According to 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.
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 live nearby claim that they could hear strange noises in the middle of the night. For instance, despite the fact the hotel doesn’t have doors anymore, they could hear banging doors , windows, clattering of dishes, and voices of screaming people who seem to be agonizing.
Find the heart
A haven for models and photographers
Due to its rustic feeling of beautiful interior and exterior, the old Diplomat Hotel turned out to be a great photoshoot location for photographers and models. When our group visited the Diplomat Hotel, there was a cosplay photoshoot going on. It was very interesting when we found out that no one charges them to shoot inside the old hotel which is unlikely in some parts of Manila, Intramuros to be exact.
I have also learned that from time to time, there are group of photographers conducting photography workshop involving models inside the haunted hotel. Maybe sometime I’ll join this interesting workshop and it won’t give me the creep since I will be with bunch of people.
The Diplomat Hotel Film
An upcoming Psychological Horror film directed by Christopher Ad. Castillo will soon hit the theaters. The Diplomat Hotel Film is one of the Cinemalaya 2013 finalists that will be premiering in July 2013.
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 . This film is something to look forward to as Psychological Horror films are very rare in the Philippine film industry. You can Like them on Facebook too.
Another rumor of reconstruction?
Some years back there was a plan to install a cable car system linking Dominican Hill and Burnham Park; however, perhaps due to the lack of investor funds necessary to put up the project, this plan did not materialize.
Recently 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.
“This place is open for weddings and concerts. The halls can be rented for PHP 200 an hour (or P2,000 a day). The activities should be legal and moral (and never) political. This is one of the guidelines which were agreed upon by the Heritage Hill committee in the city council. The property should be developed,” Allan said.
Allan said that they will retain the rustic feeling of the place, that in fact, they already designed a plan which will make use of brick walls, wooden panels and floors with the help of their city architect.
The announcement made by Allan took place last year of May. However, when our group went there last year of November, there isn’t much reconstruction or major face-lift going on. It was comparable to a wart that was just removed from genital — nothing noticeable.
“PHP 80 million to fulfill a master development plan for the property,” Allan said.
All of a sudden, I wondered if this another government project would soon lie idle and end in corruption. I hope not. Some part of me though is hoping that they should just abandon the hotel let alone be tourist spot known for its unexplained entities like the Edinburgh Castle.
What do you think of the government converting the Diplomat Hotel into a wedding or concert venue? Do you think it would benefit us or them?
 City of Pines
 The Diplomat Hotel Film
 Philippine Daily Inquirer