A little-known source for writing the history of the Philippine revolution is the voluminous collection of documents and other materials gathered by the Cuerpo de Vigilancia de Manila, the intelligence service created by the Spanish colonial state in 1895. This article discusses its acquisition by the Philippine government in 1997. In utilizing some of the collection’s contents, this article demonstrates its utility for enriching knowledge about the Katipunan, such as its founding, its clandestine operations, and the members’ socioeconomic background. This article also shows how documents in this collection illumine the social history of ordinary people during the revolutionary period.
Keywords: intelligence reports • colonial archives • Philippine revolution • Katipunan • Andrés Bonifacio • anting-anting