Ever wonder why they’re called the bar exams? The part of the courtroom from the seats for the legal counsels up to the judge’s bench is separated from the rest of the room by a partition called the bar. Only lawyers are allowed to pass the bar from the seating area for spectating citizens, thus the term.
It’s not every day you get a chance to cross the bar in a normal courtroom, much less the en banc session hall of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. So when my Journalism class went there on Wednesday to learn about court reporting, I jumped at the chance.
We also got to ask Midas Marquez, spokesperson of the Supreme Court, a few questions. Apparently the Philippines is one of the few highest courts in the world that have a public information arm. Unlike the two other branches of government, the judiciary is supposed to be very reclusive and silent, perhaps to prevent accusations of prejudice and bias.
Photos of me at the podium that counsels use during hearings:
For as long as I remember I’ve always wanted to become a lawyer, and that’s what my dad wants for me, too. Is it weird to be what your father wants you to be? I reckon it is, but then again, my knowledge of the matter is informed mostly by Hollywood movies and TV series whose plots revolve around the son struggling to succeed in life as his dad hounds him by saying, “You should have listened to me and gone into this or that; you would have been better off then.”
One day, middle seat, one day.