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Top Four Halloween Destinations in the Philippines 2017

Visit these spooky spots to get a different kind of thrill this Halloween.

By: Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon | October 29, 2017
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The Philippines has no shortage of beautiful tourist spots. While these places tell of the rich culture and history of a locality, there are also some places filled with folklore and horror stories.

With just two days to go before Halloween, we asked our readers the spookiest places to visit in the country. Ready for a hair-raising adventure? Read on to find out the top Halloween destinations in the Philippines for 2017.

4. Hanging Coffins and Burial Caves, Sagada; Iloilo City Mansions, Iloilo; Siquijor

haunted place Philippines

The Igorot to bury their dead in hanging coffins for both practical and spiritual reasons. (Image: Lagaw Travelogue)

With its picturesque mountains surrounded by mist, Sagada is known as a backpacking haven. Yet ironically, one popular tourist is dedicated to the dead instead of the living. Along with two other entries, the Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley landed in the fourth spot in our list.

To keep dogs and their enemies away from the corpses of their loved ones, the Igorot tribe would hang their coffins beside a cliff. Aside from practical reasons, they believed that placing the dead here would let their spirits reach heaven faster, and allow them to watch over their living family members.

haunted place Philippines

Nelly’s Garden, a symbol of old-word opulence in Iloilo (Image: Nelly Garden Tours & Services)

Iloilo has dozens of old churches and heritage houses to excite any history buff. The flourishing of the sugar industry led to the construction of stately houses for sugar barons and other affluent families.

One of the most notable old mansions in the city is Nelly’s Garden, built in the Beaux Artes-style of the early 1920s. There’s also Casa Mariquit, where it is said that anyone who tries to take home something from the house falls ill. On the other hand, the Ledesma mansion in Jaro has served as a venue for horror video shoots.

haunted place Philippines

Cambugahay Falls, a three-tiered waterfall in Lazi, Siquijor (Image: Isla de Fuego)

The island province of Siquijor is usually associated with the mangkukulam (sorcerer) and aswang (shape-shifting ghoul). Belief in the occult is deeply ingrained among the locals that during Holy Week, healers and herbalists from Visayas and Mindanao come together to brew healing potions. This tradition was said to have been practiced before the 1930s, particularly in the villages of San Antonio and Cantabon. The province is also known for their many mananambal (healers), including bolo-bolo (craft healing) practitioners, who perform a body cleansing process using a drinking glass, water, stone, and a straw.

Even if one does not believe in sorcery, the natural wonders of Siquijor like waterfalls, caves, and white-sand beaches will leave visitors spell-bound.

3. Balete Tree, Aurora

haunted place Philippines

The gnarly roots of the balete tree in Aurora can give one the creeps. (Image: Matet Pajaroja)

According to Filipino folklore, balete trees are home to supernatural beings like the kapre (tree giant) and tikbalang (half-man, half-horse creature). Yet this does not stop visitors from dropping by the huge balete tree in Brgy. Quirino, Maria Aurora, Aurora Province. Called the Millennium Tree by locals, this 600 year-old-tree is 65 meters tall. It is so wide that 60 people locked arm-to-arm can go around its trunk. Thus, it is said to be the largest banyan tree in Asia.

A story goes that the owner of the private property where the tree grows wanted to cut it down. However, a family member of the owner fell sick, as well as the bulldozer driver. Since then, they left the tree alone.

2. Iloilo

haunted place Philippines

The headless ghost of the school founder is said to haunt Valentine Hall. (Image: Central Philippine University)

Landing in second spot in our poll is Iloilo. The province boasts of many tourist attractions, like old churches in various architectural styles, stately mansions, and white-sand beaches.

During the Spanish times, Iloilo was one of the most important provinces in the county outside Manila. However, the booming sugar and textile industries suffered a great blow with the onset of World War II. One of the many structures that were devastated by the war was Central Philippine College. Built in 1905, the school reopened after the war and is known today as Central Philippine University (CPU).

Like any old school, scary stories are aplenty at CPU. A female ghost is said to accompany joggers at the football field, while dwarf-like creatures are rumored to run around the classrooms in Ruby Hall. But most chilling of all is stories about the school founder William Valentine standing headless in the entrance of the hall named after him.

1. Baguio

Voter’s comment: “Never been here but I heard a lot of creepy stories!”—MK

haunted place Philippines

Despite being decrepit, the Diplomat Hotel is eerily beautiful. (Image: Ramiltibyan* via Wikimedia Commons)

Taking the top spot in our poll is Baguio. Due to its cool weather, the City of the Pines is a favorite summer destination for people who want to get away from the heat. But due to the many supernatural sightings in the city, it has also become known as the Ghost Capital of the Philippines.

Nestled on top of Dominican Hill, the abandoned Diplomat Hotel is considered as one of the most haunted places in Baguio. The place was originally a retreat house built by Dominican priests in 1915. During World War II, the Japanese army turned it into a garrison, after which it was turned into a 33-bedroom hotel in 1973. Residents report seeing headless nuns and priests in the area, believed to have been beheaded by the Japanese during the war. It is said that babies were brutally killed in the fountain area, and their chilling cries can be heard at night.

Another place where paranormal activities are said to occur is at Laperal Mansion. The 1920s Victorian-style house were owned by Don Roberto and Doña Victorina Laperal. Their eldest son allegedly committed suicide in one of the rooms, while other family members died cryptic deaths. Like the Diplomat Hotel, the Japanese army used the house as a garrison. Japanese soldiers were said to die in the attic.

Have you visited the haunted places in our list? Let us know in the comments section below!

* Diplomat Hotel photo credit: By Ramiltibayan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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About Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon
Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon is the current content supervisor for the Visayas region of ShoppersGuide Marketing, Inc. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from UP Cebu. She has previously worked for a business process outsourcing company, a community newspaper, and a global technology company. When not writing, she putters about in the kitchen, baking or testing new recipes.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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