MANILA — Joshua Garcia acknowledged he briefly thought of switching networks at the height of the crisis that beset ABS-CBN in 2020, but he ultimately decided to stay with the network he has long considered his “family.”
The award-winning actor opened up about how he grappled with ABS-CBN’s broadcast shutdown in an interview with fellow Kapamilya actor Enchong Dee, in the latter’s vlog released on Friday.
“Tinanggap ko sa sarili ko na magsasara ‘yung kumpanya,” Garcia said, when Dee asked what his worries were at the time. “Meron pa ring [trabaho], ilan-ilan, pero hindi tulad ng dati.”
Garcia, 23, is the sole breadwinner of his family, he said in an earlier part of the vlog. Since his showbiz breakthrough in 2014 and subsequent turn as an acclaimed actor, Garcia has helped send his sister and some relatives to school, aside from handing monthly allowance to his single father.
Over the years, Garcia would credit ABS-CBN for changing his life.
ABS-CBN was forced off free television and radio after 65 years in mid-2020, when a congressional panel voted to reject the network’s bid for a fresh broadcast franchise.
The months-long controversy sparked protests, with many celebrities identified with ABS-CBN taking to the streets to urge the restoration of its broadcast.
“Hindi ako pumunta doon sa mga rally, pero 100 na naka suporta ako. Mini-message ko pa sina Tita Cory na na sa likod lang nila ako,” Garcia said, referring to Cory Vidanes, ABS-CBN’s COO for broadcast.
Asked whether he considered transferring to another network, as some former Kapamilya stars did after the shutdown, Garcia said, “Sumagi sa isip ko, pero hindi ko magawa.”
“Ibang relationship ‘yung na-build ko with ABS, e. Parang naging pamilya ko sila. Parang hindi ko kayang iwan. Mananatili na ‘yung loyalty ko na sa ABS,” he explained.
“Siguro, nadala lang ako kasi magsasara na ‘yung ABS, tapos may pandemic pa. Kailangan ko kumita ng pera para sa pamilya ko. Eventually, magiging okay din lahat, e, unti-unti.”
Indeed, Garcia has since returned to work, with a starring role as recent as January in an episode of “MMK.” He is currently set to star in two ABS-CBN projects — the film adaptation of Bob Ong’s “Ang Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan,” and the Philippine remake of South Korea’s “Keys to the Heart.”