I’ve previously been to Baguio City twice and visited some of the tourist attractions such as Burnham Park, Mines View Park, the Mansion, and so on, but I didn’t have the opportunity to visit the Diplomat Hotel. So, last September, I decided to return to Baguio with the goal of exploring one of the most haunted sites in the Philippines.
Check out my visit to the Laperal White House in Baguio: Travel Guide: The Laperal White House in Baguio, Philippines
The Diplomat Hotel: History
The Dominican Hill Retreat House, also known as the Diplomat Hotel, was built on a hill with a panoramic view of Baguio City in 1913. During the Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945, it served as a safe haven for some Dominican priests and Filipino refugees. The retreat house was invaded by the Japanese secret police, known as the Kempeitai, in 1945. According to other stories, they tortured and beheaded priests, raped and murdered nuns, and ruthlessly massacred refugees, including children.
During the Philippines’ liberation in 1945, Americans bombarded the site, and the remaining Japanese police and troops committed suicide rather than being captured alive.
The corridor on the first floor and the stairs going to the second floor.
The building was renovated in 1945-1947 and was not used for a long period until it was turned into the Diplomat hotel by new owners in 1973. The hotel offers 33 rooms and has retained the majority of the original designs.
It was eventually closed down in 1987 after the manager, Antonio Agapito “Tony” Agpaoa, a faith healer and psychic surgeon, died of a heart attack at the age of 42. The deserted, deteriorating building is infamous for being one of the country’s most haunted places.
Some claim to have seen headless apparitions at night, ghosts of children racing around the fountain area, and to have heard screams, cries, beating on doors, and other strange and desperate noises.
It is now a famous location for ghost hunting, tours, and even prenup photoshoots.
Some rooms on the second floor
The Diplomat Hotel: Talk with the Security
At the foyer, I struck up a conversation with one of the security guards. When asked if he had seen anything strange throughout his shifts.
He said, “Noong una, may mga naririnig akong yapak. Parang mga bata na nagtatakbuhan sa may fountain pero ngayon, wala na. Mukhang nasanay na rin ako.”
English: Before, I could hear footsteps around the fountain area. I thought there were kids running around, but now I don’t. It appears like I’ve become used to it.
The Diplomat Hotel: My Experience
First and foremost, I am not the right person to take with you on ghost tours. If you watch Buzzfeed Unsolved and know Shane Madej – I’m his female counterpart. I’ll even scare you till you wet your pants. I’m a horrible person, I know. 😂
I arrived late at the Diplomat Hotel and began exploring at 4:15 PM. I am not superstitious and do not believe in the paranormal. And it takes a lot to frighten me. But I have to admit that I was a little spooked out; in fact, I started mumbling profanities as I climbed to the second level. In my defense, I was the only person in the building (save for the securities who were are the lobby). The last group of visitors had finished the trip and were about to leave (see the first picture at the top). I asked the cab driver if he wanted to join me, he politely declined (he said I was his last passenger and didn’t want to bring whatever entity was in there back home). In addition, it was mildly raining and the entire area was foggy – Seems like a perfect setting for a horror movie, right?
I went from the lobby to the rooftop. I also went through each room on the second floor and took a break – I was nibbling on Iced Gem Biscuits while I was there. Some of the rooms appeared to be used for storage, while others smelled like urine. Some portions of the building were vandalized, and I noticed a few cigarette butts on the ground as well.
However, once you reach the rooftop, you will be rewarded with an incredible panoramic view of the city.
During my trip, I didn’t experience anything frightening. I didn’t see any headless apparitions, a White Lady, or ghosts (which I wasn’t expecting). After seeing the priest and nun cutouts, I had a mini heart attack.
The Diplomat Hotel: Final Thoughts
When visiting Baguio, I strongly recommend paying a visit to the Diplomat Hotel for thrill-seekers and history buffs. It does have a “creepy” atmosphere, but if you can look beyond it (easier said than done haha), I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Its location was a little out of the way, but it was worth it for the gorgeous view and above-average nostalgic sense you get when walking about the hotel grounds. It’d be wonderful to explore it with friends – moreover, you’ll need someone to shoot your photos, so yeah… Bring your pals with you!
There’s a lovelocks fence behind the building if you’re the hopeless-romantic kind like me. Make sure to bring your own padlock and key.
Please, do not leave garbage or wrappers lying about the area. We need to do a better job of preserving historic buildings like this because there are so few of them left.
How To Get To The Diplomat Hotel
Ride a jeepney by taking the ones with the Dominican-Mirador route. The terminal is at Kayang Street at the Baguio City Public Market. If you’re going to ride a jeepney, it is better to go to Diplomat Hotel first before riding a jeep to Lourdes Grotto.
Would be helpful if you will just hire a taxi to bring you there and take you back to the city as it was a little bit hard to find a jeepney going back. The fare is around 150 PHP.
Do you enjoy exploring haunted places or would you consider visiting one? What are some of your city or country’s most popular haunted locations? Please share it with us in the comments!