Monday, March 31, 2008

Can I Buy The Philippines?

At the beginning of the year, I promised that this blog will return to its roots. That is, to post some law topics that I do hope to be interesting enough to be read by my non-lawyer friends. I must admit, I have learned so much from looking at the photos of some of my idols here in blogosphere like Ferdz, Oggie, Langyaw, Sidney and many more. So in return, I just hope that I can share not only my current enthusiasm in photography but also share my world of numbers and laws.

This will only be my second post about law this year and I have chosen to feature land and property ownership in the Philippines dedicated to all those foreigners whom in one way or another have landed in this humble blogsite.

As a general rule, only a Filipino citizen or a corporation organized under Philippine law, where at least 60% of the capital stock is owned by citizens of the Philippines, may own land in the Philippines. A foreigner may own land by hereditary succession, or if he is a former natural-born Filipino.

The Supreme Court held that hereditary succession only applies to intestate succession or succession by operation of law, and not to testamentary succession. Otherwise, the general prohibition against land ownership by a foreigner may be negated. When the foreigner is a natural-born Filipino, he may acquire private land subject to limitations provided by law. For instance, he may own a maximum area of five thousand square meter of urban land or three hectares of rural land.

In case of real properties, there is generally no prohibition against foreign ownership of real property other than land. Thus, foreigners may own houses but not the land upon which they are built. They can however lease this land.

Foreigners may own condominium units, provided the land on which the condominium stands is owned by a corporation where at least 60% of the capital stock is owned by citizens of the Philippines even after a foreigner acquires ownership of a condominium unit.

Although a foreigner is not allowed to own land, he can however lease private land in the Philippines. The maximum period of the lease of private land to foreigners is twenty-five years, renewable for another twenty-five years upon mutual agreement of the parties. Subject to certain conditions, however, a foreign investor may lease private land for a maximum period of fifty years, renewable once for a period of not more than twenty-five years upon mutual agreement of the parties. For the foreign investors to take advantage of the longer lease term, the law requires, among other, things that the purpose of the lease is the establishment of industrial estate, factories, assembly or processing plants, agro-industrial enterprises, land development for tourism, industrial or commercial use, or similar priority productive endeavors.

Although the law does not provide for this, there is also another way of buying the Philippines – that is for the foreigners to enter into a multi-billion IT and telecommunications contract with the president, her husband and her cabinet members in exchange for renouncing a claim against a group of islands which historically belongs to the Philippines. Now… this will be another interesting topic and requires a solo post of its own.

Personal Note:

Congratulations to all my friends who passed the 2007 Bar Examinations:


Welcome to the wonderful and crazy world of LAW!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ayutthaya Ruins

I spent my last day in Thailand touring a great number of ruins in Ayutthaya. Phra Monkol Bophit features ruins of an old capital city of Thailand.

Ayutthaya is the Thai capital for 417 years. It is one of Thailand’s major tourist attractions. Many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in a city that was founded in 1350 by King U - Thong when the Thais were forced southwards by northern neighbours. During the period of Ayutthaya being the Thai capital, 33 kings of different dynasties ruled the kingdom until it was sacked by the Burmese in 1767.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Great Temple of Auspicious Victory

WAT YAI CHAYA MONGKOL - The Great Temple of Auspicious Victory - derived its name from the Chedi built to commemorate the renowned victory of "King Naresuan The Great" over the massive Burmese invasion in 1593. Located in the old Capital City of Ayutthaya, it is also the home of the famous Reclining Buddha.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


On Good Friday, every street in the Philippines shall be covered by christians who walk barefooted on a midday sun and beat their backs with wooden and metal whips, (some filled with thorns). Some devotees carry heavy wooden crosses and literally drags 'em on the road. This tradition is called "Penitensiya" where fanatical Christians inflict self-punishments to commemorate the hardships and the pains that Jesus went through when He carried the cross and eventually crucified.

This practice is a way for devotees to ask forgiveness for the sins they have committed.

I remember to have told this Holy Week tradition to a foreigner friend of mine and he asked me whether if I believe that such self-punishment could save and wash away the sins of these participants.

I honestly replied to him that it is all about faith and sincerity. We Christians believe that only God knows what our innermost intentions are. If his asking forgiveness is heartfelt and that he used self-punishent thru "Penitensiya" as a tool in showing his sincerity to the Lord, then I might agree with his belief.

What do you think?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bisita Iglesia in Nueva Ecija

Bisita Iglesia (Church Visits) is a Filipino tradition performed by Christians every Lenten Season. This is done by visiting seven catholic churches and offering prayers to the Lord.

In previous years, I used to visit seven churches and chapels around Cabanatuan City. This year, I have decided to do my visits outside my City but within my province of Nueva Ecija. Because these churches are located far from each other, it took me the whole day of this Holy Thursday to finish the visit.

So, in celebration of the Lenten Season, let me share to you seven of the oldest and historical churches of Nueva Ecija.

Cathedral of St. Joseph, City of San Jose

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Temple of Standing Buddha

Known in Thai as "Luang Pho To", Phrasiariyametri is a gigantic statue of Buddha located at Wat Intharavihan in Bangkok. It is the most gigantic standing Buddha statue with alms-bowl in hands, facing east. It is 32 meters tall and 11 meters wide.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Marvelous Marble Temple

Marvelous is an understated description of Wat Benchamabophit or more popularly known as The Marble Temple of Bangkok. This temple is made of white Carrana marble, thus the name.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chao Phraya River Cruise

A trip to Bangkok is not complete without cruising the majestic Chao Phraya River - the longest river in Thailand stretching 370 kilometers. You have an option to take either the day cruise or the night cruise and I chose the latter because my friends who have been there said that it is better... and they are right. So, here are some of the pics I have taken aboard MV Princess.

Wat Arun (The Temple of the Dawn)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Siam Ocean World

Explore the "Mystery Under The Sea". The Siam Ocean World in Bangkok is Southest Asia's largest aquarium which boast of 400 extra-ordinary species of sea animals that include the ragged-tooth shark, magnificent rays, graceful sea jellies, penguins and many other rare animals.

One could immerse himself into the gorgeous scenery under the sea through the glass bottom boat and can even participate in shark-feeding with the help of an experienced professional scuba instructors.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Panagbenga 2008 Float Parade Part 3

This will be the third and final part of the Panagbenga 2008 Float Parade and my last post on the Parades of the Flower Festival in Baguio.

Floats from Cebuana Lhuiller, Goldilocks, Intercontinental Hotel, and Placenta Products featuring former Miss International Melanie Marquez among others made-up the third batch of this parade.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Panagbenga 2008 Float Parade Part 2

Here is the second part of Baguio's Panagbenga Float Parade held last February 24. Flower Floats from Purefoods, LBC Bank, Mighty Bond, Jollibee, Smart, Cebuana Lhuiller, People Support, Yellow Cab and ABS-CBN among others are featured here. The ABS-CBN Float boast of KIm Chu, Gerald Anderson, Jo Mari Yllana and Jodi Sta. Maria.

So here are some of the shots I have taken of the Philippine version of Pasadena Rose Parade: