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The Diplomat Hotel is an old abandoned hotel located in Dominican Road, Baguio City. To date, it is one of the most haunted abandoned hotels in the world. According to the history, it used to be a vacation house and a seminary way back in 1911. Since it was established by the Dominicans, the place was called Dominican Hill. However, during the World War II, it was occupied by the fleeing refugees from the Japanese Army Forces. Japanese Forces later bombed the entire place resulting to an extensive damage. It was then reconstructed in 1947.
In 1973, Diplomat Hotels, Inc. acquired ownership of the place 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. The hotel was managed by Tony Agpaoa, a Baguio-based spiritual healer. Since his death, the hotel ceased its operation and was closed to the public.
Photos 02 – 07: Spooky and macabre tales from folks
At time the hotel was still operational, the employees and guests claimed that they have been hearing strange sounds and headless apparitions can often be seen during the night inside the hotel. According to folks, this could have been the ghosts of nuns and priests who were beheaded during the World War II.
Some years back after it was closed to the public, local residents who also lived nearby claimed that they could hear strange noises in the middle of the night. For instance, despite the fact that it didn’t have doors, they could still hear banging doors, windows, clattering of dishes, and voices of screaming people which seemed to be agonizing.
Photos 08 – 18: The Diplomat Hotel Film
The Diplomat Hotel was also made into a Psychological horror film directed by Christopher Ad. The Diplomat Hotel Film was released in July 2013 and one of the Cinemalaya 2013 finalists.
The story is about a disgraced reporter who seeks redemption by leading her documentary crew to spend one night and tell the story of what really happened at the haunted and infamous The Diplomat Hotel. It is something to look forward to as Psychological Horror films are very rare in the Philippine film industry.
Photos 18 – 28: A Haven for Photographers
There was a cosplay photo shoot when we visited the Diplomat Hotel. Although part of the Baguio City government, it was interesting to know that photographers were not charged nor prohibited to take photos inside the old hotel which was unlikely in some parts of the country. According to our tour guide, photography workshops were also held from time to time inside and around the abandoned hotel.
Photos 29 and 30: Rumors of reconstruction
Some years back, there was a plan to install a cable car system linking Dominican Hill and Burnham Park; however, due to the lack of investor funds necessary to put up the project, the plan did not materialize. In May 2011, Baguio City government announced their plan of spending Php 35 million to reconstruct the old Diplomat Hotel and convert into a wedding and conference venue on Dominican Hill, which was according to Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan.
According to Allan, the hotel would be open for weddings and concerts and the halls could be rented for Php 200 an hour (or Php 2,000 a day), all activities should be legal and moral (and never) political. They would also retain the rustic feeling of the place and already designed a plan which would make use of brick walls, wooden panels and floors with the help of their city architect. However, if you would visit the place today, no reconstruction or major face-lift going on.
Have you been to Diplomat Hotel in Baguio? If yes, did you experience anything unusual? What do you think of this blogpost? Please leave a comment below.
How to Get to Diplomat Hotel
Look for a jeepney that is bound to Dominican Hill Road and inform the driver to drop you off at the foot of the hill that leads to the Diplomat Hotel where it’s just a few steps away.
This post is part of the Throwback Thursday Photography Series. The original travel date was in November 2012.