Three years had passed and the memories still reside in my head. We didn’t see anything but yes, we heard whistling sounds, clattering of iron roof, and the unexplained.
October 2008. My colleagues and I headed to Baguio City to shoot and document what’s inside the Diplomat Hotel for a halloween feature. Ghost hunting, it was but we ended up being hunted at the haunted hotel.
Diplomat Hotel, which sits atop of the Dominican Hill, was a dilapidated and abandoned hotel since the owner died in 1987. Before it became a hotel, history tells us that this hotel was a vacation house of the Dominicans. It was built in 1913 and was finished by 1915. World War II happened. When there’s war, there were deaths.
At around seven in the evening, the spirit questors of Baguio City: Dion Fernandez, Me An Billones and Maria Elena Catajan gathered us in a circle to pray before we enter the building. Armed with flashlights and cameras, we followed the questors as they guided us from the ground floor up to the rooftop. Mr. Fernandez flipped a tarot card as we made our way inside the hotel.
At the rooftop, my colleague interviewed the questors. Mr. Fernandez revealed that someone has been following us since we entered the hotel. The two ladies said that they were absorbing the negative energies so we won’t be affected. But the simple message that they just want to send was this: “Respect. This is their sacred ground. So don’t do anything that would desecrate their place.”
We returned outside. While one of our colleagues was narrating what he felt inside the hotel, we suddenly heard clattering sounds. It’s more like a tantrum being thrown at an iron roof. We just looked at each other. Everyone heard the sound but only two were brave enough to stand up and follow the sound with the camera. Guards passed by with their routine inspection. We asked them if they heard the sound, and they said, “No.”
We’re not going to any lodging but we’re spending the night at the hotel. We didn’t have any booking, though. But the questors warned us to camp just near the entrance so we can get out immediately.
Cameras were put on record near the fountain, which was said to be the place where the spirits congregate. From 12 Midnight up to 6 am, each of us alternately sleep and report about our observations. At 12 Midnight, I stood up infront of the fountain and reported what I observed. I saw nothing but felt the chilly wind and a whistling sound (Check out the video of my report at 5:45-6:04. The video has a total running time of 12:04).
Note: During the recording of the video and the interview at the rooftop, silence enveloped the night. The only noise were the voices of the questors recounting the experience. But when the video was played back for editing, various sounds were recorded and picked up. That’s the mystery which was left unanswered.
It was freezing cold. I barely couldn’t sleep but I shut my eyes to rest. Early in the morning, light came in to the shattered windows of the hotel. We went up to the rooftop. To our surprise, the pieces of iron roof that we heard were neatly piled up. The view from the top took our breath away. The fog and a glimpse of light covered the City of Pines. The breeze of the morning was refreshing. We were reminded that darkness doesn’t remain forever. The light will shine and make the day bright. It’s another brand new day.
At daytime, the Diplomat Hotel didn’t look haunted. It embodied a grandeur of the past. And you would think someone was taking good care of the plants and flowers blossoming in its surroundings.