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THE PHILIPPINES

AN EX-DUNEDINITE'S LETTER.

The following extracts from a letter written by an old Dunedin boy stationed in the Philippine Islands to a relative here, make interesting reading: "Do you remember the play ' Floradora'? Well, we are just across the way from the spot where the scene is laid. Opposite 110-110 is an island called Gimaras, and in one of its bays is a tiny settlement (two hoases and a kerosene tin) called Sinapsapan, which we can see quite plainly from our back windows. The scenory, of the beach with the palm trees in tfie play is supposed to represent Sinapsapan, and in thj song ' Under the Shade of the* Palms,' in which the nian sings ' Oh, my Dolores, Queen of the Eastern Sea,' Dolores was the beautiful daughter of the old Spanish, or half-caste Spanish TFilipino, pilot, who is still living at Sinapsapan. Whether his daughter. ' the Queen of the Eastern Sea,' is now a great-grandmother, dead, cleared out, or ' doing time' I cannot say.

" What a terrible affair this war is! We are in quite a safe place here, and I think you in New Zealand are also in a perfectly safe place. , I must confess that I am not .satisfied at being out of it all. If my furlough were only due I could huvo the time of my life in Europe. I am not much of a shot, but there would be plenty of ' possibles ' to be made. You know, you do not have to nominate your shot, nor do you have a marker to record tho insult. I might be like the prospective Irish Tommy who fired 'our rounds at target No. 1 and planted four bulls on target No/ 2. On being informed that he was no good, he exclaimed : ' Faith, thin, but look how handy it would be in battle. I moight fire at a private and hit a colonel.' Samo here; I might blaze away at a .square-head and get old Sausage Willy.

"October is th<> month for big typhoons, but we do not feel them much, because the long island of Gimaras, which lies right across their track, acts as a break, leaving us to receive only the back kicks, as it were.

'• The old-style Spanish houses are queer-looking affairs. Ours has been altered somewhat to meet our requirements, but it still remains a funny place., Tho staircase leads slap up into the 'dining room on to the dining table. The upstairs floors slope towards the back of the house, and if you were to put on a pair of roller skates you would go the whole length all on your own. On account of earthquakes, thick trunks of trees have been put in as pillars in the upper rooms. On theso the building rocks. They look like a lot of masts sticking out from the walls. Instead of windows there are six sliding shutters on each window sash running in grooves. They slide into the wall, three on each side" One set is of wooden trellis work,, the squares of which are about 2Jin. Flat, semi-transparent shells are inserted instead of glass."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141026.2.62

Bibliographic details

THE PHILIPPINES, Evening Star, Issue 15633, 26 October 1914

Word Count
523

THE PHILIPPINES Evening Star, Issue 15633, 26 October 1914

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