THIS is what was like during my time as a student on rainy seasons of post-Pinatubo eruption:
I get up early, give thanks for another day, eat breakfast, go to the bathroom, get groomed, ask for daily allowance, prepare umbrella and raincoat, and kiss the parents goodbye. If our 1966 Toyota Crown was in a good mood for a cold start, I get lucky to be driven to the school. If its stick shift calls it sick, I prepare my coins to commute.
First stop would be at the Balibago portion of the Abacan river. I fall in line to cross the make-shift walking bridge and pay some coins to the boys who carry the clinking "Pinatabo" (an old tin can used to collect money). After crossing the collapsed bridge and reaching Marisol, I take the jeepney again to reach the school.
Upon reaching the gate of the school, there's a large blackboard near the security guard's station where announcements were being posted. When a big "NO CLASSES" is written from a white chalk, I go home again. There was no mall to loiter except for Bart Mall and Sandra Mall. There were no cellphones, no internet, no social media.
Many years after, the advanced technology in communication is available not only in the first world countries but also mostly all over the world. And a great number of world leaders are utilizing this technology to reach out to their constituents. With a click of a button or a scroll of a finger, we can communicate with people. Hey, it's already 2019.
Alas, irate parents and guardians went on Facebook to express their apoplectic anger on what they call a late announcement by the Angeles City Local Government last Monday. Apparently, the Angeles LGU through its official FB page posted at 1:35 p.m. last Monday afternoon where it's written that as of 1:23 p.m. on the same day, the Office of the Mayor has declared suspension of classes due to continuous moderate to heavy rains being experienced in the city. Not sure if pun is intended but its closing message wrote "Please keep safe Angeleños!"
And here comes the comments of the parents: A certain Vicky posted "Para bukas po ba ito mayor? Kasi super late announcement niyo (Is this for tomorrow mayor? Because your announcement is too late). Netizen Jm commented "Minuli nala pu nandin pa" (they already went home) while FB user Jinx posted a photo of her kid and wrote "Yung on the way kana sa school tapos suspended pala. Hay very wrong." Most of the comments were very critical about the late announcement despite the advancement in technology.
In this era, parents are also keen on announcements of suspension of classes. Perhaps it's because both parents have careers of their own and declaration of suspension may be critical for them to adjust on their daily routines especially if they have to go to work. The situation gets worst if kids are already in school with the late announcement and the parents should find a way to fetch them safely without getting trouble at work.
Last Monday was an example. The traffic was horrendous on that very morning especially along Pandan-Magalang road. Many commuters and motorists spent two hours along the pavement. And after surviving that exodus, here comes the declaration in the afternoon. I fully understand the parents' reaction. It's a natural bodily process that occurred due to the effect of a negative stimulus.
After receiving the rants, the LGU made an adjustment. As early as 10:50 p.m. on the same night, the Office of the Mayor declared a suspension of classes for the following day. The graphic layout has also been changed making it more dominant yellow with just a touch of red.
Jose "Kuya Jay" Pelayo IV is the president of Metro Angeles City Journalists Association, Inc. and the president of Pampanga-Tarlac Energy Press Corps. For comments and suggestions, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org