imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

Quo vadis, ABS-CBN?

Mang Maing misses ABS-CBN so much.

You see, he misses 5 of the TV network’s blockbuster programs: TV Patrol, Ang Probinsyano, SOCO, Ipaglaban Mo and the FPJ movies every Sunday afternoon.

Mang Maing, a government worker who comes home every 6PM says that he relaxes best by viewing TV Patrol while having his dinner. He further sinks in his rocking chair after TV Patrol by watching Ang Probinsyano. Then, after a brief shower, he goes to bed relaxed and stress-free.

During Saturdays, while working on his take-home office works, he would watch Ipaglaban Mo and then SOCO. He gulps a cup of coffee and then watches the last program before TV Patrol Weekend, and that program is Kuha Mo!

Because of these programs, Mang Maing finds excuses to be home at 6PM every weekday and at 3:00PM every Saturday and Sunday so he could view his favorite TV programs at ABS-CBN.

But last May, ABS-CBN suddenly shut down.

No more TV Patrol.

No more Ang Probinsyano.

No more SOCO, Ipaglaban Mo and Kuha Mo!

Instead, everytime Mang Maing opens his TV to tune in to ABS-CBN, all he can see is black all over his 32-inch flat TV. He became very sad. But because he loves listening to news, he switched to GMA’s 24 Oras and after that, Encantadia. It’s transition period for Mang Maing, but he longs fopr ABS-CBN.

When will ABS-CBN return on air?

It went to Channel 43 but lately, Amcara itself admitted that its transmitters for its digital services were provided by ABS-CBN, and that Channel 43’s airtime was devoted to ABS-CBN’s digital channels.

As of July 1, the ABS-CBN channels were no longer viewable on TV Plus after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered the embattled network to stop broadcasting using Channel 43. NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba told the House panels that Amcara had also used the franchise of ABS-CBN, which had lapsed last May 4, to broadcast its digital television services. Amcara, he said, was therefore covered by the cease and desist order issued by the NTC against ABS-CBN. Senior Deputy Majority Leader Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla accused Amcara Broadcasting Network of being a “dummy” of ABS-CBN Corporation. The Cavite 7th District congressman did not mince words against the two broadcasting companies as the House held its 11th joint committee hearing on the issues hounding ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal application.

“Ang ginamit po ng Channel 43 sa digital broadcast ay franchise ng ABS-CBN, hindi ng Amcara…. Dapat po hindi nila ginagawa ‘yon, your honors, dahil ‘yong ABS-CBN franchise na binanggit ‘nyo ay expired na at ‘yong pag-ere ng digital broadcast doon ay mali po,” NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said during the hearing last June 29. (What Channel 43 used for its digital broadcast was the franchise of ABS-CBN, not Amcara…. They shouldn’t have done that, your honors, because the ABS-CBN franchise you’ve mentioned was already expired and the airing of digital broadcast in that case was wrong.)

So, there’s the rub, fellas, as the late Conrado de Quiros said.

Mang Maing doesn’t mind the issues hounding the giant network now. All he minds about is the return of TV Patrol, Ang Probinsyano, SOCO, Ipaglaban Mo and Kuha Mo!

Ang Probinsyano is so popular that GMA, itself, admits it cannot beat this telenovela.

My research says that a TV executive of GMA Network admitted that they have found difficult to beat Coco Martin’s “Ang Probinsyano” in rating games. The executive claimed that its rival, “Encantadia”, is a hit in Metro Manila but is losing on nationwide ratings.

A columnist writes, “Kaya pala halos lahat na ng artista ng Siyete ay ipinasok na sa Encantadia na siyang katapat din ng aksyon serye ni Coco Martin upang mapanood din ang ibang artistang marami ang fans.”

Coco Martin was so hurt with the closure that he went emotional after the closure.

He criticized both the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Solicitor General Jose Calida saying:

Tutal wala naman kasiguraduhan kung buhay pa ako pagkatapos ng pandemic na ito. Tama lang na masabi ko ang mga saloobin ko. Sa mga taong pilit nagsulong sa pagpapasara sa ABS-CBN, sana ay panatag na panatag na ang kalooban niyo. Sana nagdala ito ng lubos na kaligayahan sa mga puso ninyo,” said Martin, one of the network’s biggest stars.

(Since I’m not sure if I’ll come out of this pandemic alive, it’s just right that I express my thoughts. To the people who forcibly shut ABS-CBN down, I hope your consciences are clean. I hope this brings happiness to your hearts.)

Because of this, Mang Maing says he is mad because TV Patrol, Ang Probinsyano, SOCO, Ipaglaban Mo and Kuha Mo went off the air.

“The government cut off 1/3 of my life when my 5 favorite TV programs disappeared,” he said.

He said he turned to listening to radio dramas on weekdays until Saturday and on Sunday afternoons, he made it a habit to doze off while listening to classic songs on FM.

Will there be a time that ABS-CBN be back on air?

It’s up to the Supreme Court, fellas.

The SC said it would tackle by July 13 ABS-CBN Corp’s urgent plea to resume broadcast operations, as the shutdown threatened the jobs of the network’s 11,000 workers. 

The court waited for comments from all parties involved in the issue and will deliberate on July 13 on ABS-CBN’s prayer for a temporary restraining order against the shutdown, Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said.

By then, ABS-CBN would have been off the air for over 2 months. The country’s top TV network said it was losing P30 to P35 million in advertising revenues daily since the NTC forced it off air last May 5 over its stalled franchise renewal in Congress. 

Mang Maing prays the giant TV network will gain the nod of the SC magistrates.

“Otherwise it will be more lonely days for me,” he says.

May this upcoming SC decision be favorable to Mang Maing’s wishes.

What can you say, fellas?