The ghosts of Diplomat Hotel Baguio City

Dominican hill Baguio City is famous for two things, the giant Ten commandments tablet that broke the Guinness world of records and the haunted Diplomat Hotel.If ghosts, spirits, being that exist in another plane of existence and the paranormal tickles your fancy and you have a chance to go to Baguio City, then this place is definitely for you ! The place is so famously haunted that it is very well known to be one of the most haunted place in the Philippines and is even named to the top ten list of the most scariest places and hotels in the world by some bloggers.

So why is this place haunted ? Who are the ghosts that are said to lurk the nook and cranny of this eerie, bleak and abandoned building ?  What do they want ? To find out, let us try to look at the history of the place.

The year was 1911. The order of the Dominicans in the Philippines constructed a vacation house in their 17 hectare property in Baguio City which they acquired from previous American owners. Construction was said to have started in 1913and the building inaugurated in May 1915. The next month a school called the Collegio Del Santissimo Rosario opened in 1915. Two years later however the school closed down because of few enrollees. The building was reverted back to a vacation house.

When the Japanese invaded the Philippines during the second world war they bombed the building as it was used as a shelter for those fleeing from the Japanese forces. Damaged was caused to the building. Repair works started in 1947 and was completed after a year.

In 1973, Diplomat Hotels acquired ownership of the property and converted it into a 33 bedroom hotel. Perhaps because of the unique history of the place, the hotel decided to preserve the original structure as originally built by the Dominicans. The manager of the hotel was Tony Agpaoa, a faith healer. Most of his guest are said to be sickly foreigners from Europe who were his patients. During the time that the hotel was still operational it is said that the employees and hotel guest frequently hear strange eerie sounds. Old folks say a lot of nuns and priest lost their lives in this hotel, some of them were beheaded by the Japanese. This is probably why headless ghost with their heads on the platter are said to constantly roam the hallways.

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Some fourteen years later, Tony died of a heart attack and the hotel was closed to the public.

For some time the hotel remained unoccupied and the building started to become dilapidated. Nearby residents claim that they oftentimes hear screams, cries. shrieks and other agonizing sounds.The clattering of dishes, banging of doors and windows and other eerie sounds can also be heard. People say that these are the ghost of the dead priest, nuns and refugees during World War II and that the ghost of Tony Agpaoa and that of his patients and other hotel guests haunts the place.

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Espirtistas and other so called experts in the paranormal have visited Diplomat hotel. They are in consensus that the place is indeed haunted and that spirits of the place have not found their rest. A well known Espiritista was said to have been “possessed” in front of T.V cameras. After several minutes of acting very weirdly (she seemed to be a different person), she says she does not recall the things that she just said or did.

I’ve been told of scary stories when I was a child, and I have to admit that from time to time I do get scared and had in some instances got that weird feeling that makes my hair at the back stand.

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But honestly I have never seen a ghost. (I hope I won’t see one) I’m not saying they don’t exist and we can debate this all night long.

The belief in “ghosts” is a “cultural universal.” In anthropological circles, this term is used to describe an “element, pattern, trait or institution that is common to all human cultures worldwide”.

Different cultures and religions all over the world have different concepts and beliefs when it comes to “ghosts.” Its as varied and colorful as the different cultures and traditions all over the world.
Traditional beliefs say, and this is common in a lot of places in the world as this is often found among animistic, ancestor worshipping, pre-literate folk religions that “ghost” are the souls of people. Some souls cannot “rest” because they have died unjustly and that they haunt the living in order that they might find the justice that they are seeking. Some ghost are said to be vengeful spirits or merely envious of those that are living. Others ghost are said to be souls of people imprisoned on earth because of the bad things that they did when they were still alive.

Within Judaeo-Christianity, it is believed that the souls of people who have died may roam the earth for several days. (and there are a lot of variations with regards to this belief) But they will all eventually go to into a different world. (Among Christians it is either heaven or hell) Most “Ghost” are therefore not the souls of people but are either a result of superstitious belief and ignorance. Among Christians, the belief is that demons sometimes take the form of people who have died and these are the “ghost” that sometimes haunt the living and deceive some people into thinking that they are the souls of people.

Muslims believe that the belief in “ghost” borne out of ignorance and superstition and that Islam came to liberate the mind from superstition and error. (There is however a creature they call as “Jinns” who come from a universe beyond our own. Ghost for them are probably Jinns) Buddhist on the other hand believe in different planes of existence. Persons are reborn into these planes of existence depending on the deeds that they have done on a previous plane of existence. A person may be born into the realm of the “Preta” translated into English as “Hungry ghost.” This plane of existence is where a person undergoes more than human suffering particularly an extreme degree of hunger and thirst. The concept of “Preta” can be found in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism as well.

The non-religious often resort to science and believe, that there is always a “logical” explanation. So far the scientific community’s stand on the matter is that there is no credible scientific evidence on ghost and that anything attributed to ghost may either be a result of optical illusion, hallucinations, natural phenomenon, anything bio-chemical that may have an effect in altering human perception and believe it or not even changes in geomagnetic fields and solar activity has been blamed to cause stimulation in the brain making people believe that they are seeing ghosts.

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So are ghost and other ghastly apparitions at the Diplomat hotel Baguio City the souls of those who have died in the place ? Are they demons masking as people or people born into the “hungry” ghost plane of existence ? Or are they merely illusions and hallucinations ? No one knows and part of the mystery is the fact that despite advances made by science what we call as “ghosts” still can’t be explained.

I have to admit though that as I am writing this article, I felt a cold chill run down my spine. A cool chilly breeze ran over my back. The ghosts of Diplomat hotel is probably here now to haunt me.

How to get there:

1.) By Taxi – This is the easiest and most convenient way to get there. What I did was that I paid a taxi driver for P300.00 per hour to take me to sites in Baguio City. This was part of the “tour.” P300.00 per hour is the standard rate among Baguio taxis.

2.) By Jeepney  – For excellent instructions on how to get to Diplomat hotel from a terminal near Burnham park click here.

Diplomat hotel location map:

Sources:

Cultural Universal, Retrieved November 1, 2014, Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_universal

Dominican hill, Retrieved November 1, 2014, Retrieved from http://www.cityofpines.com/dominicanhill.html

Esperitista Sinapian umano sa Diplomat Hotel, Retrieved November 1, 2014, Retrieved from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/video/lifestyle/classified-odd/10/20/14/espiritista-sinapian-umano-sa-diplomat-hotel

Ghost, Retrieved November 1, 2014, Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost

Jinn, Retrieved November 1, 2014, Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinn

Preta, Retreived November 1, 2014, Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preta

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Category: Asia, Baguio, Luzon, Philippines
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