On rainy days a generation ago, school children or their elders had to get up at 4 in the morning to listen to the AM radio and find out whether the DECS -- the Department of Educatio, Culture and Sports -- had already issued class suspensions.
My grandmother was an avid listener of Pang Yabut's program, which began, if I am not mistaken, at that same hour.
Mr. Yabut was fond of playing old songs interspersed with announcements of "Acebedo Optical, Acebedo Optical, Acebedo Optical". He must have been a firm believer in the power of repetition.
I remember the soothing and slightly effeminate voice of a DECS official, Dr. Nilo Rosas, who would bring the announcement and then remind parents they always had the choice to let their kids go to school depending on the situation at their place, and regardless of the announcement.
Sometimes no announcements would come in time and I would have to dress up, get brought to school (later get fetched by the school service when I grew older), get rained on, only to find out at the gate that school was out.
These days it is so much easier. The DECS is now the Deped, or the Department of Education. An executive order has relegated the task of suspending classes to local government leaders.
One has television, the Internet, cell phones. If one is lucky, the school's Web site may issue an announcement. A progressive mayor may announce his or her decision in a Twitter account -- so follow your mayor. Television networks issue announcements from LGUs and schools promptly.
Aksyon TV was how I got to know of the announcements today. Elmo is under Valenzuela, Sophie under Caloocan, Bea follows the suspension decisions of UP Diliman (she goes to Kalayaan College) and Josh's UST is of course notorious for flooding.
So now it's a rainy Monday and kids are home and if the water service only came back now it would otherwise be a perfect day.