The right to own a real estate property in the Philippines

Based on the standard Philippine law on acquiring a real estate property in the Philippines, Foreigners or non-Filipinos don’t have the right to own real estate properties in the Philippines. As an alternative, however, marrying a Filipino national is the easiest way for a foreigner to obtain real estate properties in the country. They may either share equal rights or the Filipino spouse owns 51% or more and the foreigner gets the rest. In this case, further information on special visas for foreigners who may request an entire ownership is necessary.

If the foreign owner desires to hold the title as an individual, the title usually falls under the Filipino spouse’s name and the foreign spouse’s name which was not indicated in the title at least appears on the contract as the buyer of the property. In case of death of the Filipino spouse, the foreign spouse is given a reasonable time to sell the property and collect the proceeds or else the property will be given to any Filipino heir and or relatives.

Foreigners are given the right to own houses or buildings for as long as they don’t own the land on which the house or building is built. Foreigners therefore may legally own their houses or buildings but lease the land on a long term contract. A foreign national and or corporation may enter into a lease agreement with Filipino landowners for an initial period of up to 50 years and renewable for another 25 years.

For foreigners to have 100% ownership of condominium and townhouse units, few qualifications are requested before buying the property. The buyer must be at least 35 years old and must meet the bank’s investment requirements. The amount of the deposit/investment and processing fee needed depends on whether or not the foreign buyer is married to a Filipino. Being married to a Filipino citizen of course allows almost all the investment privileges like those of Filipino citizens.

For land ownership, only Filipinos and corporations (at least 60% Philippine-owned) are permitted to obtain such property. Foreign acquisition however is tolerated on special cases:

• When the property was acquired before the 1935 constitution

• When the property was acquired thru inheritance

o This means that the foreign acquire is a legal or natural heir, which further means that when the Filipino spouse dies, the foreign spouse eventually becomes the legal owner of the property. This is as well applied to the children. Every natural child (legitimate or illegitimate, Filipino or non-Filipino) can inherit the property of his/her Filipino parent.

• Purchase of not more than 40% interest in a condominium project

• When the property was purchased by a former natural-born Filipino citizen subject to the limitations approved by law

o Former natural-born Filipino citizens, or commonly called “Balikbayans”, are allowed to own a maximum of 1,000 sq. m. of residential land and one hectare of agricultural or farm land, a maximum of 5,000 square meters of urban land for business purposes or three hectares of rural land. Married couples, both or one of them may avail the privilege given; the total area acquired shall not exceed the maximum.

In the case of a transferee who is already owning an urban or rural land for business or other purposes, he/she remained a transferee provided that when added to those he owned shall not exceed the maximum.

• Filipinos who are married to foreign nationals and who retained their Filipino citizenship, unless by their act or omission, have given up their Filipino citizenship.

• Dual citizenship allows the citizenship holder full rights of ownership of Philippine real estate property, which further means having two citizenships and passports from two different countries. It is applied to individuals who are naturally born Filipino citizens, but have immigrated to another country and have obtained citizenship of that country.

What is the price range?

That really depends on the region where you want to invest. Around Metropolis Manila is by far the most expensive, but, as a rule, prices decrease gradually as the distance to the center increases. Buying lands in any commercial districts around the Philippines are more expensive than lands distant from it. Remote regions like the Bicol region around the Visayas or anywhere far from Manila, can be particularly cheaper. If you are buying a flat, old buildings are substantially cheaper than new ones.

Bulusan

Bulusan Volcano Mt. Bulusan may not appear as majectic as Mt. Mayon but mountaineers will experience a more challenging climb than struggling with the rocky terrains of Mayon. It has abundant rain forest that is maintaining the presence of some of the wildest animals in the country. Wildlife is rich in the area where nights can be filled with roaring sounds of owls and presence of deers and boars at daytime. At night, darkness is brightened by the sprinkling lights of fireflies. Thus climbing Mt. Bulusan does not only invigorates a mountaineer’s obsession for heights, it also promises surprising encounters with wild animals and peculiar vegetation.

Mt Bulusan is located in the inner district of Sorsogon where a jeepney takes you to its town and a trycicle to its entry site, Bulusan Lake- a lake oftenly mistaken as the volcano’s main crater. It is in fact a body of emerald green water by the peripheral crater surrounded by a densed gathering of trees and lush tropical plants. If not planning to hike farther to the volcano’s summit, a refreshing one hour walk around this lake is a worth-trying activity. And consider it as the beginning of a more interesting adventure if moving farther ahead. Expect challenging sights of thicker dense forest on the way that surprisingly emmerge to an open field of towering grass carpeting the surroundings towards the old crater valley called Agingay. This hike promises an extreme jungle experience but without the threat of distressing incidents.

Trekkers can camp overnight or leave the same day but caution should be maintained, this volcano is still active. Be sure to wear thick hiking boots, long pants and jackets to protect from unexpected presence of leeches and stingy insects. Taking at least one guide is highly advised.

On the way back, you will pass by tiny roads heading to some falls and hot springs with varying temperatures for a short healing bath.

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Calamian Group and Its Tribes

The Calamian Group is a cluster of stunning islets dominated by three main islands in the north of Palawan: the islands of Busuanga, Coron and Culion. They all have abundant marine life, impressive rock formations and crystal clear tropical seas. Diving and kayaking are main activities mostly based in Coron. Beaches of Palawan

Palawan is home to several tribes named Tagbanuas, Batac, and the cave dwellers Tau’t Bato. They inhabit mostly the interiors of Calamian Islands and some parts of the mainland. To avoid any exploitation of their cultural traits the government limited outsiders from exploring their occupied territories. Even without this law, some of these tribes as expected also restricted themselves to have close contact with anyone unfamiliar to them. Others such as Batac tribe have frequent contact with tourists working as guides. They are more sociable and easily approached. limestone cliffs of  El Nido

Tourism in the Calamian Group is highly developed and endorsed by the country’s Tourism Department. It has well-developed, highly organized resorts offering world class diving and water sports activities.

To get there, 60 mins flight by Seair or 90 mins on Pacific Air from Manila to Busuanga. By sea, there are night trip ferries from Manila Harbor to Coron. WG&A superferry has trips on Friday nights (7 p.m.) that arrives Coron the next day at 6 a.m.

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Palawan, The Last Frontier

Palawan SunsetPalawan is popularly known as the “Last Frontier” pointing to Borneo and is also located just north of Malaysia’s Sabah island. It is the largest province in the Philippines with an area of 1.5 million hectares and has 1,769 islands and islets.

This huge island yet still unexplored, possesses the largest rainforest, unusual plants and animal species. These are Beaches of Palawanthe Palawan Peacock, the sea cow or Dugong, the mouse deer, tabon birds, colorful butterflies and some of most beautiful orchids in the country. In short, the island has the biggest reservation of wildlife among other places in the country. Aside from these treasures, Palawan has exceptional landscapes consisting of mountainous ranges, unusual rock formations & hidden caves. It is as well an island known for its numerous fishing villages and dive sites.

Crystal-clear water of PalawanThe main tourist destination is the group of Calamian Islands. It has the richness of white sand beaches, clear water and a wide range of marine resources perfect for scuba diving. Some places of the main island of Palawan are recommended for trekking particularly in the deep dense forests of the central district. But be aware, heading further south where Malaria is common should be avoided. Other attractions are St. Paul subterranean National Park that has underground river, Tabon Caves, where fossils of 50,000 years old ancient man were found and El Nido Village, the home of Nido Soup that is made out of bird’s nest. This is place known for its world-class resorts, powdery whitesand beaches, limestone hills, scattered islets and marine-rich dive sites.

To get there, Philippine Airlines or PAL has 60 mins. flights daily from Manila to Puerto Princesa.

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Northern Palawan Map

Palawan Mainland Map

Camarines Sur & Camarines Norte

camarines_norte_sur_map.jpg Camarines Sur Capital: Pili

Municipalities: Baao, Balatan, Bato, Buhi, Bula, Cabusao, Calabanga, Camaligan, Canaman, Caramoan, Del Gallego, Gainza, Gatchitorena, Goa, Lagonoy, Libmanan, Lupi, Magarao, Millaor, Nabua, Ocampo, Pamplona, Pasacao, Pili, Presentacion, Ragay, Sagnay, San Fernando, San Jose, Sipocot, Siruma, Tigaon, Tinambac

Camarines Norte Capital: Daet

Municipalities: Basud, Capalonga, Daet, Jose Panganiban, Labo, Mercedes, Paracale, San lorenzo Ruiz, San Vizente, Santa Elena, Talisay, Vinzons

See Camarines Sur & Camarines Norte Articles

Jeepney, the king of the road..

This unique vehicle originally was an American G.I. surplus jeep converted into public utility vehicle to solve the scarcity of transit in the country after the war. From a plain 6 passenger to the recent 18-passenger type, evolved its extraordinary extended looks furnished with idiosyncratic designs, colorful paintings and stickers of various brand names. Jeepney is the result of Filipinos’ ingenuity on creating practical objects out of nothing. Nowadays, these assemblage of metals, surplus engines, decors and fetishes rattle the cities and towns throughout the country symbolizing the Philippines’ adaptive approach to global influence.jeepney3.jpg

Mango- Philippines’ sweetest delight

mango4.jpgThis exotic tropical fruit popularly known to be yellow in color obtained its addictive taste through its meticulous harvest procedures. It matures after 3 months and a half from the time of its flower blooms, carefully handpicked while still green and harvested between 9am- 3pm to prevent rapid exudation of the latex. Mature mangoes turned fully ripe from 6-12 days after harvest. Timing is important for transporting this fruit as it is highly perishable. green_mangoes2.jpgKeeping it refrigerated at 10 degrees Celsius remains green for 2 weeks. It is a wonder fruit of versatile ways to enjoy its taste. Green mango can be served as a salad component, while golden yellow mango has varieties of ways to savor its uniqueness. It can be served as plain, processed, dried or frozen, this delicious fruit is world known for its sweetest character. Ripened by the heat of tropical sun, this wonder fruit is a perfect dessert served in many ways. Considered “Fruit of the Gods”, Philippine Mango is well-known worldwide for its best qualities, which cannot be outshined by any variety of mangoes around the globe.

Electricity & Telecommunication

The outlet is 220 volts. Some hotels may have 110 outlets.

The country’s international telephone code is 63. Area code for Manila is 2. Philippines is one of many countries where usage of cellphone is rampant even in children. Texting became a part of Filipinos’ daily life so be sure to have one activated when in the country. Phone booths are notably present everywhere. Minimum charge is P5 per call.

Manila, the Capital

Sky-scraping towers along Manila BayLocated in Luzon, Metro Manila is the capital and the center of economic, political, social and entertainment activity of the country. Massive changes occured since the destructions of World War II. Rebuilding its economy was plagued with familiar urban problems like, pollution, traffic, and densed population, bringing out the reality of underlying poverty behind the present status of the city. Slum areas, beggars in the streets, loose criminals and clots of nonworking men are common sights around the area. Common but not terrifying, the city has low crime rate directed to foreigners. This congestion of people simply is the outcome of constant rural-urban migration. Most residents are Filipinos, and a quarter number of Chinese and foreigners staying for work.

Manila BayMetropolitan Manila, popularly called National Capital Region was enforced to function as a united region of major cities and municipalities including Manila City, Makati City, Quezon City, Caloocan City, Pasay City and others. Manila City is the most promising tourist destination inside the Metropolis. This is where medieval establishments, museums and remnants of European memories are located. Despite of the massive infrastracture development in the region, Intramuros, Manila’s oldest district was preserved to honor its historic image. Also in Manila, China Town and the Muslim quarter, are mixed communities of extreme differences. China town which is the home of filipino-chinese society shows an exotic sights and smells of an old Hongkong community. Other historic treasures of the city include the busy and centuries old commercial districts of Sta Cruz and Escolta. Luneta Park or Rizal Park is a wide memorial quarter of Jose Rizal, mostly jammed- pack with picknickers during weekends. Paco Park has free weekend concerts of classic intruments featuring some of the country’s famous traditional music.

Manila & Nearby Districts Maps

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