Friday, April 22, 2011

Dropping by for lunch...

its our last day in Baguio, we had our lunch in Max's Restaurant in SM...fully loaded :-)

Dominican Hill's Diplomat Hotel

On a clear day, they said you could see a whole lot of Baguio from this hill. In the afternoon, one could catch the sun as it descends at this mountain city. But the moment we got there, everything was covered by a thick wall of mist and only the crumbling structure of the Diplomat Hotel stands amidst, one of the famous haunted places in Baguio.

The hill got its name from the Dominican Order who built a vacation house on a 17-hectare property acquired from the previous American owners of the lot. The structure built from 1913 to 1915 was originally a vacation house which was briefly converted to a school to take advantage of tax exemptions. Finding the place was too small for teaching purposes, it was reverted back to a vacation house.

During World War II, refugees sought shelter in these walls but it was bombed by the Japanese damaging the building and killing a number of people. There were also reports that it was used as a sanitarium by the Japanese. A few years after the war, the place was rebuilt.

In 1973, Tony Agpaoa, a Baguio-based faith healer and businessman acquired the place and named it Diplomat Hotel. The interiors were renovated to have 33 rooms in which most would cater to his European clients seeking healing. Unfortunately, Tony passed away of a heart attack in 1987. The hotel ceased operation and has been abandoned ever since.

The hotel is near a residential area and locals have reported hearing screams of agony, banging windows and breaking plates. There were even sightings of “White Lady” in the vicinity since it has been longed uninhabited. Many believed that these paranormal activities were from the people who died during the war.

The hotel ground is open to the public and opens at 6am. From the first look of the 2 story white building, it does exude an air of creepiness. It’s old and decaying and I understand why people would think this place is haunted. But honestly, I never felt anything hostile in the place unlike the Laperal White House.

If there was any spirits here, they have moved on, probably helped by Tony, the faith healer or the weekly prayer gathering in the area. The place for some time now has been known as a“Prayer Hill” since there are weekly gathering and mass being done in the area. The Hill has also become a popular jogging area for nearby residences. There is also home a radio network nearby. Couples, soon to be wed also frequent the area for their pre-nuptial photo shoots.

What remains of the place now is an old building sitting on a scenic hill. There are rumors that a Korean Company is interested in acquiring this place. I personally think the location has potential. Developed properly it could be a major tourist attraction in Baguio.

Food Trip in Pizza Hut

this is just one of the many visits in Pizza Hut :-)