SMALL CLAIMS IN THE PHILIPPINES PART 3

Hi guys! I am soooooo sorry that it took me a while to write this and for being so slow in updating my blogs. I’ve been having some problems with my connection lately so it has been difficult to post my blogs, but worry not! I now have a more stable connection (welcome to the Philippines) and I will be able to regularly update you guys. So let’s get it on, shall we? 😀

** If you haven’t read part one and part two then I would suggest you do as you might not be able to follow the contents of this blog.**

We ended up with the possible lineup of hearings in a small claims court. Now, let us continue our journey!… to information!… hurrah! Hurrah! >o<

After the judge who’s in charge of my case heard all of the criminal cases, which for your information really took a lot of time, he went inside the office and let his people, the sheriff and the bailiff, handle the civil cases. Most of it were collection of sum of money, including mine. The most important thing and the only thing that matters when it comes to collection of sum of money is that both parties compromise and have an agreement. If, after the trusted people of the judge talked to the parties, there’s no agreement formed, that’s the time the judge will talk to them.

As for my case, it was the sheriff who handled us and a compromise agreement was formed. Let me repeat what I said in part 1 of my small claims blog:

“No one gets imprisoned from debt.”

If you are expecting or wanting your debtor to get jailed then I assure you that you will fail. However, if your debtor is not willing to pay then a writ of execution or other forced mode payments will probably be executed by the sheriff. I read online that holding wages in the bank is possible.

If your debtor says s/he is willing to pay and both parties settle with an agreement, the sheriff will write and print the conditions for you. Remember to add the filing fee you paid when you filed the case to the amount that you agreed upon. So say, for example, he agreed to pay you a total of 30,000 Philippine Peso and your filing fee is 4,000 PHP, You should make him pay 34,000 PHP. If you only put in 30,000 PHP then it’s like he will only pay you 26,000 PHP. The debtor usually carries or pays back the filing fee the creditor or collector spent. It is usually the case for any lawsuit.

What if the debtor doesn’t abide by the agreements/ conditions? Don’t worry! Be happy! There’s still a ray of hope if ever your debtor misses a payment or breaks any of the conditions written in your compromise agreement. A writ of execution will be executed by the sheriff, just like I said above.

What is a writ of execution?

A writ of execution means that the sheriff will be given the authorization to collect any or all of the properties of the debtor. He will then auction it and use the money collected to pay the debtor’s debt to you.

It will be better to specify everything in the compromise agreement you’ll be making. Make sure to specify exact date of payment, mode of payment, and place of payment, if possible, especially for installments. The person who owes me always used pity to get her way. She would always act as if she didn’t do anything wrong and she always gave excuses and made her personal problem mine. Yes guys, if you were in my situation, you’d be losing your brains too. That’s the problem with our society sometimes ,right? They always favor those who look pitiful, even if those people are just faking it. So stating specifics would be important. Trust me on this one. I’ve said “trust me” in almost all of my blogs so basically just trust me. Hahaha. Back to the topic— Stating specifics will somewhat decrease the level of doubt you are having or you will be having with regards to the payment of debt to you.

After the compromise agreement has been finalized then all you need to do is to wait. There a lot of possible situations that can result to non-payment of debt to you. I will keep it to myself for the debtors (sorry guys) to not take advantage.

Just be patient and wait.

I hope I was able to help you in some way.Please take note that this blog was written based on my experience only. Basing it from the nature of my case which was “collection of sum of money”. For other civil cases, I don’t think I’ll be able to help that much. The most powerful thing is research and asking the right people.

Please keep in mind that Estafa is different from Payment of Debt. Don’t get the two mixed up. If you are not sure then ask an expert, meaning a lawyer.

If you have questions regarding small claims for “collection of sum of money” tho, I can answer them and help you in the best way I can. Good day guys! See you on my next blog! 😀

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

Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/Spontanaileous

See you in the next blog!

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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

Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/Spontanaileous

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!

Do you have any comments, questions, or any suggested topic? Hit the comment section or like my page on facebook @spontanaileous.

Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/Spontanaileous

See you in the next blog!

Small Claims in the Philippines

**This topic is intended to be shared to legal-aged readers. If you are under-aged, kindly discontinue reading unless you are with an adult who’s able to give you proper guidance in this matter. **

I have recently been thru a small claims case here in the Philippines. Don’t worry guys, I didn’t do anything wrong to anybody. Instead, I was the one who was wronged. So you are safe with me. 😉

Let us not dig into my story cause I know that it will either bore you to death or kill you from excitement. Either way, it will still kill you and you’ll end up dead. Haha

I’m sorry for being a bit morbid and for talking about deaths, I’ve been watching ElementaryBlacklist, and The Walking Dead lately and it’s affecting me. *Yikes!*

Let’s go back to our main topic for today…

A lot of us have entertained the thought of suing someone at least once in our lives. It may be a friend or acquaintance who owed you money, a tenant who didn’t pay his lease, a landlord who didn’t give back your security deposit, or any other situation you’ve been in which involves the collection of a certain sum of money. Many of us dismiss the thought since we can already foresee the cost it will bring in our pockets. It is a well-known fact that lawyers are not cheap. The money you will be spending on a lawyer might even be higher than the amount you are supposed to collect from the person who owes you. So, who in their right mind would do that, right? Unless you are a person who has money to spend. If so, then please adopt me *puppy eyes*. >0< LOL, I’m kidding.

Luckily, for people like me who are both sane not to spend on lawyers more than the money to be collected and don’t really have much in their pockets, in short BROKE, the Small Claims Cases have been made available to the Philippines.

Just a bit of a background check…

Small claims court is a special court wherein the rules are simplified, the setting is informal,  the process is easier and faster, disputes are resolved quickly ( State of California, DCA), and… for the best part…. CHEAP.

This special court was finally implemented in the Philippines on March 2010 and, after seeing a high success rate, an improved and revised rules of procedure was enacted on February 2016 (Republic of the Philippines Supreme Court, Manila).

Procedure

So here are the steps that you must follow before and during the filing of your case.

  1. When trying to resolve the situation with the person who owes you money fails, go to their barangay and try resolving it there. Agreements will be formed and signed by the parties and the witnesses, the barangay officials.
  2. After the other party fails to deliver, which then breaks the agreement formed in the barangay, ask the officials for a Certificate to File Action. The Certificate to File Action is a document that will certify that you tried to resolve the issue on your own and with the barangay first before filing the case to the court.
  3. Collect all documents you have which are related to the case and can be used as proof. This will strengthen your chance to win and would make it easier for the judge to understand your story. Remember, the court always base its judgement on the evidence you show them. So bring all documents like receipts, letters, contracts, pictures of conversations, and the Certificate to File Action. Make sure to bring the original copies when you file your case.
  4. Fill in Form-1-SCC and Form-1-A-SCC. There is a form available online but you can also get a copy from the municipal trial court. Small claims cases are usually held in your municipality’s trial court. As for me, I went to the window which processes small claims cases. This will actually do you good as you can ask questions or clarify whatever concerns you may have.
  5. After filling up the forms, photocopy it and the other documents that you will be passing for evidence. Complete copies for the judge and the person you will be filing a case on. If you have multiple people to file a case on, provide a set of copies for each one. The original copy will be your copy but they’ll be needing it so that they can certify the photocopies. Make sure to bring all the documents that you would like to use as evidence. You will not be allowed to bring additional evidence to the court upon the day of your trial.
  6. After you have completed all the copies for the documents needed, file your case at the small claims window of your municipality’s trial court. You will need to pay a fee for it. I think the amount will depend on the money you will be collecting. I would suggest that you ask them first.
  7. After filing and paying, the staff will give you your copy. You will have to wait for the announcement on which branch or judge will hear your case. They use a draw lots method to identify which case goes to which branch. I believe that this is to avoid the use of connections if ever you or the person you’ll be filing a case on knows the judge of a certain branch. You will then wait for the sheriff to give you a Notice of Hearing. The sheriff will also be sending a Notice of Hearing, Summon, and copy of the evidences you passed to the other party.

Things to take note:

  1. Terms:

Plaintiff- The person filing the case

Defendant- The person being filed a complaint on.

  1. One mistake I did when I passed the documents I have for evidence is that I printed a timeline of the events that happened. DO NOT DO THIS. I forgot that all the evidence I submitted will also be seen by the defendant. Both parties are given a month before the trial to review the evidences. Therefore, doing this would get rid of your leverage.
  2. Your case will be heard at least 30 days after you have filed it. It is highly encouraged that you seek the help of an advisor before the trial. Ask all the questions you have like how to handle the case, how to present your side, and what will be the best options for you to be able to get your money back.
  3. Make sure to put the address of the defendant where you know s/he can surely be found. If you don’t, and the sheriff wasn’t able to locate the defendant on the address you have given, you will be asked to serve the notice on your own and your case will be moved to another day or month/s. This will postpone everything and you would have to wait again.
  4. Do not expect that you will be able to collect anything immediately.

Well guys, I hope this helps you. I will be posting another blog on how to prepare for your small claims trial and what happens inside the court and probably after.

Remember our motto? Even the Smallest Detail can Matter.

This doesn’t only apply to our nails but also to our everyday lives, especially to court cases. 😉

References:

http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/small_claims/basic_info.shtml

http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/smallclaims/SMALL%20CLAIMS%20PAMPHLET.pdf

CHECK OUT THE SECOND PART HERE:

SMALL CLAIMS IN THE PHILIPPINES PART 2

Do you have any comments, questions, or any suggested topic? Hit the comment section or like my page on facebook @spontanaileous.

Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/Spontanaileous

See you in the next blog!

The Philippines: A Paradise- Ifugao

I have been posting a lot about nails lately and have not really filled up the other categories of my blog. So here I am guys, writing about the adventure I had. I also wanted to apologize for not being able to post some blogs recently. And to express my sincerest apology, I will give you guys…… Kisses – *Mwah Mwah Mwah Mwah Mwah* …. Grossed out? Don’t be cause I love you guys }:>
For this Philippines trip, I went around with a special someone. Yes, he’s a guy. I know guys, thank you for your applause and congratulations. Woohoo! Relationship Goals! Haha.

Ifugao… is a marvelous place.

I am not saying this because my mom is from there and I’m proud to be a cordilleran but because the famous Banaue Rice Terraces are indeed breathtaking. I have been visiting Ifugao since I was young and, up until now, it still amazes me.

Before we could reach Hunduan, we first had to travel from Baguio to Banaue, Ifugao. Traveling from Baguio to Banaue is quite fun but not if you are not used to curvy roads. What’s that? You are saying you are ok with even 15 mins of curvy roads? Oh honey, I am not talking about 15 mins but 3 hours of curvy roads. Oh don’t be scared. It’s nothing. It’s fun! Especially if you take the public van like us and the van doesn’t have that much passengers. The most fun part is when your driver drives like a maniac given those curvy roads. Hahaha. Now, now. I’m not scaring you. I just want to suggest that before you take the trip–

Take some motion sickness pills.

If there are men reading this, PLEASE, don’t think that you are so macho that you don’t need the pills. Swallow your pride and take it. Unless… I think you know what the unless part is :p . Guys and girls, bring plastic bags too just in case. 😉

The travel time from Baguio to Banaue is normally 6 hours. If there are no traffics along the way and/or your driver speeds like ours, then you’ll be able to reach Banaue for only 5 hours. We paid a 300+ PHP fee for the van. The bus will be about the same. If you want to take the bus, kindly check with the bus schedules with the ticketing office. When we went there at 8 am, on the day of our trip, to ask them if they had a bus leaving at around that time, the staff told us that they only had the 9:30 pm bus scheduled for that day. If you want to take the night trip bus then you can go to the Ohayami bus station near Andok’s burnham. Luckily, there were vans going to our destination so we just took one. When you get to Banaue, you can check in at the Inn or hotel that you booked. I don’t think there are hotels after Banaue. As for us, we went straight to Hapao, Hunduan since I have a relative there (lots actually). You can ride a jeep going there. If you took the bus and want to go straight to see the terraces but don’t know where the jeep terminal is, you can ask around. If you took the van then you could just tell the van to drop you off at the jeep terminal. You could also hire a tricycle to take you there. However, it may be a bit more expensive, especially if you are a foreigner, so I would suggest that you just negotiate with the tricycle driver to drive you around for a fee.

If you want to walk around the terraces or maybe hike to the famous Bogyah hot springs, it would be better to have a local guide you.

The paths can be very confusing and I don’t think Google Maps or any map can help you.

If I am not mistaken, there are locals who offer tour services. There’s a high chance that your tour guide will also be able to give you fun facts. Sadly, I won’t be able to give you any information on how much it would cost as I haven’t been able to ask and we had personal tour guides…my relatives.

A few minutes after arriving at my cousin’s place, where we stayed, we tried climbing the betel nut trees planted in front of the house. Those trees are still young and so they are not that tall. For someone who is not used to climbing trees like the betel nut, coconut, or even palm trees, the “short”trees became a challenge. Guess who won? *drum roll* Me!! Bwahahahahaha…. I’m kidding. Both of us won. I was better in climbing the trees and my boyfriend was better in going down. So maybe it was a tie. 🙂

 

After climbing the trees, we decided to go to the river since the house is only a few feet away from it. We were planning on taking a bath there but then the water was too cold as the clouds are getting darker and the rain was just waiting to fall. I decided not to go in but my brave companion didn’t fear the cold water and so he still went in… just for 5 minutes tho. We had to head back as the rain was coming. Just a fair warning guys,

the paths in the terraces are so narrow that only one person can fit.

So it’s like a one way path walk. Be very careful when walking. Also, some of the stairs may just be rocks like the one in the picture below so be very careful. I think they have cemented most of the stairs but there are some that are not yet fixed, especially the ones going to the river.

Walking up the rock stairs from the river.

We rested for the night and woke up early in the morning to eat our breakfast. After getting ready, we started our hiking trip to my grandma’s house. My uncle was our guide. My grandma’s house was probably two to three mountains away from where we were staying. You might be thinking, why didn’t you use a car or a bike? Well, my dear friends,

Unlike the main road, there is no space for any kind of transportation in the terraces. You will have to walk if you want to reach your destination.

For people who are not good with hiking or cardio exercises, if you ever tried hiking the distance we did, you would definitely die a lot of times

but trust me when I say it is all worth it.

Going all the way up the mountains will make your trip way more rewarding than taking pictures of the terraces from the viewpoints. You will be able to see the amazing view and the magnificent work of the ancestors of one of the proud groups in the Cordillera. The beauty of the terraces crafted from the mountains will put you in awe. Just make sure you don’t drop your jaw. :>

After an hour or two of playing, my uncle and cousin butchered and cooked a chicken for lunch, old school. Most households there would have their own chickens or ducks walking around the place. In addition to that, most still use a dirty kitchen, most likely their only kitchen, to cook their meals. My uncle also made us taste the rice wine that my granny made. It was really sweet. My companion also tried chewing the famous betel nut of the Ifugaos. I tried it when I was young and I got dizzy after only a few chews but as for my beloved, not only did he not get dizzy but he also thought it tasted like beef jerky. *clap clap* Praise his taste buds. Haha. The good thing about having a personal tour guide is that they’ll be able to show you their way of living. You’ll also be able to gather more information. They will treat you like family. If you want one, maybe i can hook you up with my uncle or someone else. 😉

We waited for the rain to stop before heading back to the place where we were staying to fix our bags since we were traveling to Manila that evening. Please remember to wear non-slippery slippers or shoes during your hike, especially during rainy season. I almost died seeing my partner slip, but luckily not fall down, countless times.

I asked my cousin in Banaue to buy the tickets for us . It would be best for you to buy your tickets beforehand. Especially during peak seasons. The tickets were 450 PHP each. The only way to get to Banaue from Hunduan in the afternoon is by tricycle or private car. Jeepneys only travel to Banaue at 5:00 in the morning. We traveled by tricycle at 4 pm and paid 400 PHP. Tricycle drivers ask for more at that time because they were worried of getting home at night. When we went there, slides from the recent typhoon were still evident and it was also raining so tricycle drivers had the right to be scared and ask for more money. Plus, we didn’t really have any other choice.

The traveling time from Banaue to Manila is 10 hours. It would be best to use the Grab app when you get to the Manila terminal. There will be lots of taxi drivers ogling at you when you get off of the bus. And of course, they will be asking thrice the usual price to take you to any destination. When we were in Manila, we always used Grab. If you have Uber, then you can use that too. It is way safer and probably cheaper. This is especially true for people coming from and going to the airport.

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See you in the next blog!