MANILA - The Philippines stood still for a moment as ABS-CBN, the country's largest media network, went off-air for the first time in decades on Tuesday night after its broadcast operations were shut down by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
Like other Filipinos, ABS-CBN workers were shocked and worried for their livelihood and families as they watched the broadcast giant signing off.
To inspire his colleagues in the company, artist, journalist. and multimedia producer Marco Polo Cabrera went to his canvas immediately after the network went off-air and painted what he calls "Laban Kapamilya".
Cabrera, who's been working in ABS-CBN for 10 years, said that he made the painting to ease the pain of his colleagues.
"Naisip ko bakit 'di ako gumawa ng painting na maaari ng sumimbolo sa pinaglalaban ko at ng mga kasamahan ko sa ABS?" he told ABS-CBN News.
"Para sakin, it symbolizes how Kapamilya employees fight for their rights at kung paano natin ipaglaban ang ating ABS-CBN."
Cabrera said that aside from being a multimedia journalist and producer for ABS-CBN, he also does figurative and abstract painting.
He said he also does exhibits, which ABS-CBN CEO and President Carlo Katigbak, icon Tito "Boy" Abunda and ABS-CBN News chief Ging Reyes frequent in.
Cabrera called ABS-CBN not just a company, "it's a dream company," and his "dream job."
"I know maraming makakarelate na employees na ang pagtatrabaho sa ABS ay isang pangarap. Hindi lang siya trabaho talaga," he said.
"Kaya ganito tayo mag react kasi we love ABS. Sino man ang gustong sumira sa pangarap natin, we will defend it."
The NTC ordered ABS-CBN to “cease and desist” from broadcasting on television and radio, one day after the company’s 25-year operating franchise expired.
In a cease-and-desist order (CDO) dated May 5, the agency said the network must stop its broadcast operations "due to the expiration of its congressional franchise" on May 4.
It said the network should "stop operating its various TV and radio broadcasting stations nationwide "absent a valid Congressional Franchise as required by law'."
Solicitor General Jose Calida earlier warned the NTC against issuing a temporary permit to operate for ABS-CBN.
In turned out that Calida pressured the agency to issue the CDO against ABS-CBN, instead of granting provisional authority.