Located at the top of the Dominican Hill in Baguio, The Old Diplomat Hotel is one of the most sought up places to go to for thrill-seekers (and ghostbusters, maybe?). Just like every building ever built, horror stories have been circulating around this place. And this is legit for all I know from all the blogs I’ve read and research I’ve had in making our itinerary.
Designed by Fr. Roque Ruaño, O.P. who was known after he drew up plans for University of Santo Tomas (UST) Main Building, the first earthquake-shock resistant building in Asia, the vacation house for the Dominicans was built from 1913-1915 and was inaugurated at 1915. It was turned into a school and named as Colegio Del Santissimo Rosario from 1915-1918. The school was shut down due to lack of enrollees.
The building also served as shelter to families and Dominican Priests during the World War II from 1942-1945. Later the Japanese forces bombed the refugees out which resulted in extensive damages to the main structure and the surrounding area. It was then used by the Japanese as a fortress in 1945 and bombed by American soldiers on April 1945. The place was fixed a couple years later.
Diplomat Hotels, Inc. acquired ownership of the property in 1973 and remodeled thoroughly the interior into a 33-bedroom hotel but still retaining the unique and distinct personality which was earlier established by the Dominican friars. Even the large white cross on top of the building was retained. The hotel was managed by Tony Agpaoa, a Baguio-based entrepreneur and faith healer whose guests were mostly his patients from Europe. Diplomat Hotel ceased operations with the death of Agpaoa of a heart attack in 1987 and has since been closed to the public.
…until now. The Old Diplomat Hotel is open again to the public but unfortunately for me the 2nd floor is closed. No entrance fee is required so for all I care maybe you can come up there at night and seek out those ghosts. Some people who live nearby claim that at times they could hear the banging of doors, windows, clattering of dishes, and voices of people screaming in the middle of the night. Some also say that Dominican Hill is haunted by the ghost of the people who were killed there during the war and the different terminal patients who came to the place for hopes of being healed and have since already died.
Personally, I was hoping one of my photos would have something strange on it. Ha ha! Never found one, though. What creeps me out more is that there is a life-size standup cutouts of a priest and a nun! And the priest’s standup looks like an old photo of someone.