ABS-CBN reporters on Wednesday remembered the first year since the country’s largest broadcasting network signed off the air on May 5, 2020.
One year ago today, the National Telecommunications Communications issued a cease-and-desist order on all radio and broadcast channels of ABS-CBN after its franchise expired.
In August 2020, TV Patrol’s regional stations also shut down. Thousands of ABS-CBN’s employees, including journalists, who were part of the job cuts following the closure also bid goodbye.
ABS-CBN’s social media accounts also joined in the one-year anniversary commemoration of the tragic event.
“Sa utos ng National Telecommunications Commission o NTC sa araw na ito noong 2020, huminto sa pag-ere sa free TV Channel 2 at sa iba pang istasyon nito sa Pilipinas ang ABS-CBN nang mapaso ang prangkisa nito noong Mayo 4, 2020. #ABSCBNShutdown,” it said.
Sa utos ng National Telecommunications Commission o NTC sa araw na ito noong 2020, huminto sa pag-ere sa free TV Channel 2 at sa iba pang istasyon nito sa Pilipinas ang ABS-CBN nang mapaso ang prangkisa nito noong Mayo 4, 2020. #ABSCBNShutdown pic.twitter.com/rJAIcQ7Jsv
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) May 4, 2021
Untold stories, throwbacks
On Monday, also the World Press Freedom Day, journalist Chiara Zambrano shared a throwback photo of ABS-CBN reporters before the cease-and-desist order was issued.
She recalled her emotions when the network was shut down and how it felt like forever.
Journalist Jeff Canoy, on the other hand, shared a special collection of series titled “Dead Air: Stories from the Night of the ABS-CBN Shutdown” he worked with his colleagues Tarra Quismundo and Anjo Bagaoisan.
“’Now signing off.’ Last three words heard on air. But there are many more untold stories. Here is a collection of stories, images and videos from the night when there was nothing left but dead air,” Canoy wrote.
“Now signing off.”
Last three words heard on air. But there are many more untold stories. Here is a collection of stories, images and videos from the night when there was nothing left but dead air.
— Jeff Canoy (@jeffcanoy) May 4, 2021
Seasoned journalist Lynda Jumilla-Abalos also shared the link of the report and said: “It’s been a year. Here’s a collection of our thoughts, feelings, sentiments, then and now. Mahigpit na yakap sa lahat ng Kapamilya. (red, green, blue hearts)”
— Lynda Jumilla-Abalos (@lyndajumilla) May 5, 2021
Bagaoisan attached a photo of him with the hashtags #LabanKapamilya and #IbalikAngABSCBN.
“Isang taon nang nagdilim at pinatahimik sa himpapawid, pero kaisa ng mga Kapamilyang hindi titigil sa paghahanap ng paraan para magbalita at maglingkod. Magpapatuloy tayo, pero hindi makakalimot. #LabanKapamilya #IbalikAngABSCBN,” he wrote.
Isang taon nang nagdilim at pinatahimik sa himpapawid, pero kaisa ng mga Kapamilyang hindi titigil sa paghahanap ng paraan para magbalita at maglingkod.
— Anjo Bagaoisan (@anjo_bagaoisan) May 5, 2021
Veteran journalist Ces Drilon, meanwhile, shared a video clip where she encouraged her former colleagues to be strong amid adversities in the freedom of speech.
“Once a journalist, always a journalist, ika nga. Wala man ako jan sa ABS-CBN, patuloy parin tayo kumikilos para sa press freedom,” she said in the video.
Drilon was among the thousands of Filipinos who were retrenched.
“Isang taon na. I stand with you Kapamilya. #ABSCBNShutdown,” she said in the tweet.
— Ces Oreña-Drilon (@cesdrilon) May 4, 2021
A former multimedia reporter for ABS-CBN Central Visayas Annie Fe Perez also shared her story on Facebook when their higher management informed them about the cease-and-desist order.
Perez recalled that their team couldn’t believe it back then until she watched the last telecast on her drive home.
“Before I could reach our house, I parked a few blocks away to settle everything in while TV Patrol was airing its last free TV newscast and I was watching it on my phone. When the anchors bade their goodbye and the screen went black tears were just flowing. KASAKIT! Why?! (heartbreak emoji),” she said.
“It took me hours to gather my courage to continue the drive home. I couldn’t just face the fact that the largest TV network, my workplace, my home was shut down,” she added.
Despite having a different job now, Perez said that she still feels like she’s just “taking a long vacation.” She also attached the hashtags #LabanKapamilya and #KapamilyaForever in her post.
“For now, I feel like I’m taking a long vacation…testing the waters of a new house where I previously grew up with. It will be better, I bet. And just like Ben&Ben’s song, ‘All will be alright in time’ (red, green, blue hearts),” she said.
Anchor Christian Esguerra also shared a throwback of his interview with Rep. Sharon Garin (AAMBIS-OWA) who was among the lawmakers who rejected ABS-CBN’s franchise application last year.
THROWBACK: Another congressman forced to explain her vote to reject ABS-CBN’s franchise application last year. Watch and watch closely. https://t.co/sJk2w1Luov
— Christian Esguerra (@IanEsguerra) May 5, 2021
Aside from reporters, the hashtag #IbalikAngABSCBN dominated conversations on local Twitter as supporters of the broadcast firm called for the renewal of their franchise.
As of writing, it has 13,700 tweets on the micro-blogging platform.