The Most Mysterious Places in the Philippine Islands
by Aileen Pablo
Philippine Military Academy
Everyone knows that women traveling alone have to be more careful than men.
Like it or not, we are more at risk from thieves, abductors, and just in general people looking to take advantage. Even going about at night – something many men take for granted – can be perilous if the wrong people assume (correctly or not) that a woman or group of women traveling make for an easy mark.
But just because our traveling realities can be full of quite scary stuff, that doesn’t mean that women aren’t interested in the scary and the mysterious – we just prefer to seek it out ourselves, rather than have it find us. With ancient battlegrounds, abandoned hospital ruins, workmen entombed in cement, and numerous other terrifying tales, the Philippine Islands are full of mysterious, ghostly places.
In fact, there just might be a story for every one of the 7,107 islands in the Philippine archipelago. Many of these are tales that come from only one or two people – a little girl who saw a demon in her school bathroom, or a college student who encountered a ghost in the library stacks. But others stories have a long and widespread history, with thousands of accounts of mysterious happenings – is it mass hysteria, or is something stranger going on in these places that science can’t account for?
The best part? Travel to these mysterious places is such a draw that even a woman traveling alone doesn’t have to worry that she’s going to a dangerous area – at least, not from the living people around her.
Baguio City. Nicknamed “The Haunted City in the Mist,” odd occurrences have been reported all over this mountain city north of Manila. Many are small, isolated incidents, but there are a few places that really seem to have a monopoly on the macabre, with legions of frightening reports.
Diplomat Hotel: In the early 1900s, this building was a seminary that housed nuns and priests. During World War II, the occupying forces of the Japanese were responsible for many atrocities, including beheading many of these faithful men and women. For some reason, someone decided to turn it into a hotel after the war, and quite a few guests and workers have reporter hearing ghostly sounds and seeing spirits walking around carrying their heads on platters.
Teacher’s Camp: While it serves a popular location for schools to hold seminars and companies to have meetings, Teacher’s Camp has also been a place rife with spooky sightings, such as the ghosts of native warriors stalking through the tents. Locals believe that the area it was built on was once the site of an ancient battlefield, and that some of the departed soldiers never quite left.
Philippine Military Academy: General spookiness and several different ghosts haunt this place. Along with strange sounds at night, such as the stomping around of a marching platoon that isn’t there, people report seeing the ghost of a white lady, that of a beheaded priest, and a third one of a cadet who is dressed in a parade uniform that was left in one of the lockers.
Manila. Earthquakes, mass killings, and horrifying accidents are the hallmark of the Philippine's capital city. So many mysterious hauntings can’t be just coincidence… can they?
Arellano High School: Typically, high school hauntings aren’t given much credence, but so many students and teachers have reported sightings that this one is hard to ignore. Years ago, a number of people died when an earthquake caused a building to collapse nearby, and their remains were placed in the school.
Film Center: In the early 1980s, the Culture Center of the Philippines was in the middle of building a film center when they were awarded a film festival. To make the deadline, construction was rushed, and the scaffolding on the ceiling collapsed, killing a number of workmen who fell into the orchestra. In normal circumstances, construction would have been halted retrieve their bodies (and rescue those that survived), but because of the festival, they pushed on through, covering the orchestra in cement and burying the workmen with it. Since then, all kinds of people have reported odd sounds and poltergeist activity in the area.
Iloilo City. Angry missionaries, friendly joggers and even strange imps make up the paranormal pastiche that is Iloilo City, usually a stopover on the way to the popular Boracay many at Central Philippine University (CPU).
CPU Football Field: This one is more eerie and confusing than truly terrifying. Many people have reported seeing a woman jogging on the track in the wee hours of the morning. If you decide to run, she will join you and begin a conversation… and then completely disappear after she reaches a specific spot on the track. Not just students, but professors and even university presidents have said that they’ve jogged with her.
CPU Valentine Hall (Women’s Restroom): Bathroom ghosts are incredibly common around the world, but this one is particularly troublesome. Once in a while, when women are touching up their makeup, a terrifying face will appear behind them in the mirror. Supposedly she first appeared in the early 70s, and when she shows up, it’s always around noon. Because of this, it is not uncommon for the screams of the women who see her to interrupt classes.
CPU Ruby Hall: To fully understand the creepiness of Ruby Hall, you need to know that this is where cadavers for med school students are kept. Many people have reported typical spooky things like moving furniture, cold spots, and being tripped or pushed, but that’s not the weirdest part. Teachers, students, and a janitor have all reported seeing the lights on in one specific classroom long after the rest of the building has been closed and locked up for the night. Even crazier, they all say that little imp-like creatures were running around this same classroom!
Note: Aileen Pablo is a blogger and part of the team behind Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading providers of Hospitality and Tourism Courses. You may find her at http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/tourism-hospitality-courses/tourism-hospitality.aspx