Dominican Hill, Baguio City -Philippines
It was May 18, 2016 when Azalea Hotel management , travel , fashion and lifestyle bloggers conducted a tour this spooktacular place. This place is considered by a lot of residents and people with third eye as one of the spookiest if not the most haunted place in Baguio.
main building – Diplomat hotel ruins
This is my second time to visit the place . This first visit was before was around 2011 . Unfortunately , Most of the photos were lost when our computer unit got infected with virus which destroyed all the valuable photos . The place is a lot cleaner compared the last time we have visited the place .
Some locals would say that it was the location which made the place attracted to negative energy . Some residents also told us that the site might have been used as a burial place during its early days-( however , the author would not have verified if this is true or not) .
Hotel Diplomat side walls
There were also large pine trees which add a certain aura to the haunting experience of the place. The ground have planted bed of annual flowering plants, blooming at this time of the year.
The Dominican Order in the country decided in May 1911 to construct a vacation house on top of what was later called the Dominican Hill. Its good location and mild climate , makes it an ideal school and retreat house in Baguio City.
The total land area is about 17-hectare property that the Dominican acquired from the previous American owners. Construction works was believed to have started in 1913 under Father Roque Ruaño and the building was inaugurated about two years later on May 23 , 1915 . To take advantage of tax exemptions, a school called Collegio del Santissimo Rosario was opened in June 1915 to 1918 . A period of a little over 2 years.
cross on top of the building and surrounding hills
The Dominican building is considered first and grand house or edifice with reinforced concrete cement and had a water collecting devices from its roofs . The building was an example of classic architectural design which illustrates massive fortress and protective like character in response to pirates and marauders. There is a fusion of European church designs, blended local materials and motifs. Architecture style infused the consideration of the geologic condition of the city. This is also the first hotel in the country and even in Asia to have cross atop of gabled main entrance.
history of the place
The building compound was briefly occupied by the Japanese forces from 1942 to 1945 . The Japanese had made the compound as its headquarters and command a vantage point of the city . There were many nuns , priests and children which were killed within the courtyard of the school and its grounds.
courtyard with fountains
There were two courtyard with multi-tiered fountain , This is also one of the sites where babies , nuns , priests some residents met their untimely death when the Japanese killed and bayoneted them. The fountain waters turned red with the blood coming from the dead people killed during the occupation.
There were also reports of some nuns and local that were raped within the main building during the brief occupation by the Japanese.
The Americans which liberated the city had to drop bomb on April 1945. The building was restored and rebuilt from later part of 1945 to 1947 .
Post War Era
Diplomat Hotels, Inc. started to administer the property in 1973. The old convent was remodeled into a 33-bedroom hotel without completely eradicating its Dominican ambiance.
Mr. Antonio ” Tony ” Agpaoa conducts a psychic surgery ( photo gallery of the hotel )
The large white stone cross was retained. Antonio “Tony” C. Agpaoa ( 1939 to 1982) , an entrepreneur ,psychic surgeon and spiritual healer managed the hotel and received his local and foreign patients in it.
room where Mr. Tony Agpaoa would conduct his faith healing activities
Agpaoa became famous for psychic surgery, using his bare hands to “operate” on his conscious patients without leaving a trace of any incision. He had been branded as a hoax by some skeptic and non-believers. His spirits still linger at the room where was healing his patients.
From the PMS, the property was conveyed to Baguio through TCT No. T-85948 in 5 April 2005. The Deed of Conveyance and City Resolutions provided for the rehabilitation of the old building and the development of the property into a park by obligating the city. The entire property was declared as a historical site through City Resolution No. 168, series of 2013.
this is one of the rooms where there are ethereal sightings
Mr. Samuel Joshua Baliwan Likigan is an officer of the day and a volunteer tour guide which help some of bloggers understand the rich history behind this heritage site.
Our group finally bid farewell to this heritage site and many of us wish to come back .
Website Links and References:
- Deaths Elsewhere: Antonio Agpaoa.31 January 1982. Toledo Blade. [Accessed 7 November 2013)
- Personal communication with residents near the hotel
- Personal communication with Mr. Samuel Joshua Baliwan Likigan
- Wilson , Laurence Lee , BookMan, Inc. , The Skyland of the Philippines