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Haunting Goodbye Shows ABS-CBN Through Retrenched Workers' Eyes

"Gusto ko sanang magpaalam. Ayoko sanang magpaalam."
Aug 29, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

Shot in black and white, bereft of music, just words in Filipino. One of the creators of ABS-CBN's iconic station IDs released a video to illustrate his struggle that is shared by those who lost their jobs due to the company's broadcast shutdown: How to say goodbye.

Paolo Ramos of the Creative Communications Division said he couldn't shake off the thought that the shutdown could have been avoided. He also wished he could say his goodbyes in a more personal way since the pandemic requires face coverings. 

The full video was shared on Twitter by ABS-CBN North America News Bureau Chief TJ Manotoc and portions of the clip also aired on TV Patrol on Aug. 28, the same night 12 of its regional editions bade veiwers goodbye. For those affected by the retrenchments, including Ramos, Aug. 31 is their last official day at work.

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ABS-CBN has been off air since May 5, when its franchise expired. Lawmakers, accusing the Lopez-own broadcaster of a raft of violations, denied its plea for a renewal on July 10, triggering the layoffs and the company's accelerated shift to digital. The company told the stock exchnage that it lost nearly P4 billion in the first six months of the year, reflecting the twin blows of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown.

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Showing viewers images of studios and hallways that are now empty of stars and their fans, Ramos said in the video: "Ikaw lang ang alam ko. Kabisado ko bawat sulok mo. Ang sikat ng araw sa yo..."

"Kilala kita. Kinilala mo din ako. Ang hindi ko kilala ay ang katahimikan mong ito. Nakakabingi. Nakakarindi. Nakakatakot."

"Hindi kita iniwan. Kasabay ng mga kinilalang higit pa sa kaibigan, paulit-ulit na sinigaw ang iyong pangalan. Paulit-ulit para sa katotohnan. Paulit-ulit para sa kalayaan. Paulit-ulit para sa katarungan. Bawat kanto, hanggang dulo, kahit masakit na sa puso dahil wala naman akong hindi gagawin para sa 'yo."

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"Gusto ko sanang sabihing mahal na mahal na mahal kita. Gusto ko sanang magpaalam. Ayoko sanang magpaalam."

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