HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 28-29 no. 1-2 (1984)

Amor Patrio in the Philippines Insurgent Records

William Henry Scott

Discipline: History



When the armed forces of the United States of America invaded this archipelago and destroyed the first Philippine Republic, they seized one of the most unusual prizes in military history - almost three tons of documents taken from surrendering forces, looted from public buildings, or removed from the bodies of dead Filipinos. This priceless hoard has shipped to Washington, D.C., where it was labeled "Philippine Insurrection Records" to disinfect any telltale odor of imperialism clinging to it. A half century later, when the goals of imperialism had long since been attained and the national conscience assuaged, they were returned to their rightful owners and placed in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the National Library in 1958. Since their restoration, careful scholars have referred to them as the "Philippine Revolutionary Records" - or PRR - though in fact, the bulk of them pertain neither to revolution nor insurrection, but to a war of self defense against foreign aggression. In any case, the staff and catalogue of the National Library still refer to them as the Philippine Insurgent Records - PIR. But under either name, they constitute one of the most concentrated displays of amor patrio - love of country – in the world today.