MANILA, Philippines?There was a time when students and employees would tune in to AM radio stations to television on stormy mornings, waiting for that announcement that classes or work were suspended for the day.
The Internet now makes it faster and easier to find out if one?s prayers for an additional rest day is granted.
One website catering mostly to Metro Manila-based netizens is fast gaining popularity because of its straightforward way of answering the question: ?May pasok ba (Is there school or work today)??
The home page of www.maypasokba.com delivers the good or bad news in big, bold letters?it?s either ?Meron? or ?Wala.?
The problem with this one-reply approach is that blanket suspension or non-suspension of work and classes during weather disturbances is rare. For instance, only preschoolers do not have classes during Storm Signal No. 1.
The site?s ?Meron? announcement Wednesday, therefore, might have brought confusion to students whose classes had been suspended by the education department.
The website tries to make up for this by providing links to its Twitter and Facebook accounts, where more detailed announcements are posted.
Its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/maypasokba, carries links to storm updates and holiday announcements on news websites like www.inquirer.net, and even calls for Red Cross donations during calamities.
Its Twitter account, twitter.com/maypasokba, announced the postponement of bar examinations at the height of Storm Ondoy last September.
Maypasokba?s first Twitter entry was posted on August 2, 2009, a day after the death of former President Corazon Aquino. It read, ?Aug. 5 is a holiday because of Cory?s funeral.?
In a ?tweet? last September, the unidentified site creator/s jested, ?Wag na kayong pumasok kahit walang official announcement. Maypasokba says: WALA. Yan ang official source mo.?
Maypasokba may not be an official source, but its creator tries to get details not just from news agencies and government offices. In the ?Contribute? page of www.maypasokba.com, student council members and human resources staff of companies are encouraged to email email@example.com for announcements on class or work suspensions.
The effort seems to be much appreciated, as maypasokba?s Facebook page had 36,156 fans, while its Twitter account had 1,272 followers, as of Wednesday afternoon.