> Chapter 4 of the Public Land Act governs the disposition of alienable public lands through homestead

> Any citizen of the Philippines over the age of 18 years, or the head of a family, may enter a homestead of not exceeding 12 hectares of agricultural land of the public domain

> The applicant must have cultivated and improved at least 1/5 of the land continuously since the approval of the application and resided for at least 1 year in the municipality in which the land is located, or in a municipality in which the land is located, or in a municipality adjacent to the same, and then, upon payment of the required fee, he shall be entitled to a patent


> When a homesteader has complied with all the terms and conditions which entitle him to a patent for a particular tract of public land, he acquires a vested interest therein, and is to be regarded as the equitable owner thereof

> The execution and delivery of the patent, after the right to a particular piece of land has become complete, are the mere ministerial acts of the officer charged with that duty

> Even without the patent, a perfected homestead is a property right in the fullest sense, unaffected by the fact that the paramount title to the land is still in the government