SMALL CLAIMS IN THE PHILIPPINES Part 2

After all the time, money, and effort you spent and exerted, your case will finally be heard by a judge. Like I said in the first part of this blog, SMALL CLAIMS IN THE PHILIPPINES, upon submission of your case to the office, your case and all the other cases filed by other people will be put into a raffle to find out which branch will handle it. You’ll be informed about the branch when you are called back in the office to receive the “Notice of Hearing.” The date and time of the hearing is included in the said document.

On the day of your hearing, make sure to be on time. The judge handling my case was sometimes late. However, not because the judge is late doesn’t mean you can also be late. You are not always sure how many minutes the judge will be late for. Also it’s always better to be on time for any appointment you might have. My case schedule was at 8 am. So as much as I wanted to extend my beauty sleep, I had to wake up early to avoid jeepney queues and, most especially, traffic.

The time indicated on the Notice of Hearing they give you is probably the same time written on the documents of all the other cases that will be heard together with yours. It will be numbered just like the picture below.

So you just have to wait for your turn, which I can say, can take a minute to 4 hours. Possibly more. So be patient. You should practice patience at home if you’re not the patient type. You can . Keep calm, breathe, and enjoy the show… I mean, the case hearings before yours. Remember the saying “Good things happen to those who are patient.”… or was it “to those who wait”? Well, it has the same meaning anyway. Haha. So do not lose your cool. I repeat DO NOT LOSE YOUR COOL.

In case you are wondering, “Peo” here means “People of the Philippines”. It is usually used or seen in criminal cases. I just had to share this as this abbreviation almost gave me a heart attack on the day my case was finally heard. Please. Don’t ask. My heart goes “dudugs, dudugs” (“thump, thump”- Filipino version, in case you didn’t get it hahaha) every time I remember that day. I was confused as to what “Peo”meant and how it was related to my case. I searched online to check what it meant and what came out was “Professional Employer Organization”. I didn’t see how the said organization was connected to case I filed. I was in major panic thinking of a possible reason I could be filed a case on. I almost cried. When I heard what it meant, I had a hint that it was a typo. I WAS PRAYING that it be a typo. I calmed down a bit. My sister and bf helped a lot. Support from friends and family is very important guys. I realized it that time hahaha. And when my name and the other party’s name was called, I was able to confirm that it was a typo. I shouted “Hallelujah!! Praise the Lord! God loves me! OMG! O-M-G!” in my mind. It was like there was a ray of light from above. You may think that I’m being too dramatic but that was seriously how i felt that time. LMAO

Well, would you look at that, I shared my story after all. Right after I told you not to ask. Hahaha. Okay, let’s go back to our discussion…

Make sure to dress appropriately. In Baguio, Sleeveless tops/ dresses are not allowed. So you have to check if your place has the same rule. From what I read, other countries wear formal or semi-casual clothes during small claims hearings. All the videos and articles I watched and read about small claims in other countries say that presenting yourself properly is very important. So I did what they suggested: to dress nicely. I felt weird tho on the day of my first scheduled hearing. It seemed like I was a bit overdressed because I was wearing a semi casual dress while all the other people were wearing normal day to day clothes. And there I discovered that here in the Philippines, most people don’t give a dang about formality. It might depend on each place tho. But it will be better to wear a semi casual outfit just in case. So that if other people in the courtroom are wearing the same then you would be safe. And if ever they aren’t, you would still be safe. Being in the middle is safe. Hahaha

Arriving too early if you have the same schedule as I did will kind of have a disadvantage. Well, at least that’s what happened to me. They won’t let you enter earlier than 8 am unless you are an employee. But if you do arrive early and haven’t had your breakfast yet before going to the place, then it’s better to go find a store where you can buy some snacks. It’s not good to go to your hearing with an empty stomach. Why? Well, you can think clearer and focus more on your case when your stomach is not growling. Trust me, if you are lined up 2nd or 3rd to the last, you’d be thankful you ate. If you can eat a full breakfast, then that would be so much better.

Criminal cases might be scheduled together with civil cases. So if there are criminal cases on the same day and time frame, the judge will hear the criminal cases first. I observed that the judge first hears cases that involves lawyers. Criminal cases usually take up more time than civil cases. On my part, I found it quite interesting to listen to the lawyers defend their clients. There were some who were already spouting nonsense but still kept on going and even repeating their nonsensical argument. I am not a lawyer but I do know if someone is in the wrong. Even the judge himself was shaking his head and smiling from ear to ear. I thought he was gonna crack. Glad he didn’t and I sure am glad the judge who handled my case and those other cases had a good sense of humor. Hahaha.  Also, for me, it is quite interesting to witness cases because you learn a lot from it too.

Well, I will end this part here as I feel like it’s too long, and you are getting bored. LOL. I will be uploading the 3rd and last part shortly. Meanwhile:

If you have any comments, questions, or any suggested topic? Hit the comment section , like my page on facebook @spontanaileous , and send me your queries! I would try my best to help

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Ready to read the third part? Click here: SMALL CLAIMS IN THE PHILIPPINES PART 3

The Philippines: A Paradise- Bohol

When we hear “Bohol,” the first thing that comes to mind is it’s famous Chocolate Hills. It has been said the hills turn into a chocolatey color during rainy seasons hence the name. However, there is more to Bohol than it’s famous hills. Keep reading as I share with you my short but awesome trip to Bohol with the love of my life. 🙂

Going to Bohol

Before getting to Bohol we had to fly from NAIA Terminal 4 in Manila to Mactan Cebu International Airport. The flight took approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Upon arrival, we immediately went out of the airport and booked a cab from Grab. Grab has a promo code posted in the airport and you’ll be able to see it as you make your way to the exit. We always used Grab in places that have it since we weren’t familiar with the places and wanted to minimize possible risks from riding in cabs. While waiting for the cab, of course, we had to take a…. SELFIE!! Since we are a couple, I made up a more apt term— COUPFIE (Couple+Selfie). It kinda sounds like coffee. Hahaha. I know. It’s lame. But sometimes lame jokes and/or ideas make people laugh. LAUGH! PLEASE!! Hahaha  😀

Mactan Cebu International Airport Domestic Arrival

We asked the cab driver to take us to Pier 1, where Ocean Jet is.To get to Bohol Island, you need to ride a fast ferry. There are a number of companies that offer fast ferry rides on different schedules. You should research in advance for the ferry schedules to make sure that you’ll be able to get the one that works best with your itinerary. Doing so will also remove the hassle of traveling from pier to pier just to check which company offers the best schedule for you. The pier you depart from depends on the company you choose. Click on this link to check the fast ferry  schedules. http://www.bohol.ph/article107.html

We bought tickets to Tagbilaran, Bohol for 500 PHP each before getting inside the Port. We went there during the low season – that’s why the price of the tickets were lower. It can go up to 800 PHP during peak seasons. You will be asked to write down some basic information before they process your ticket. Just like any other port, terminal fees are required to be paid. We paid 20 PHP each for the terminal fee inside the building. Ocean Jet also has the option of checking in baggage. I wasn’t able to ask about it as we were in a hurry and we didn’t check our bags in but I believe that service is offered for a fee. We wanted to catch a certain ferry on the schedule; that’s why we were running around like minions during the whole process, which was hard with my tiny legs.

Ferry Tickets to Tagbilaran

I’m sorry for my dirty nail. I never had the time to clean it from all the traveling. Hahahaha. After a tiring cardio-like exercise, we finally got inside the ferry and sat on our seats. And to reward myself, I mean, ourselves, for trying to be fit with all the running and rushing, we bought some snacks and enjoyed the 2 hour cruise to Tagbilaran.

Arriving in Tagbilaran

We rode a cab to Loboc River Resort. Grab is not yet available in the place so we had no choice but to negotiate with the available rides outside the port. If you did not arrange a pick up service with your hotel or place of accommodation, then you can choose among the cabs and tricycles that are lined up outside. The tricycles were charging 300 PHP to Loboc River Resort. The cab barker was charging us double the price of the tricycle, so 600 PHP. It was too hot outside so we just settled with the cab. When we entered the cab, the driver told us that he will be charging us double the meter but I firmly said that the barker already agreed that we will be paying 600 PHP flat. The driver just agreed with us. If the same thing happens to you, make sure that you will stand your ground and not let yourself be bullied and taken advantaged of.

When we arrived at the river resort, the meter was over 400 PHP, so it’s a good thing that we negotiated at the port first. We checked in and arranged a tour with the resort. They suggested that we get the check out tour package since we will be checking out the next day anyway and it would be less of a hassle for us.

The check out tour package included the Man-made Mahogany Forest, the Tarsier Sanctuary, Bohol Hills, a small Animal Sanctuary, the Butterfly Garden, River Cruise, and a drive back to the Pier. The tour was supposed to include the Blood Compact statue and the Baclayon Chruch but we decided to skip last the two as we were short in time.

Loboc River Resort 

 

  

This place is wonderful. The staff were very nice. They smiled a lot and they really made us feel welcome. We got a standard room with a river view. The room was spacious and cozy. It had a balcony too.  It was raining when we got there so we just stayed in the room and ordered room service. The food… OH MY GOSH. The food was to die for. Their dessert was divine and heavenly. If we had stayed there for more than one night, I would’ve gotten big as an air balloon and would’ve rolled down the chocolate hills. Hahaha.

Bohol Day Tour

The next day we had our complimentary breakfast in the resort’s restaurant, put our bags in the back of the car, and started our tour. Our first stop was the Man-made forest. It was absolutely mesmerizing. The tall mahogany trees and the story behind them. We were told that the trees were planted by students during the Marcos Regime. So the trees are still quite young. It is not encouraged to hike in the forest. They seldom allow it and only if you’re with a guide. Europeans are usually the ones who trek the forest, said our driver/ guide.

I’m half human and half tarsier

Cutie

Our next stop was the Tarsier Sanctuary. My home. Did I mention that I’m a tarsier? Viva big eyes! hahaha. Our driver said that there two sanctuaries there but we just went to the nearest one. There weren’t many tarsiers in the sanctuary we went to. There were probably less than ten. Even so, it was still fun seeing the cute tiny creatures. The guests are asked to be very quiet while walking around the sanctuary. This is to avoid stressing out the tarsiers. Tarsiers are extremely sensitive so please observe silence while roaming around and taking pictures. At first, I thought the tarsiers were not real as the first two we saw weren’t moving. I was thinking that the sanctuary was faking the tarsiers. Haha. But the next ones move, OH SO SLOWLY. I didn’t know they move so slowly. Hahaha. I’ve never seen a tarsier before and I’ve never really done my research about them. I just learnt about how sensitive they are from my logistics instructor in college. Hi sir!

After taking pictures of one of the most adorable creatures in the planet, we headed out to see the famous chocolate hills of the Island. To capture a better view of the hills, you first need to climb a flight of stairs. It was like hiking the Banaue Rice Terraces part two! And just like reaching our destination in Banaue, reaching the top of the stairs was also worth every torture and pain on our legs. Hahaha. There’s a telescope at the top to help you check out the chocolate hills closely. I wasn’t able to try it tho because I’m too small. That was one of the moments I hated my height.

We continued our tour by quickly stopping by a small animal sanctuary. They had a few animals inside different cages. There was a porcupine, an eagle, a bear cat, another type of cat (I forgot the name), a python, and a bird (I forgot the name again. lol). They made us hold the bird and python. I was too scared of the python and the bird surprised me a lot – that’s why i wasn’t able to take a picture with it. I think the bird was a female cause it somewhat hated me but liked my boyfriend. -_-

Before we proceeded to the floating restaurant/ river cruise where we had our lunch, we first went around the beautiful Butterfly Garden. The tour inside became really fun because of our tour guide. He took great pictures of us too. We learned a few things about the lives of butterflies and moths. It was a short but awesome tour.

That look tho. Awesome trick too!

Our last stop for the day was the river cruise or floating restaurant. The restaurant will be cruising while the guests are eating. However, eating before the boat leaves is not prohibited. You can eat before the cruise and while the cruise is ongoing. I thought it would just be plain cruising but all the guests were surprised when the boat stopped by a cottage where a group of local people showed us a marvelous performance. They sang and danced and even let some guests dance with them (me included!)

That “kunwari stolen” photo

After the cruise, we headed straight to the port and bought tickets back to Cebu. Sad as it was, it was time to leave that wonderful island and head out to more adventures in the other islands of the Philippines, experience more things, see more places, and create more memories!

Update: Direct flights to Tagbilaran are already available. Sad for us, but lucky for you!

Next stop, Puerto Princesa!

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See you in the next blog!