Emptiness instantly embrace me the moment I entered the premises of Diplomat Hotel. It is an abandoned building but it felt like there is something living within its bare and stained walls interior.
The sound of flowing water from its two massive fountain is a soothing music to my weary soul but it sounded like a chorus of pain, agony, hopelessness and despair.
Upon entering the imposing baroque facade of one of the spookiest building in Baguio City, an unexplainable sadness grip my heart. I should be happy considering that I’m too excited to finally be able to visit this place which I always try to avoid to include in the itinerary when I’m traveling to Baguio together with my son.
Or, I should even be scared and bolt out the door because this is one of the most haunted place in the City of Pines and lots of scary stories is connected to this building. Many believe that ghost and bad spirits calls this building as their home.
I’m not a ghost hunter or a paranormal expert but visiting Diplomat Hotel is one of a kind of adventure. I wasn’t scared but this does not mean that there are no ghost here. If there is, they only want you to feel their miseries and want you to offer a prayer for their soul.
The story of this building goes all the way back to 1911 when the members of Dominican Order made plans for the construction of a vacation house in Baguio. Construction is said to have started in 1913 an the top of a 17-hectare hill property, later to be known as Dominican Hill. The construction was supervised by Fr. Roque Ruaño, the same architect who also design the main building of University of Santo Tomas. It was then inaugurated in May 1915. A month later, the order set up a seminary named Colegio del Santissimo Rosario mainly to take advantage of tax exemptions. Two years later, the school closed due to small enrolment and the building was then reverted as a retreat house.
During World War II, the building was used as a refuge for those who flee the war. It was then invaded by the Japanese Imperial Army and they used it as their headquarter. During the liberation of the Philippines in April 1945, the American forces bombed the place and partially hit the right wing of the building. Right after the war, the building underwent reconstruction and was completed in 1947.
In 1973, Diplomat Hotel acquired the property and was converted into a 33 bedroom hotel. The new owner decided to retain its original features because of its historical value.
The hotel was then managed by Tony Agpao, a faith healer from Baguio City and was famous for his psychic surgery in the 1980’s. Most of his clients are foreigner and so they stayed at the hotel during their healing session. The hotel was operational until 1987.
WHY IT IS HAUNTED?
At the height of Diplomat Hotel’s operation, accounts of scary stories was reported by hotel employees and guest.
When it was abandoned after the death of Agpao and the property has been deemed off-limits to public, haunting sounds never ceased to scare passers-by and neighboring houses. Some said that they heared banging doors and windows, that could be the ghost of those who were trap when the hotel caught fire. Voices of screaming people who seem to be in agony, that could be the ghost of those who saught refuge in the building and was executed when the Japanese army invaded the place during World War II. Some witnesses also report of the famed ‘headless priest‘ that has been roaming around the compound at the midle of the night, that could be the ghost of the priests and nuns who were beheaded. Some accounts also told stories of babies crying, that could be the ghost of babies that was slaugthered in the fountains.
Whatever they are, they don’t meant to scare away people. I think they only want a simple prayer to be offered for their soul.
If you want to visit this haunted building, you’ll not only experience an scary adventure but you will also be rewarded a panoramic view of Baguio City.
Desk Warrior Adventurer: Lawrence Corpuz
Renz is a full time graphic artist, part-time adventurer, novice blogger, and an amateur photographer. He is everything but tourist when he is traveling away from home.