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Is it legal/safe to sleep in tent on beach


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The beach nearest to our house on the edge of Cagayan De Oro is basically fenced so that you can't get access without going through private property for at least a hour away from the city and in parts for a lot further than that.  The parts that aren't fenced are road edge with no beach.

You can get to the beach, you just have to pay a small fee to one of the locals that runs one of the swimming areas. 

They range from very simple bamboo type huts to quite upmarket western(ish) type hotels but they all charge either for access to swim or to the hotel or resort.

Sometimes they're fenced between swimming areas sometimes not but either way it's not a good idea to wander too far away from the place you've paid access to the sea for in my experience.  

Edited by GeoffH
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I have to ask Edrigo if you have ever visited the Philippines before. It would help to phrase our answers. But to you questions. Most land is privately owned here so most likely if you just campe

If we are talking about travelling around to cool places that is doable. I did a write up years ago about one of my trips around the northern Luzon mountain area. Had a great time, much to see, drove

Out of curiosity, I typed in " Philippines + camping " for a google search. Turned out even worse than I thought it would when I came across the co-mingled "camping and glamping' sites.  A new term fo

Out of curiosity, I typed in " Philippines + camping " for a google search. Turned out even worse than I thought it would when I came across the co-mingled "camping and glamping' sites.  A new term for me.

Camping as we have known it over the last century in North America and its European variations seems to be an alien cultural practice here. Due to population density, its not exactly like floating down the Amazon and hanging a jungle hammock at a decent spot along an unpopulated stretch of brush. Here, there are people... everywhere. 

I have seen a video of a group of young people doing a hike with overnight tent camping when they decided to climb the highest peak on Mindoro. The pre-arranged trip (with national park permits and fees) took them by van from Calapan to the park and they hike in.  There may have been a rest house near the peak, but I do believe some had tents. I laugh when guys tell me that they want to go to the PI and travel around, RVing, van or bivouac camping like they do in the US where we have an established infrastructure for it.  Same for long distance bike camping. 

If you want to camp out here, you just go to one of your poorer relative's huts with your mosq. net and maybe a woven mat and camp out on any empty floor space. Then you use the charcoal or stickwood stove to cook your meal up.  If you've the money for a nylon tent, primus stove and cook kit, inflate-a-pad or tent  cot and the personal transport to move you around, they'd think you a nut case not to stay in something as cheap as a local love hotel for the night..... with running water, security and a fan at minimum.

Unless you're a stranded, broke and begging, friendless, hungry unfortunate whose luck finally ran out.... foreigners are not seen or expected to be 'camping' in the PI unless its at exotic pay sites..... like the 'glamping' resorts.  Sleeping out in a tent might be seen as one step above sleeping on a piece of cardboard with a sheet of plastic or a scrap of netting over you. Its not considered adventurous here or interpreted as a desirable experience if you can afford other options.

A fellow could give it a try, if he was determined to figure out some workarounds, I guess.  But given the norms and situations in most places here, it just doesn't seem practical or worth it. Whether by road or water....... i.e.,  coastal cruising camping in a small bangka, the problem is that there are people where ever you go and very few places or areas that would allow for it.

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2 hours ago, Edrigo Salvadore said:

I found some sources saying it is illegal for land owners to the block beach access to the six meter closest to the water. Is this usually upheld or not? I know that high end hotels in boracay block of their beaches, but I assume that is probably because of a lot of money.

The Philippines is signatory to an international treaty designating beaches as public domain up to the high water mark. When a resort or individual property owner claims the beach to be private, what they mean is no access allowed through their private property. Security guards can be persuasive so I won't recommend exerting your rights. 

The recommendation is to visit the local barangay office and explain your need. They will help you find a place to pitch a tent. If challenged, inform the person that the barangay office had made the arrangement.

 

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1 hour ago, JJReyes said:

The Philippines is signatory to an international treaty designating beaches as public domain up to the high water mark. When a resort or individual property owner claims the beach to be private, what they mean is no access allowed through their private property. Security guards can be persuasive so I won't recommend exerting your rights. 

The recommendation is to visit the local barangay office and explain your need. They will help you find a place to pitch a tent. If challenged, inform the person that the barangay office had made the arrangement.

 

Here in Cebu, there are many places to camp in the mountains. They are called ECO-Parks. Most permit tent camping and also some have huts to rooms with aircon that you can rent. I would suggest some of the motorcycle clubs and talk with them or even join in on some of the rides.

Don't know much about beach camping. If you find an area your interested in, check in with the local Baranguy capitan and talk with them. They are very knowledgable about the local area or even if it is safe. Usually in remote areas should be fine, but check in the local town and ask. Near a large town, stay in small hotel!  :Policeman:

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11 hours ago, Edrigo Salvadore said:

I found some sources saying it is illegal for land owners to the block beach access to the six meter closest to the water.

Research foreshore lease and when you set up your tent be prepared for someone to come collect their fee.  Many have done as you suggest, but not for free.

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17 hours ago, Edrigo Salvadore said:

I am thinking of doing trips from Pampanga to the northern beaches, on my motorcycle. Is it realistic to bring a tent and sleeping bag and try to spend some of the nights in nature or on beaches? Would I face legal problems? Would I have to ask someone for permission?

Anyone have experiences about camping in nature? In my western country it is legal to spend one night in any place where none is living, or growing things.

Greetings...

Reading your initial comments and the following comments from you and other members makes me share these thoughts. And I mean these with all respect to you, okay?

I did what you suggest in USA back in the 70's. It was great, safe and a cool adventure... Nice, big bike, empty beaches, nobody around, no one to care... I was young 20's and invincible and immortal, as you seem to feel you also are... I had a great time with no hassles. The beaches were either publicly owned (National or State parks?) or just too remote for anyone to care...

Now it is 2020...right? You are talking Philippines, right? As previously mentioned, every square meter of land here is owned by someone. And many are very possessive about their bits of land, no matter how small...

In most island countries I have visited, you need to ask and obtain permission if you so much as wish to walk on their property, take a banana or coconut (even if it is on the ground and having fallen from the tree). To not do so is considered insulting and disrespectful to the owner(s).

As a foreigner here, you have few true (practical) rights when it comes to disputes. My limited experience here so far (5 years) shows me that generally Filipinos are friendly and helpful people.... Until you trespass or do anything to annoy them. Then their reaction can range from mild irritation to extreme violence, depending on the situation, mood, drink, and other conditions.

I suggest that your idea, although sounding adventurous and safe and fun to you, is not well advised. Do so at your own risk and make sure to take out life insurance and tell any close relatives about your plan before you go...

Good luck.

Edited by Tommy T.
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I think what you will find along the Philippine coastline are 1) Rocky areas with no beach. 2) A nicer semi-clean beach that is a resort with huts and some rooms for rent 3) A secluded beach with no people but only because it's very remote and hard to access, most likely swampy areas making it hard to get to on a motorcycle or by foot. 4) A beach that is basically a residential area for locals, small huts close to the water and many banka boats, it will be dirty and local dogs will roam free.

Don't even think about it during rainy season or summer because you will be constantly wet and the heat will suffocate you.

 

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14 hours ago, Edrigo Salvadore said:

I found some sources saying it is illegal for land owners to the block beach access to the six meter closest to the water. Is this usually upheld or not? I know that high end hotels in boracay block of their beaches, but I assume that is probably because of a lot of money.

OK,  you did your homework. Just go... and let us know how it worked out... 

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58 minutes ago, Joey G said:

OK,  you did your homework. Just go... and let us know how it worked out... 

I agree with Joey. Disregard what the experienced Expats here have to share and go for it. You will have interesting experiences and stories to share. Word is Mindanao has many rural areas you could explore and friendly muslim people to meet.

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11 minutes ago, Old55 said:

Word is Mindanao has many rural areas you could explore and friendly muslim people to meet.

Most muslim people in Mindanao are friendly, I've come across a couple who definitely were not.

One time I was sitting in the passenger seat of the Innova, we'd stopped next to a road side stall along the road between CDO and (eventually Davao) although we weren't going that far and there was a very uncomfortable vibe.  One older guy walked in front of the car, stopped and glared at me then spat on the ground.  I looked in the mirror and there were several younger guys looking at the car and then looking at a track up a hill and then back at the car.  So we didn't hang around.

That area is classed as 'unsafe at night but ok during the day',  however these days we just avoid going that way (even though it's a shorter trip).

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