Note: This is a part of my solo January 1-3, 2016 Baguio trip where it includes the following: Camp John Hay, University of the Cordilleras, Baguio Museum, University of the Philippines Baguio Campus, Tam-awan Village, Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, The Mansion, Mines View Park, Baguio Botanical Garden, Wright Park, Our Lady of Atonement (Baguio Cathedral), Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and Burnham Park.
If Talisay City of Metro Bacolod has a famous Lacson Ancestral House ruins , Baguio, too, has its own famous ruins which turned 100 years in 2013. Being famous for being a haunted house, this site has undergone a few transformation as an entity.
This building has been originally built as vacation house of the Dominican Brothers Congregation designed by Fr. Roque Ruano, O.P. in 1913-1915. It was inaugurated in 1915 and was converted into a school under the name of Colegio del Santissimo Rosario in 1915 - 1918. It served as the house of the Dominican priests during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines in 1942 -1945. The Japanese forces used this as a camp in 1945 and was bombed by the American forces in April 1945. It was rebuilt in 1945 - 1947 and was converted into Diplomat Hotel from 1973 to 1987. Its ownership was transferred to the local government of Baguio in 2005.
Visiting this site is really rewarding where you can do it between 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and there is no admission fee. Getting inside the building will give you an eerie feeling to really feel that it is haunted. I personally felt different then. I was like traveling back in time as old as the time of Jose Rizal and Leonora Katigbak.
Trekking down the hill is even more breathtaking as you see all these aerial views.
HOW TO GO THERE
A. By Public Transport
1. Manila to Baguio City
There are a few bus companies with Manila-Baguio route for at least 26 times trips in a day where Victory Liner is one where as of this writing the fare rate is P445 one-way. You may find this link useful for your on-line booking reservation. The number of trips in a day may increase during peak seasons. This land travel has a duration of 5-6 hours most particularly in a night travel. Nowadays, this travel time has been decreased due to accessibility given by the SCTEX and the new highway opened.
2. Baguio City Proper to Dominican Hill/Lourdes Grotto
At the back of Baguio Public Central Market, walk uphill (at the back) and look for Kayang Jeep Terminal. With no heavy traffic, the jeepney ride will just be 10-15 minutes. When you reach Lourdes Grotto, the jeep will turn left to the Dominican Hill. The fare is only P8.50 (one-way) as of this writing. Taking taxi cab will definitely be costly. When you are up the Lourdes Grotto, there is also a road heading to Dominican Hill for an uphill trek of 15 minutes. It is a healthy walk, anyway.
B. By Private Vehicle
Note: This advisory has been adapted from Out of Town Blog which reduces the travel time from 4 to 5 hours.
1. Drive through NLEX.
2. Take Exit 85 right into SCTEX.
3. Transfer to the right lane and drive to Baguio via Tarlac.
4. Take the Tarlac exit and follow the road signs that will take you to MacArthur Highway.
5. Once you’re on MacArthur Highway, drive straight to Tarlac and Pangasinan until you reach Rosario, La Union.
6. From the Rosario junction, you can turn right into famous Kennon Road. This is the most popular and scenic route up Baguio City.
7. If you prefer the wider lanes of Marcos Highway, drive further into Rosario and turn right towards the new entrance.
From Baguio City proper to Dominican Hill, you can take a van-for-hire. Afterall, Baguio City drivers are honest. They would even give you a change even if it is 50 cents.
BAGUIO CITY ACCOMMODATION
Accommodation in Baguio varies from transient houses, house-for-rent, dorms, inns and hotels ranging from budget to luxury ones. This link can be useful in your search for comfortable accommodation.
Teachers can rent in Teachers Camp for as low as P120 a day if they have a government issued Identification Cards. It is a must to reserve for accommodation during peak season