One of the northern Luzon destinations that we love is Baguio and whenever we’re with friends who haven’t gone around the pine city we would always bring them to the what used to be known as the Diplomat Hotel. We’re weirdly fond of everything eerie, and not to mention, testimonial ghost stories, so these kinds of locations spark our interest a lot. You’ve probably seen this old ruins on a Facebook post where people would post selfies of themselves and a tall worn-out structure as their background with the caption “ghost hunting“.
This place is the perfect portrayal of cinematic haunted locations and it has remained remarkably consistent across time, and the ambiance presence incorporates our macabre delusions of what it was before and what we’ve expected to see.
How To Reach The Property
- Jeepney: Ask the driver to drop you off at the foot of the Dominican Hill
- Car: Set your GPS app to “Diplomat Hotel“
The Dominican Hill Retreat House, also commonly known as the Diplomat Hotel, is now an abandoned structure atop Dominican Hill. Famous for its ghost sighting stories, the whole property on which it stands has become a Dominican Heritage Hill and Nature Park. A panoramic view of the city unfolds from its vantage point and a great garden is surrounding the entire property. What makes this place haunted?
Horrific Past and its 2nd re-birth
Up the hill is the Dominical Retreat house where it used to stand back in 1911. American friars and nuns of the Dominican order seek solace and R&R in Baguio. It became a refugee place during World War II from people escaping the terror of Japanese soldiers, but when the same forces advanced and invaded the property they turned the retreat house as their headquarters. Brutal imperial armies committed unspeakable acts of inhumane violence– decapitating priest, raping nuns, and barbaric torturing of those captives of war. During the end of the Japanese occupation and as the American forces were slowly liberating this section– Japanese armies committed suicide to refuse defeat.
Rebuilt back in 1947 and was sold to a Tony Agpaoa who was a businessman/spiritual surgeon. He then put up the Diplomat Hotel as a place where guest would come and get spiritual healing from Agpaoa at the same time. The hotel ceased to exist in the early ’80s when there were reports that a fire broke out and several people were trapped inside their rooms. On another incident, the former house nurse committed suicide by jumping off its rooftop. Following these tragedies was the death of Agpaoa in 1987 where he suffered from a heart attack while spending time inside the property.
The Feeling When You Walk Through Its Halls
We re-visited the place on rainy September season and given the top hill location of the property the area was extra foggy adding more character to its facade.
This ambivalence feeling of wanting to flee leaves you frozen in place, wallowing in unease. But at the same time, you’d be in awe of how magnificent its architecture is. Fr. Roque Ruaño, O.P., was the same architect of the University of Santo Tomas’s main building.
Snippets and Visuals
Despite its troubled past, the entire property is still stunning. A magnificent structure sitting on top of the hill where you can see an almost 360 view of the city. Wander around and appreciate its Spanish Dominican Design and perhaps go further east to its paved trail along with magnificent tall pines.
Come away with us again during our #DayOut as we take you around during our Weekend Wanderings!
- Book An Appointment
- Official Facebook Page
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- TripAdvisor Top 2% Contributor