montalban is very picturesque as it winds its way along the banks of the Pasig and Mariquina river till it strikes the green-clad mountains back of Montalban.
Antipolo, some eight hundred to a thousand feet above Manila, is in a way the Mecca of the Philippines. Here is kept in a massive old church, the famed Virgin of Antipolo, to whose shrine thousands and thousands of people each year make pilgrimage. People come from all parts of the islands to attend the great fiesta held here during the month of May. It is always delightfully cool at this place and many of Manila's best people are biulding summer residences there. A new modern hotel is being constructed and will be ready to receive visitors about January 1st, 1912.
Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines, is situated in the mountains of Benguet distant some hundred and seventy miles from Manila. The pine-clad mountains in which it nestles are over five thousand feet above the level of the sea and every year the government officials and the leading members of Manila's social set make Baguio their home during the hot season. Here one may enjoy the benefits of a complete change in temperature and climate and revel amid some of the grandest scenery imaginable. The mountain air is cool enough at night to warrant the building of cheerful log fires in the fireplace of the hotels and newly constructed homes there, and sleep is impossible without a warm woolen blanket or two for a covering. The trip to Baguio over the famed Benguet Road, which makes its tortuous way through a wild , mountainous district, through gorges and chasms and by rushing torrents and streams, into the very heart of the great hills and mountains of northern Luzon, is one of the most picturesque of the world.
Taal Volcano. A trip to the famed volcano of Taal is one that should not be missed by the visitor to the "pearl of the Orient." It is situated only a few hours ride away from Manila and one can journy there and back, spending the night at the foot of the crater, in about twenty- four hours.
Laguna de Bay.--A trp to the great inland sea from which the Pasig River winds its way to the sea is one of much pleasure to the tourist.
The broud Laguna de bay has on its shores many beautiful spots and places of much interest to the traveller. The hot springs at Los Baños, a town sleeping peacefully at the foot of a cloud-kissed mountain, is famous for the mineral and curative properties of its waters. A government sanitarium and a good hotel are the principal buildings of the place.
At Pagsanjan, the head of lake navigation, the beautiful gorge of the same name is a feature that should not be missed. The trip through is rushing watersby small native banca is more exciting than any of the famed roller coasters or other exciting thrillers at Coney Island. The trip to the lake country may be made by train or launch service.
The Southern Islands.-- To the person who has time and to spare, the trip trough the southern islands is one that offers inducements that will well repay the taken. It is in the truest sense of the word an island sea trip, and the hundreds of islands dotting the tropic sea form a constantly changing panorama of endless, moving sceneryupon which one never gets tired gazing. The trip is best taken by the steamers of the Compañia Tabacalera and Ynchausti and Company which leave Manila on regular schedules. The most important cities of the southern islands are Cebu, Iloilo,and Zamboanga, but stops are made in smaller ports. One of the interesting spots is of course in the land of the Moros where the Sultan of Sulu--who, rumor had it, desired to be a son -in -law of the strenuous Teddy--holds sway.
One of the most inspiring sights to be seen on the trip is the Mayon Volcano in Albay Province, Southern Luzon. Mayon is pronounced by geologists the most perfect cone in the world.
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