A vast field of mangroves filled more than half my vision as I start my way down a two story rocky stairway. Somewhere beyond this 1,400 hectares of mangrove at Cogtong Bay, Anda, Bohol is Lamanoc Island, a small limestone island enveloped in an eerie veil of tales of a banished witch and a place where shamans congregate. Why would I visit such a spooky island? Because within its shallow caverns and lush tangled vegetation are remnants of a fascinating culture dating far beyond the pre-colonial era.
Having one of the oldest monuments in the Philippines in the form of the impressive San Juan Bautista Church, I wasn’t surprised that there were more to discover in this predominantly Catholic municipality of Jimenez, Misamis Occidental. We met with our local guide from the DOT office to give us a tour of the town. Visiting the church, it was a good idea the tourism installed a few boards showcasing the other attractions in town. Particularly noticeable were the heritage houses, a cemetery and a mysterious tree by the river.
Five years after my first visit to Laperal White House in Baguio City, there was a movie (which I haven’t seen), an iWitness Documentary and thousands of searches referred to my old post. There were even several invites to guest or talk about the house and a number of inquiries from researchers. I guess Filipino love horror stories. Something to scare themselves sometimes. It was only five years after when I got to revisit the place again. Now open to the public as a Bamboo Art Exhibit, visitors can now indulge themselves and unravel the mystery of this famous White House.
I guess I should blame it on my investigative curiosity. At the first day of exploring the haunted places at the City of Pines I was wondering what a typical local have to say about this. From my travels, I know, most of the time, people have stories to tell. And when it comes to ghost stories, I know, they have a lot more to share whether it be their own, or someone else. My instinct didn’t let me down when I asked our driver if he has any interesting ghost stories he experienced. And he does have a spine chilling tale from Loakan Road.
We arrived early morning when the fog still lingers the slopes of Dominican Hill. On a clear day, they said you could see a whole lot of Baguio from this hill. In the afternoon, one could catch the sun as it descends at this mountain city. But the moment we got there, everything was covered by a thick wall of mist and only the crumbling structure of the Diplomat Hotel stands amidst, one of the famous haunted places in Baguio.
It’s already past Halloween but November’s still here so I think stories on the paranormal are still welcome at this time. And what better a setting than the often mist-cloaked landscapes and cool climate of Baguio. My recent visit to the famed summer capital led me to explore the City of Pines‘ famous haunts. In the next few post I’ll regale you with stories of places and the things hidden behind the mist.