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Sailing Back to Manila via Los Baños





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Later we descended again to the bold coast-line of the Laguna de Bay and, to the accompaniment of banging guns, which showed that some of the rest of our party were really on the war-path, returned launch ward. The hunting-expedition came in soon after with large bags of snipe and pigeon, and all hands then joined in a series of dives off the stern of our boat, or soused around in the tepid water, The group of savages living in the huts near by were much startled at our taking plunges headlong. They themselves never dive otherwise than feet first, for it is common superstition among the Filipinos that the evil water-spirits would catch them by the head and hold them under if this article came along before the feet put in an appearance.

At noontime our native cooks did themselves proud in getting up a game breakfast, and in the afternoon the launch backed off and steamed across the narrow bay to Los Baños itself, a little town clustering around some boiling springs whose vapor over a good hotel and some elaborate bathing-establishments. This seems to be a rather favorite resort for the Spanish population of Manila at certain times of the year, and once or twice a week the old side-wheeler Laguna de Bay stops here on her way up from the capital to Santa Cruz.

Behind the town the land slopes steeply up to the mountain heights of still another extinct volcano, whose ghost exist merely to give life to the hot waters of the springs below. In front it runs off to the lake shore, and, all and all, the scenery is as picturesque as the air is healthy. From Los Baños we crossed the lake, cruised down along the abrupt mountainous shores between the two fine old promontories of Halla Halla, that jut out like a prongs to a W, and stopped every now and then at some particularly attractive little native village coming down to the water's edge. At about sundown on Monday afternoon, the prow was turned Manilaward, and after a cool sunset sail of twenty miles we drew in at the portico of the uptown club, all the better for our two day's trip, which cost us each but a little over five gold dollars.


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