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It’s called Pine City Fright Tours and it can provide that extra chill to your Baguio trip. It’s the first tour company in Baguio to provide ghost tours. As in, for two hours, you go around hitting Baguio’s famed haunted places. You can also go ghost-hunting.
The Pine City Fright Tour was put up by an ex-film editor/freelance videographer Anton Villa-Abrille in March. “I’ve always been fond of Baguio, I spent many summers up here. I got tired of working for other people so I decided to go into a business for myself. What better place to do a ghost tour than in a haunted city?” Needless to say, Villa-Abrille is a huge horror fan.
Villa-Abrille himself conducts the tours which start at about 5pm. He meets his guests, usually in SM Baguio and for two hours, he’ll take them out for a ride, making three stops and four drive-bys to some of Baguio’s popular haunted places.
Baguio is a four hour-drive north of Manila. Located in Benguet province, Baguio city is a favorite summer destination among Filipinos because that’s when we get to wear boots and sweaters — it’s cool and chill. In 1990, an earthquake struck, causing massive destruction and killing thousands. That’s when Baguio started building a reputation as a haunted city — at least for people who grew up in the ’90s who are now in their 30’s.
Most of these so-called haunted places are closed at night, but Pine City Fright Tour is a legit little thing, licensed by the local government of Baguio. Villa-Abrille has special permits that allow him to take his guests in these establishments at night.
“I also offer a two-hour ghost hunting package,” he adds. Among the places he takes his guests to is the Laperal House, while the ghosting package takes place in the Old Diplomat Hotel.
A minimum of three persons is required for a tour to push through. Should guests prefer they get picked up and dropped off at their hotels, they can just choose a premium package. Pine City Fright Tours charge PHP500 for adults and PHP350 for students.
Villa-Abrille is not a psychic, spiritista or a medium. “I’m just a paranormal investigor who has seen his share.” Villa-Abrille moved to Baguio and immersed himself in research to try and prove the stories he’s heard as a child were not just kwentong barbero.
It took him all of seven months to finish his research, which he supplemented with interviews of caretakers, previous owners, survivors, and eyewitnesses. “Each place I take my guests to, I give a historical background and then a paranormal account.”
Villa-Abrille says he would rather not focus on the 1990 earthquake that left more than 2,000 people dead. “That’s a subject I don’t like to get into, actually. It’s still a sensitive topic for the locals. Besides, Baguio has a long paranormal history. The quake just contributed to it.”
Surprisingly, the local government of Baguio was very receptive of Villa-Abrille’s idea. “When I explained that I wanted to promote Baguio and give tourists something else to do, you could say the local government was very helpful. That’s what I love about Baguio. Everyone has a ghost story to tell.”
If this sounds like your kind of thrill, check out the Facebook page of Pine City Fright Tours. +63 9985480301.