Sunday, November 01, 2009

Ghostworld: Mapping the Baguio Ghosts

Ghost stories are old wives' tales but in Baguio, it is the yuppies telling the stories and scaring themselves. But then experiencing the fright nights is better than listening or reading about them. We compiled this map with the help of ghost hunter Chona Simbulan and some habitues of Rumours Bar. We rated them from 1) K (Kilay lang ang tumaas or eyebrow raising) 2) H (Hair-raising) and 3) S (shivers) and 4) N or Nabanig, a Kankanaey term for experiencing a ghostly apparition and you are so frightened you can't move.

1) Laperal House. Known as Addams family summer house. That white house on a foggy night with the pine trees in the background is the perfect locale for a nightmare. It was built in the 1930s and now owned by Lucio Tan. People lucky enough to enter it said that it is an Art Deco masterpiece and not really that scary. But no one dared sleep there. S
2) Dominican Hotel. It was built as a sanatorium for American Jesuit priests and an observatory in 1907. In the 1970s, faithhealer Tony Agpaoa turned it into the Diplomat until he died in 1980. The hotel had since been in disarray and only airsoft soldiers use it for their Counterstrike simulation. Don Dacumos, a nurse, said that they planned to sleep there last year but then he saw this tree full of fireflies and knew this place is an N.
3) Room 203. This is a vacant room in a dormitory in a university here. Simbulan said that a students was raped and tortured there and his spirit has been haunting those who go near it. Also Room 4 in one of the love motels here where a tryst became a stabbing spree instead. Also Rooms 507, 123, 024, 129, 203 and 125 in different hospitals in the city for various reasons.
4) Hyatt Terraces Grounds. N
5) Bokawkan Road. According to Simbulan, a dog-like creature sometimes appear there near the site of the house where three people were killed. Also a recent slide killed 19 people there. S
6) The cemetery in Loakan Road. Andy Singian, the co-owner of Rumours, said that his nephew and friends decided to steal on the white metal crosses there. Then they all had nightmares and when they decided to return the cross, it wasn't there. With his mother, Singian's nephew decided to offer flowers to the plot where they got it but then on the gate was the stolen cross wrapped with wires. N
7) The ladies room in a big hotel in Baguio. Also a ladies room in SM Baguio where someone met a bloodied fireman. They said it was the ghost of one of the four firemen who perished during the Pines Hotel fire in 1983. Also the ladies room of a bar along Session. And the shared basthroom in a defunct hotel in Baguio. What's with ladies rooms in Baguio? HR
8) Teacher's Camp. The case of the lovesick Igorot ghost. The case of the wandering Thomasite. The case of the ghost partygoers. These stories are all over the Internet.
9) Baguio Cemetery. Of course. But only a few knew that it was also the sight of one of the bloodiest battles in World War II. N
10) Some houses in Quezon Hill. Simbulan experienced staying in one of the houses there where even the landlord refused to sleep in. She had the same dream as her friend of someone trying to open one of the closed doors there. Another house there turned into a karaoke was also said to be haunted. There is also a bench there that when you sit you have a feeling that someone is sitting with you. N
11) Brent School especially the chapel and Ogilby Hall. HR
12) The pond in Hole Number 4 in Camp John Hay. Two years ago, a man drowned there trying to retrieve golf balls. Golfers who knew it say a little prayer before hitting their shots or else it will inevitably fall into the water. K
13) The old BGH. Dr. Yvonne Soriano said that when she was an intern, she met a young girl in white in the back lane at 2 in the morning. A nurse who claims to be clairvoyant saw bodies all over the BGH grounds. HR
14) The Jesuit Retreat House above the Lady of Lourdes grotto. HR
15) Casa Vallejo. S
16) That spot where the pine tree in the middle of Loakan Road used to be. Taxi drivers have different stories about the Lady of Loakan. HR
17) South Drive. Sometimes the Lady of Loakan takes a taxi and stops there. HR
18) That house in Otek Street. N
19) That house in Yangco Road. N
20) The site of the former cemetery for German nuns along Holy Ghost St. N
21) Nevada Square. HR. Also that inn nearby where the UP writers used to have their workshops. S
22) Gonzaga Building of SLU. S
23) Commission on Elections building at Leonard Wood. Ghost voters. K
24) Safari Lodge. With all those heads of gazelles, antelopes, hyenas and elephant, it must be scary. K
25) Spirit's Disco. The top disco in the 1980s because the owners capitalized on it being a haunted house. Then it became a strip bar where the police and NBI shot each other one New Year's Day. S
26) Baguio Cathedral. Hundreds died when American planes bombed it at the end of World War II based on a tip of a Filipino spy that there were Japanese inside. HR
27) The Japanese tunnels at the Centennial Park. I also wrote about a grocery clerk in La Trinidad who was apparently possessed by the ghost of a Japanese soldier because she started speaking in Niponggo. S
28) Vermen Pines Condominium along Bakakeng St. Destroyed by the 1990 earthquake yet people say they still see "guests" checking in. S
29) The site of the bridal shower of Korina Sanchez last month where a female ghost was among the guest. K as in Balitang K
30) The pine grove in front of UC and below the Athletic Bowl. A writer hang himself there or, as we say, wrote 30. N

There are 3 more but my computer kept on conking out when I wrote about them


Blogger Redlippie said...

Hotel Tepeyac, 2004, 3AM,we just finished our party and I was in bed with three "REM-stage" room mates when I heard the sound of footsteps outside our room, on the wood hallway. I kept thinking, "is there a fire or something?" It sounded like people were rushing out,running. But I was too sleepy to go and check. At breakfast,I asked my workmates what in the world were they doing at 3AM,after we just partied...and they said they were all tucked in their beds and didn't hear anything...That was eerie,I'm not one who senses ghosts or spirits,so I haven't forgotten that.

4:37 PM  
Blogger The Nashman said...

aliw naman yang ghost hunter mo...

meron ba siyang third eye?

7:05 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

I'd love to scope out ghostly locations with that team one weekend. I'll be "the girl who has never seen or felt the presence of a ghost in her life." Maybe then I'll see or feel something.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Dennis Pilones said...

Galing naman!

6:23 PM  
Blogger miguel said...

Si Lolo Juan namatay sa Baguio Cathedral. Hindi sinasadya ng mga Amerikanong bombahin yung Cathedral. Ang target nila talaga yung adjacent Post Office. Kaso lang they missed. Btw there were Japanese Soldiers in Baguio Cathedral because the shooed away Lolo Peping; unwittingly this saved his life. All they found of Lolo Juan was his thumb and its Anthony-Bourdain-like ring.

3:49 PM  
Blogger frank cimatu said...

This is true because I got into arguments with some so-called historians who said na wala naman daw namatay sa Cathedral just so hindi sila pagalitan ng Simbahan

6:19 PM  
Blogger frank cimatu said...

This is true because I got into arguments with some so-called historians who said na wala naman daw namatay sa Cathedral just so hindi sila pagalitan ng Simbahan

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Chi said...

Hey, Fwankie...

I'm reviewing this piece via your ABC Guide. A UP professor & contributing writer for The Baguio City Yearbook 2007 has a story on this same topic and it said, the Cathedral was never bombed.

Post-WW2 photos of Baguio also show that the Cathedral was one of the few buildings in the area that remained intact after the American carpet bombing.

I wish Miguel could write something about his Lolo on this one.

7:41 PM  

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