Saturday, April 12, 2014

Holy Vigil or Haunting Grounds: The Diplomat Hotel

With the Holyweek fast approaching, many choose to go on travel vigils, or simply visit their hometowns to spend time with their family, making the country's Capital a ghost town, devoid of traffic; a sight rarely experienced in what is otherwise known as one of the worlds most congested cities. 

For those of you who choose to travel to the highlands of Baguio, the Diplomat Hotel is an interesting must-see, whether you are there for a holy vigil or on the search for a paranormal experience, this hotel may offer one or both to you.  

The diplomat hotel, has surprisingly to this day become a tourist attraction to many outside Baguio primarily for its “Paranormal” characteristics. “totoo ba kuya?” (is it true?) is the first statement that came upon me after exiting the hotel through its main gate. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I responded with a simple “and alin?” (what do you mean?) the persistence of the tourists was too much for me to handle. For which simple query every touristy already has an answer they expect local people to respond; “Oo, totoo” (yes, it is true). 

We all one way or another want to believe in the existence of things that are beyond our logical comprehension of things. Ghosts are no exception to that either. 

History can do many things to many places, but sometimes one of the most unforgivable things that could happen to a place is when it is remembered for what it was last rather than what it was first. Before it was known as the Dipolmat Hotel, notorious to be filled to the brim with ghosts from top to bottom, it was a popular rest house for priests. 

Constructed in 1911, the place was the original location for the members of the Dominican Order to construct a rest house, thus its name Dominican Hill. 

Any reference that would point to ghosts within the area would begin probably during World War II and the liberation where it was rumored that refugees had to be bombed out of the structure. 

The place also has a history of the paranormal. The Idea of Psychic Healing is a concept believed to have part of its origin in the Philippines in the early 40s. At the height of its belief in the 1970s, the place was named Diplomat hotel. The hotel was a go-to place for people in search of faith healing. The practice eventually died out with the faith healer’s death and so did the operation of the Hotel. 

In the case of whether the place is haunted or not is an answer left only for the reader. But one should be reminded that when visiting the place for the sole purpose of looking for ghosts, one may end up disappointed. Remember that there is more to life than just looking for the dead.

Recognized by the Guiness book of world records as the biggest 10 commandments stone tablet is a testament to the Filipino commitment to Christian Faith   
The sun setting along the horizon gives the place a beautiful rust-like look

Three Crosses, one old, and two modern.

Diplomat by the moonlight

Contrary to its infamy for being one of the most haunted places in the city, Diplomat is still a sight to behold. Its rooftop is a popular sight for weeding pictorials

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