MANILA — Uncertainty surrounding the restoration of ABS-CBN's broadcast franchise has weighed heavily on its entertainment programs, including the 12-year-old gag show "Banana Sundae," according to one of its original mainstays.
Actress Angelica Panganiban appeared to bid farewell to the show in an emotional Instagram post on Monday, as she spoke of "losing a home" and the separation of a family whose bond was forged over a decade.
"Halos labing dalawang taon tayo nagpapatawa at nagpapasaya ng mga tao. Sa pinakaunang pagkakataon, kanina, umiiyak tayong lahat. Masyadong masakit na makitang durog na durog tayong lahat. Sa ganitong panahon, ito ang pinakahuli nating puwedeng maramdaman. Ang mawalan tayo ng tahanan," she captioned a photo of "Banana Sundae's" cast and crew.
Panganiban posted her statement as ABS-CBN's broadcast franchise was tackled in Congress.
The government shutdown of the network's TV and radio operations has put at risk the job security of some 11,000 employees. Every day it is off air, ABS-CBN loses around P35 million, and by August, it may be forced to retrench workers, the company has said.
"Masakit," Panganiban wrote, "kasi intensyon lang natin magpasaya, makatulong. Masakit, kasi marami sa atin ang hindi na alam kung paano itutuloy ang buhay. Masakit kasi magwawatakwatak na tayo."
Addressing detractors of the network, the actress added: "Sa mga salita na ibinabato niyo sa amin para tuluyan kaming tapak-tapakan, walang sinabi 'yun sa sakit na nararamdaman naming lahat ngayon. Pare-parehas naming hindi alam ngayon kung paano pa kami lalaban, kung saan pa kami kukuha ng lakas."
The franchise woes of ABS-CBN compound an already dire situation for the film and TV industry amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has left thousands of workers without a steady source of income.
"Gusto naming isipin na pansamantala lang 'to. Magkikita-kita ulit tayo. Gusto naming lumaban para sa mga kasamahan namin sa trabaho. Gusto namin ipaglaban ang pamilya namin. Gusto na namin ng katahimikan sa mga tanong namin," Panganiban said.
Prior to the broadcast halt of ABS-CBN, "Banana Sundae" was airing replays due to the coronavirus quarantine. The gag show resumed with fresh offerings in mid-May as on online program, "At Home with Banana Sundae."
That production, however, is only a fraction of its traditional TV counterpart, whose airing for the past 12 years had been the source of livelihood for hundreds of workers.
"Kahit ganito, lalaban kami. Magtutulungan kami. Kapag nakabalik kami, sigurado akong mas malakas kami," Panganiban said.
"Palagi namin tinatanong sa simula ng show ang. 'Okay ba kayo diyan?' Ngayon naman, kami ang hindi okay. Kaya naman, hanggang sa muli na lang muna tayo mga kabanana. Salamat sa halos labing dalawang taon. Mahal na mahal ko kayo."