What happened in the last hour of ABS-CBN's broadcast?

by James Patrick Anarcon
May 6, 2020
ABS-CBN on its last message before it goes off-air on May 5, 2020: "Maraming salamat po sa maraming taon na kami ay inyong pinatuloy sa inyong tahanan. Maraming salamat po sa maraming taon na ating pinagsamahan. Hanggang sa muli, Kapamilya."
PHOTO/S: TV Patrol / ABS-CBN

ABS-CBN Channel 2 officially stopped broadcasting on May 5, 2020, at 7:52 p.m.

In the afternoon of May 5, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a Cease and Desist order against the Kapamilya network following the expiration of its congressional franchise.

The franchise expired on Monday, May 4, 2020.

The applications for franchise renewal are with Congress, which ran out of time to decide on them.

NTC also said that ABS-CBN and its executives were given ten days upon the receipt of the order to explain why their frequencies should not be recalled.

ABS-CBN CUTS METEOR GARDEN; TV PaTROL AIRS EARLIER

At around 6:15 p.m., ABS-CBN stopped the airing of the Asianovela Meteor Garden to give way to a simultaneous broadcast of DZMM Teleradyo, where reporter Alvin Elchico confirmed the shutdown.

At 6:19 p.m, programming segued to TV Patrol, which has been going on air at 6:25 p.m. since the coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Present were its anchors Noli de Castro, Ted Failon, and Bernadette Sembrano.

The special broadcast was dedicated to ABS-CBN's shutdown, including interviews with loyal viewers who talked about the way the network changed their lives and affected the way they live.

One of them was Anna Besa, whose four-month battle with a serious illness became bearable because of It's Showtime.

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The report also featured its socio-civic projects, which have clearly helped millions of Filipinos in time of need and calamity.

MESSAGE FROM ABS-CBN PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN

At around 7:30 p.m., TV Patrol aired a taped message from ABS-CBN President and Chief Executive Officer Carlo L. Katigbak.

He lauded their news reporters who, despite the threat of COVID-19, conscientiously did their job to get the news out.

He also gave the "Pantawid ng Pag-ibig" a special mention.

The program is a fund-raising campaign which helps provide food for Filipinos affected by the enhanced community quarantine.

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Katigbak also cited the ABS-CBN programs, particularly FPJ's Ang Probinsyano, the "paborito" of viewers.

"Ngayon po ay dumating ang araw na kami naman ang dumudulog at nanawagan sa inyo.

"Hindi po ibinigay ng NTC ang lisensya para sa patuloy na paglilingkod ng ABS-CBN kaya mawawala na po sa ere ang ating ABS-CBN.

"Mga Kapamilya, kung naging mahalaga sa inyo ang ating ABS-CBN, hinihingi po namin na tayo ay patuloy na magtulungan para mapanatili ang serbisyo ng ating istasyon."

The shutdown, according to Katigbak, will affect 11,000 workers and their families and millions of viewers who need the service of ABS-CBN in the time of COVID-19.

He ended his message with an appeal to all Kapamilya viewers.

Katigbak said, "Ipadama, isaad, at ipadinig po natin ang ating nararamdaman sa pagsasara ng ating ABS-CBN. Sa oras na ito, kami naman po ang humihingi ng inyong pagdamay. Maraming salamat po mga Kapamilya."

Carlo Katigbak

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After Katigbak, Chairman Mark Lopez noted how public service has been the network's corporate mission.

Lopez said, "Masakit sa amin na ipinasasara kami, pero masakit din para sa milyun-milyong kababayan nating naniniwala na ang aming serbisyo ay mahalaga sa kanila."

At the end of his message, Lopez told the Kapamilya viewers, "Hindi po ito ang panahon para bumitaw, lalo na't alam naming marami pa kaming maitutulong.

"Samahan niyo po kami sa panalangin na muling ibalik ang ABS-CBN upang tuluyan kaming makapaglingkod sa pamilya at sambayanang Pilipino."

Mark Lopez

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TV PATROL ENDS BROADCAST

It was Ted Failon who started the closing spiel with the ABS-CBN instrumental theme song playing in the background.

Ted said, "Ihihinto po ng ABS-CBN, DZMM, MOR, at lahat po ng TV at radio stations nito sa buong Pilipinas ang pag-brodkast pagkatapos po ng aming programa.

"Ito po ay alinsunod sa kautusan nga ng pagpapatigil po ng operasyon mula sa NTC o National Telecommunications Commission.

"Kinakailangan po lamang namin—ng istasyon—ng sapat na panahon upang maisaayos ang pag-shut down sa aming mga kagamitan at maabisuhan ang aming mga tagapanuod at takapakinig."

Bernadette Sembrano added that despite the absence of a television broadcast, ABS-CBN News will continue its service via other platforms.

"Mga Kapamilya, patuloy po kaming maglilingkod. Kahit wala po tayo sa ere sa Channel 2, mapapanuod niyo pa rin ang aming mga balita sa teleradyo, ANC, news.abs-cbn.com, at mga social media account ng ABS-CBN."

Noli de Castro closed the program with an emotional-but-controlled speech about ABS-CBN's impact on the lives of the Filipinos in the past decades.

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He said, "Bayan, mga Kapamilya, ilang dekada rin tayong nagkasama. Utang na loob namin sa inyo na tinanggap niyo kami sa inyong mga tahanan gabi-gabi.

"Naging malaking bahagi na kami ng inyong buhay, karamay sa panahon ng kalamidad at paghihirap.

"Kasabay namin kayo sa pagluha sa mga teleserye.

"Magkasama nating ipinagbunyi ang tagumpay ng ating mga bayani, mga ordinaryong tao na nakagawa ng imposible.

"Sabay din nating pinanuod na nabuo o mabuo ang kasaysayan sa pamamagitan ng TV Patrol at iba pang news and current affairs program.

"Isa pong karangalan na maging tagapaglahad ng inyong mga kuwento at tagabantay sa nasa kapangyarihan.

"Karangalan po namin na maglingkod sa inyo, Kabayan."

He also said that the Kapamilya network will continue its fight to defend press freedom.

"Hindi man na-renew ang aming prangkisa at ipinatitigil ang ating brodkast, nangangako kami sa inyo, hindi kami mananahimik sa pag-atakeng ito sa ating demokrasya at sa malayang pamamahayag.

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"Sa harap po ng malaking dagok at hamon sa aming kumpanya at sa aming mga hanapbuhay, hinding-hindi namin kayo tatalikuran, Kabayan.

"Mga kapamilya kami. Tayo ang ABS-CBN in the service of the Filipino, saan man sila naroroon sa buong mundo."

TV Patrol's last frame showed the facade of the Eugenio Lopez Junior (ELJ) building bearing the network's three colors: red, green, blue, and a giant heart silhouette.

ABS-CBN

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THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AND THE CLOSING BILLBOARD

After TV Patrol ended its broadcast, ABS-CBN aired its audio-visual presentation on how the lives of Filipinos have been affected by the network.

This AVP was first aired at the height of ABS-CBN's franchise issue in February 2020.

Next was a short message of thanks to its loyal viewers, "Maraming salamat po sa maraming taon na kami ay inyong pinatuloy sa inyong tahanan.

"Maraming salamat po sa maraming taon na ating pinagsamahan.

"Hanggang sa muli, Kapamilya."

ABS-CBN

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Afterwards, the network-produced video of the Philippine National Anthem was shown.

Shot in 2013, former ABS-CBN President and CEO Charo Santos-Concio was in the opening frame. It also featured Kapamilya stars Piolo Pascual, Sarah Geronimo, Matteo Guidicelli, Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, Judy Ann Santos, Bea Alonzo, Angel Locsin, Toni Gonzaga, Coco Martin, and John Lloyd Cruz.

Ai-Ai Delas Alas and Kris Aquino, who are no longer contract stars of the network, were also part of it.

Lastly, at exactly 7:52 p.m, the signing-off closing billboard (CBB) was shown.

The statement read: "This is ABS-CBN Corporation Channel 2, In The Service of the Filipino

"Now signing off."

And then the screen went black.

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ABS-CBN

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ABS-CBN on its last message before it goes off-air on May 5, 2020: "Maraming salamat po sa maraming taon na kami ay inyong pinatuloy sa inyong tahanan. Maraming salamat po sa maraming taon na ating pinagsamahan. Hanggang sa muli, Kapamilya."
PHOTO/S: TV Patrol / ABS-CBN
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