1899-1900 United States. Philppine commission.

Report of the Philippine commission to the President, January 31, 1900-[December 20, 1900] (Volume 3) online

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poisonous, in which case a little piece is eaten and immediate!} 7 fol-
lowed by a drink of cold water, the poison thus being expelled. So,


too, taking it in this manner it cures disturbances of the stomach or
intestines. It is likewise useful for paralytics and for women during
parturition. Grated or in the form of powder it is much used as
styptic. Grated and given with water at the beginning of the chilly
stage will often prevent an attack of malarial fever. It is also useful
for the bite of the caterpillar called basut, when applied as a powder
over the affected place. It is used also as an emetic. Held in the
mouth and sucked it is useful for rheumatism. So, too, it relieves
indigestion. The oil remaining after pieces of this seed have been
fried is useful for contractions of the nerves and pains in the body.

There are many other medicinal plants in the Philippines, as may
be seen by consulting the General History by P. Juan J. Delgado, 8. J.,
published in Manila in 1892, and others.



Philippine fruit trees in general do not produce such exquisite and
highly-prized fruits as do those of Europe. As both wild fruit trees
and cultivated ones are very abundant, only the best-known ones will
be spoken of; some mention will be made of their probable origin,
arranging them according to the families to which they belong.


Among the Philippine species of this family is the mango (Man-
gifera indica Linn.), which is believed to come from Macao, and which
grows well in the provinces of Manila and Cavite, and also in the Vis-
ayas. The fruit season begins in April. The fruit has a delicate
flavor and an aromatic odor, the largest of them being from 6 to 7
inches in length; in shape they are flattened, not round; the skin is
yellow and rather fine; the pit, which lies in the center of the fruit, is
almost as long as the fruit itself, but very narrow. The plant springs
from this seed. The leaves are long and wide and dark green in color;
an infusion of these is somewhat similar to tea. Besides this species
the following are found: Manga de anis (Mangifera fragans Maingay)
and mani (M. cosia Jack), which is found in Mindanao, of Asiatic
origin; casuy (Anacardium ocddentale L.), of American origin; siruelas
(Spondias purpurea L.), from southern Asia; albudhod (Spondias
mangifera Wild), found in Panay, also of Asiatic origin.

The manipon on pajomanga (Mangifera altissima Blanco). This
fruit is very similar to the mango, and when ripe is quite delicious.
It is frequently preserved in brine in the form of pickles, and is very
healthful; it is likewise made into sweetmeats and preserves. There
are other small varieties of this kind about the size of an olive, which
are used in making pickles and preserves.


Among this family is found the anona (Anona reticulata L.). It is
an exotic from Mexico, its flesh being white and containing small,
black pits. It is sweet and f ragrant.


The fruit is juicy and aromatic, very sweet, and so soft that it seems
to melt in the mouth; it is somewhat peppery. Another species found
is Guanabano (Anona muricata). All three species come from America.


But one species of this family is indigenous to the Philippine Archi-
pelago, the mabalo (Diospyros discolor Wild), whose reddish fruit,



about the size of a quince, contains a large seed; the flesh is white and
sweet, but somewhat indigestible and has a rather strong odor. The
sapote (Diospyros ebenaster Retz.) and the pagapat (Diospyros Jcaki L.)
are natives of China.


Of the American family there are two species, the balimbing (Aver-
rhora carambola L.), which has the flavor of a quince, and the camias
(Averrhora bilimbi L.), whose fruit when green has an agreeable, sour
taste, but when ripe is sweet and fragrant.


Of this family the mangosteen (Gardnia mangostana L.) is found.
It is an exotic, and grows only in Jolo and some points in the district
of Zamboanga and Catabato. It is called there the " king's fruit,"
because it is so highly prized by the Moro sultans. It is dark red or
purple in color and about the size of an orange. The edible and juicy
parts of the fruit form small white divisions, very soft, which are
found in the interior; they are covered with a double skin, reddish in
color, and which must be removed before the fruit is eaten. The
fruit is sweet and very delicate in flavor. Its origin is the Indian

In this family is found the lanzon or boboa (Lansium domesticum
Jack). The tree is beautiful in appearance and gives a cool shade;
the leaves are a beautiful clear green; the skin of the fruit is a clear
yellow, thin and fine; within it are contained five divisions, as in the
lemon, but the flesh is crystalline white, almost transparent, sweetish
sour, quite delicate, and very refreshing. Each fruit contains a pit,
which is the seed from which the tree grows; it is more bitter than
gall, but is not injurious, on the contrary it is something of a carmin-
ative. One may eat a hundred of these fruits without difficulty and
without danger, for they are healthful and excellent for those who
suffer from heat. Their origin is the Malay Archipelago.

Santol (Sandori&im indicum, Cav.) is a large tree having leaves 6 or
7 inches long. The fruit is bitter sweet in taste; it is used principally
for preserves and pickles. Its origin is southern Asia.


Macupa (Eugenia malaccensis L.) is a fruit about the size of a sweet
pepper and of somewhat the same shape, rather larger and quite red
in color; it is, however, more lustrous, being almost resplendent. It is
bitter-sweet in taste, somewhat agreeable, but has no solid flesh which
can be eaten.

Tarn pay (Eugenia janibos L.): This fruit is about the size of a small
apple, the flesh being soft, sweet, and having an odor like roses.

Duhat or limboy (Eugenia jambolona L.): This produces a wild
fruit, dark purple to black in color, about the size of an olive. It is
likewise a native of the Malay Archipelago.

Guayabo (Psidium guayaha L.): This exotic plant comes from
Mexico, but grows so well here that entire forests of it may be found.
There are three principal varieties. The fruit is yellowish in color and


very aromatic, as are likewise the leaves. The interior of the fruit is
filled with little, hard seeds or pits, which are embedded in the flesh.
It is a carminitive, and its astringent properties make it an excellent
preserve. With simple sirup it is much used.


The banana is the most important of this family. In the Philippines
there is a large number of species, varying greatly in their form and
taste. The trunk of the banana tree is not solid, but soft and full of
minute little tubes or aqueducts, which serve to conduct the sap which
sustains and matures the plant within the short space of one year.
Shortly after the fruit ripens the plant begins to decline and the leaves
dry up and fall. The fruit grows in bunches of various shapes, accord-
ing to the particular species. Important varieties are the saba (Mn.^i
sapien&um L.), which is delicious and healthful when ripe; the hanipa,
sweeter than the saba, and which is cultivated principally in Samar
and Leyte; the tambonan, a very common and healthful species; the
camada, very large; the binalatong, larger, more delicate, and more
fragrant than the preceding; the tarip; the bungaran, rather indigesti-
ble; the putian; the torlangdato, called in Spanish "the lady finger;"
the pitbitin, a small, sweet, and rich variety; the dariao, a good variety;
the mungco, the talood, the tinumbaga, the dariyas, and others.
P. Delgado enumerates and describes 57 varieties, as .may be seen in
his history.


Of this family there is but one Philippine species worthy of mention,
the papaya (Carica papaya L.). ' There are two sexes, the male and
female. The male does not produce fruit, only some tubes filled with
small white aromatic flowers; the female produces fruit. The tree is
soft and yellow, looks somewhat like a palm, and has large, broad
leaves; the fruit somewhat resembles a small quash in appearance.
When it ripens, the skin changes from green to a reddish color, as does
the flesh also. The fruit contains a number of seeds somewhat similar
to squash seeds; it is sweet, refreshing, delicate, and pleasant to the
taste. The tree is indigenous to America.

Of this family various oranges and lemons are found. Oranges of
various indigenous species are found. The principal one is the cajel
(Citrus aurantium var.). Another variety is the naranjitas (Citi'K
aurantiurri). There are several wild species, one of which is called
"amumimtay" (Citrus hystrix DC.). They are very large, being 1:2
or 13 inches in circumference, have a thick skin, are very juicy and

There are more than seven varieties of lemons. The citron, which
is very large, is also found in abundance.


The chico sapote (Achras sapota L.) and the chico mamey (Lucuma
mamosa Gaert.) belong to this family. The fruit is about the size of an
orange, green on the outside and black on the inside. It is sweet and
agreeable and makes excellent preserves. It is a native of Mexico.



Belonging to this family is the nangca or langca (Artoccurpus integ-
rifolia Willd.). It has been claimed that the fruit of this tree is the
largest found in the world, as some of them are as large as a good-
sized water jar. The tree is large and thickly branched; the leaves
are long and narrow. The fruit is produced alike from the branches
and from the main trunk of the tree quite close to the ground, and
even from the roots, this last being especially true when the ground
is somewhat elevated. The ripening fruit is recognized by its aro-
matic and penetrating odor; the fruit is then cut. When opened along
the middle it shows a large amount of yellowish or whitish meat, which
is not edible, and a number of shells of a golden color each containing
a seed. It resembles in sweetness the date, but it possesses an odor
like musk. It is somewhat indigestible, but is quite nourishing.
The seeds when boiled or baked somewhat resemble the chestnut. The
wood of the tree is yellow, solid, durable, and very serviceable for
working. It is a native of the Malay Archipelago. Other species
are tigs (Fieus carica L.), from western Asia; the rima (Artocarpus
incisa L.), from the Malay Archipelago; the dalanguian camansi (A.
camansi Bl.), an indigenous plant, and the marang (A. polyphema
Pers.), of Mindanao.


There is a large number of wild species of fruits found in the Philip-
pines. They are in general sour, sweet, and somewhat carminitive.
Among these may be mentioned the doctoyan, the pananquian, the
durion, the abuli, amahit, angiap, amaga, agononan, abubunanu, alnga-
nisan, dae amamampang, bonano, barobo or marobo, cabaan, carong,
cagos, gayan, dalinson, etc., which are described by P. Delgado.



There are various trees in the Philippines from which these essences
or essential oils may be extracted, but the only ones utilized are the
ilang-ilang (Cananga odorata Hook); sampaguita (Jasininum x<ii,tl>,t<-
L.); champaca (Michelia champaca, L.).

Ilang-ilang (Cananga odorata Hook, Unona odoratissima Bl.). This
tree, belonging to the f amity Anonaceae, produces ordinary look-
ing flowers of a greenish color, but of great fragrance. The tree is
utilized as a shade tree, and from its flowers, especially those of the
mountain trees, a highly valued essence is extracted by distillation.
This essence, called "ilang-ilang," has been popularized by the Parisian
perfumers. This essence is exported in small quantities to France,
England, Singapore, and China.

Sampaguita (Jasininum sambac L.). Sampaguita is a plant belong-
ing to the family Oleaceas. From the white fragrant flowers a highly
prized essence is extracted by distillation by perfumers.

Champaca (Michelia champaca L.). The champaca belongs to the
family MagnoliaceaB, and is a tree about 4 meters in height, conical
in shape. The flowers are very fragrant, and about an inch in length.
It is much cultivated in gardens, but is not found in the mountains.
By distillation a well-known essence is extracted from the flowers.

In the Philippines there is a large number of trees which produce
resin. Some of these are used in medicine, some for illuminating
purposes, others in the manufacture of varnishes, others in painting,
and others for calking ships. The principal ones will be indicated by

Araliacece. The limolimo (Heptapleurum, caudatum Vid.) furnishes
a resin used in the making of varnishes.

BurseraccB (Abilo) (Go/ruga ftonbunda Decne.) produces a resin used
in medicine. The antong or brea negra (Canariumpiinela Kom) pro-
duces a resin used for illumination. The pili or brea blanca ( Can<in<nn
album Bl.) produces a resin which is used for illuminating purposes
and for calking ships. The papsaingin ( Canarium owning ii Engl.)
produces a resin used for the same purposes.

Coniferce. The galagala or piayo (Agathis orantifolia Salisb.) pro-
duces a resin which is used for burning, for lighting, and for the
manufacture of varnishes.

DipterocarpacecB. The apitong (Dipterocarpus grandiflwus Bl.) pro-
duces a resin used for illumination. Balao or malapaho (Dipterocarpus
vdutinus Bl.) produces a resin used for calking. The mayapas
(Dipterocarpus twrbinatus Gaert.) produces a resin similar to the pre-


ceding one, which is used for the same purposes. The duagling
(Dipterocarmis sp.) produces a resin useful for illuminating purposes.
The guijo (SJiorea guiso Bluiiie) produces a resin used for the same
purposes as the preceding; as does the j^acal (Hopea plagata Vid.).
The resin from the lauaan (Anisopeterathurifera Bl.) is used for burn-
ing, for the manufacture of varnishes, and for calking. The resin
from the malaanonang (Dipterocarpus sp.) is used for calking. A
resin used in medicine is obtained from the mayapis (Dipterocarpus
turbinatus Gaert.), and one useful for lighting purposes is obtained
from the paua (Dipterocarpus vermicifluus Bl.).

np/ioroiacece.^ThQ resin from the alipata (Exccecaria agallocha L.)
is used as a remedy for the bites of poisonous animals; taken internally
it produces dysentery.

A medicinal resin is obtained from the birunga (Macaranga tanarius
Muell-Arg.). The resin from the togocam (Claoxylon wallichianum,
Muell-Arg.) is used for illuminating purposes and as a medicine.

Guttifera. The binucao (Garcima sp.) produces a resin used in

LeguminoscK. The adyangao (Albizzia procera Benth) produces a
resin used as incense. A resin having medicinal properties is obtained
from the caturay (Sesbania grandiflora Pens.). A resin useful for
illuminating purposes is obtained from the cupang (Parkia roxburghii
G. Don.). Another resin used for the same purpose is obtained from
the cogontoco (Albizzia saponaria Blume).

Melastomacece.A. resin used for illuminating purposes and for
calking ships is obtained from the bota-bota (melastoma obvolutum

Rutaceaz. A resin used for illuminating purposes is obtained from
the cajel (Citrus aurantium L.), orange tree.

Sapindacece. The balinghasay (Buchanania -florida Schau.) is used
for illuminating purposes and for calking ships. An illuminating
resin is obtained from the ligas (Semecarpus perrottetii March.).

UrticacecB. A resin from the breadfruit or antipole (Artocarpus
mincisa L.) is used as a medicine and as a bird lime for catching birds.
The resin from the ambling (Artocarpus ovata Bl.) is used for making
varnish. The resin from the camansi (Artocarpus camansi Bl. ) is used
as a medicine and as a drier. Nangca (A. integrifolia Linn, f.) pro-
duces a resin used for illuminating purposes.


In the Philippines the name of almacigas is given to most of the yel-
lowish and aromatic resins. The most valuable ones are found in the
Calarnianes, while others are found in Mindanao, especially in Davao
and in Ilocos.


The principal trees which produce gum resins useful in medicine,
painting, or the arts are:

Anacardiacece, the casay or balubad (Anarcadium occidentale L.),
which produces a gum resin used in the manufacture of varnish.

Apocynece, the dita (Alstonia scholaris R. Br.), which produces a
medicinal gum resin, as do those of the species Laniti (Wrightia).

EupJioroiacem. Medicinal resins are obtained from the bigabing
(Macaranga mappa Mull. Arg.) and from the buta (Excmcaria sp.).

p c VOL 301 29


G itttiferw. The palomaria or bitao (Calophyllum sp.), the bitanhol
(CalopfvyUum wallichiana Planch.), the gutagaby or tanglananac (Gar-
cinia morella Derr.), and the gatasan-pula (Garcinia venulosa Choisy)
produce gum resins used in medicine.

Legumiiwsaz. Two gum resins used in medicines are derived from
thearomo (Acacia farnesiana Willd.) and the narra encarnada (Ptero-
carpus indicus Willd).

Myristicacece. Medicinal resin is obtained from the dugoan (Myris-
tica sp.).

PalmcK. The bonga (Areca catechu L.) produces a resin used in

Rutacceceae. The lucban or naranjo (Cit?*us dccumana ~M.urr.) pro-
duces a gum resin likewise used in medicine.

Urticacece.- The balete (Ficus indicaBL) and the banyan tree (Ficus
sp.) produce gum resins used in medicine.

Sapotacece. The notac (Palaquium sp.) produces a gum resin used
as a glue and for other industrial purposes.


Gutta-percha is found in considerable quantity in Mindanao, and is
produced from the trunk and branches of several trees, from those of
the genera Ficus and Palaquium. This tree is called by the Visayans
solonot. In collecting this it is not best to follow the plan used by the
natives of cutting down the tree; large trees only should be selected,
and these should be tapped. Beneath this incision on the bark or the
trunk a bombon or large tube of bamboo is placed to collect the sup-
ply. This product is then placed in a batea, or dish, where it is macer-
ated with salt water, the dish being at the same time shaken. In this
way the gutta-percha soon becomes solid; the water is then poured off
and the gutta-percha is formed, while still plastic, into a plate or disk,
but through the edge of which a hole is made, suspending it, and thus
exposing it to the air, so that it may dry perfectly. This method pro-
duces gutta-percha of rather inferior quality.

A few years ago a considerable quantity of gutta-percha was exported
to England, but on account of the many adulterations made by the
Chinese merchants but little is now exported.


Many plants produce a certain amount of an oily material somewhat
similar to beeswax. It is found sometimes as a deposit on the surface
of leaves, fruit, or on the bark. This material is not of the same
quality in all vegetables, although it has not been well studied. It is
obtained from the palm (Ceroxylon andicola) and from the Myrica
cerifera. It is found in the Philippines, in the Calamianes, in Paragua,
and in some other parts. It is obtained from the trees by scraping
the bark.





The magnificent forests of the Philippine Archipelago constitute a
source of great natural wealth, which is as yet almost undeveloped.
They yield woods valuable for a great variety of purposes, and many
of these woods are to be had at present in very great abundance. Cer-
tain of them are unexcelled for sea piling and shipbuilding, not only
because of their great strength, but on account of the fact that they
are proof against the attacks of the sea worm (Teredo navalis). Others
are particularly adapted to house construction in climates where humid
atmosphere and intensely hot sun subject them to the severest tests.
There are woods suitable for boat building, carriage building, and box
making, and, finally, there are a considerable number of heavy, hard,
tine-grained, and beautifully colored woods, which are admirable for
cabinetmaking, and would make beautiful floors and inside finishings
for the houses of those who could afford to pay for them.

No systematic effort has ever been made looking to the exploitation
of these woods, nor have they ever been carefully studied. The lum-
ber used for local purposes in the archipelago is almost entirely hewn
out or sawed by hand. So far as we are aware, there are at present
but two steam sawmills in the Philippines. This is the more remark-
able when one remembers that the local demand for lumber is steady
and good, while China affords an excellent market for many of the
better known woods.

An explanation of this singular state of affairs may be found by
taking into account the conditions which have existed in the past. It
was formerly a tremendous undertaking to get machinery through the
custom-house at Manila. The Spanish Government, more or less, sys-
tematically interfered with the commercial development of the archi-
pelago in this and other ways, and was especially hostile to all enterprises
backed by foreign capital. While it was easy under the old laws to
obtain a license to cut timber on government land in one or more prov-
inces, one could not ship it after it was cut until it had been surveyed
by a government official and a tax paid upon it at so much per cubic
foot, the rate varying for the different classes of woods.

It was, of course, easy for the government officials to fail to send an
inspector until lumber rotted where it lay, and in this and other ways
it was easy for the government to control not only the amount of tim-
ber cut but the places for cutting it. In the early days of the Philip-
pine lumber trade the government seized an entire ship's cargo of very
valuable wood upon a flimsy pretext, and this occurrence, as well as
the other facts above mentioned, served to make capitalists shy of
investing heavily in what seemed a rather precarious enterprise.

Heavy investment was necessary to the successful carrying on of a
lumber business. It often happened that wood cutters were not to be
found near the best forests and had to be brought from a distance.



This necessitated the making of cash advances to them in order that
they might leave money behind for the support of those dependent on
them. After houses had been erected so that they could live with their
families, their improvident nature still rendered it necessary to make
them constant advances against their future earnings, the sums
invested in this way were often considerable, and a heavy percentage
of loss had to be allowed for, as it was impracticable under the old
judicial system to compel laborers to fulfill their contracts.

It can not be doubted that under changed conditions and reasonable
laws the lumber business in the Philippines will rapidly attain to
greatly increased importance, while ebonj^ and others of the very hard
and beautiful woods will be placed upon the European and American
markets. The labor problem will continue serious, for the present at
least, unless Chinese are employed. The natives are wedded to their
old customs and will insist oh the usual advances, but as it is cus-
tomary to pay them by measure for timber cut and delivered at some
point previously agreed upon a lack of industry on their part does
not necessarily result in financial loss to their employers. Lack of
suitable means for land transportation will continue more or less of an
obstacle for some time to come, and it will at first be necessary to
confine operations to forests situated moderately near the sea or the
larger fresh-water streams.

The most extensive forests are to be found in Mindanao, Basilan,
Tawi Tawi, Balabac, Palawan, and Mindoro. There are also very large
areas in Luzon where no cutting has ever been done. In Samar,
Masbate, and parts of Panay there are still considerable quantities of
valuable timber. This is also true of Biliran, Tablas, Sibuyan, and
many others of the smaller islands.

The forest lands are, for the most pail, the property of the Govern-
ment. On account of their great value, suitable means should be

Online Library1899-1900 United States. Philppine commissionReport of the Philippine commission to the President, January 31, 1900-[December 20, 1900] (Volume 3) → online text (page 29 of 46)