Modes of appeal (Rule 41, Sec. 2)

An appeal brings up for review any error of judgment committed by a court with jurisdiction over the subject of the suit and over the persons of the parties, or any error committed by the court in the exercise of its jurisdiction amounting to nothing more than an error of judgment.[1] Such modes of appeal were well delineated in the Rules of Court, and have been expressly stated in Section 2, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court since July 1, 1997,[2] to wit:
Section 2. Modes of appeal.—

(a) Ordinary appeal.— The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court which rendered the judgment or final order appealed from and serving a copy thereof upon the adverse party. No record on appeal shall be required except in special proceedings and other cases of multiple or separate appeals where the law or these Rules so require. In such cases, the record on appeal shall be filed and served in like manner.

(b) Petition for review.— The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction shall be by petition for review in accordance with Rule 42.

(c) Appeal by certiorari.—In all cases where only questions of law are raised or involved, the appeal shall be to the Supreme Court by petition for review on certiorari in accordance with Rule 45. (n)
The distinctions between the various modes of appeal cannot be taken for granted, or easily dismissed, or lightly treated. The appeal by notice of appeal under Rule 41 is a matter or right, but the appeal by petition for review under Rule 42 is a matter of discretion. An appeal as a matter of right, which refers to the right to seek the review by a superior court of the judgment rendered by the trial court, exists after the trial in the first instance. In contrast, the discretionary appeal, which is taken from the decision or final order rendered by a court in the exercise of its primary appellate jurisdiction, may be disallowed by the superior court in its discretion.[3] 

[1] Silverio v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-39861, March 17, 1986.

[2] This date is the effectivity of the 1997 revisions of the Rules of Court.

[3] Bersamin, Appeal and Review in the Philippines (2nd Edition), p. 85.