A year later

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - May 8, 2021 - 12:00am

Whenever my alarm would go on at 5 a.m., I just switch it off and go back to sleep. Apparently, my phone hasn't been reset to a later time. It still feels like I was in my daily grind as a reporter. It's been a year since the National Telecommunications Commission issued ABS-CBN its cease and desist order from broadcasting. A year after, its sting still pains me.

I can still remember vividly that day when we were told that broadcast operations would cease on-air. I was goofing around with my cameraman and editor that afternoon minutes before we were going live for the afternoon newscast. Our news chief came into the room and informed us of the situation; I thought he was just joking. However, phone calls from management never stopped until we were made to do our last appearance on free TV.  We huddled and gathered stuff from the office that we could safely keep in case things got worse. I went home crying until the wee hours of the morning because I just couldn't believe it.

Well, it was not because I was scared to leave the country's largest network which I called my home but it was an issue of a blatant attack. I honestly felt like I was caught in a crossfire by bigwigs in the corporation and we, the employees, were the victims. It was unnecessary and unfair. If it was done to ABS-CBN, who could be next?

Of course this administration’s supporters are denying these allegations pointing to the so-called mischiefs of the company. What they don't know is that every ounce of the issues has been pointed out and disproved in the proper fora. Today, we are seeing a leader who does not even remember his promises before he was elected. The rift in our relationship with China has never been scarring to a person like me. I would rather not delve into details as it only breaks my heart. Heck, we had our hearts broken for the most time during his leadership and others are still denying that.

A year later and my colleagues and I do not see eye-to-eye anymore. The turn of events in the past months after our retrenchment has made it difficult for us to stay together like we used to. The urge to earn as much as we did suddenly brought about changes in each personality that we used to be and we don’t agree on some terms. Friendships that used to be forged on the daily news stress are now severed.

But you know, everything happens for a reason. One year later and I am still trying to see past that black static screen. While my life, like many others who used to work for this company, are coming together there are still some questions that are unanswered. Am I hopeful? Maybe. Only the people moved by the majority can give history another turn.

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