Fourth Wall

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ONE of the biggest broadcast companies in the Philippines has been ordered to shut down by the promptings of Solicitor General Jose Calida.

While the fate of the franchise hangs by a thread and much has been viewed and commented on in a political narrative, another perspective has been tackled rarely with regard to this case.

As Filipinos are avid consumers of media, the loss of the ABS-CBN franchise will take a massive toll on the Philippine Culture.

During the Senate hearing last Feb. 24, The Philippine Competition Commission reports that the ABS-CBN franchise holds around 31 – 44% of the Philippine TV audience.

Indeed, ABS-CBN programs and content are actively followed by audiences all over the country since its foundation in 1946.

One of the prime examples of this would be the release of its 2009 Christmas Station ID “Star ng Pasko,” which has become a staple Filipino Christmas song played all around the country since then.

ABS-CBN programs like “Pangako Sa’Yo” and “Lobo” became worldwide sensations, earning nominations and wins from prestigious award organizations like the Emmys and the Banff World Television festival in Canada.

The media company also gave birth to famous reality and game shows like “Pinoy Big Brother” and “Showtime,” both of which are consistently tuned into by the Philippine audience.

Most Filipinos are bound to recognize majority of the names signed under ABS-CBN like Vice Ganda, Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Piolo Pascual, Sarah Geronimo and many more.

Recent television programs by ABSCBN like “Kadenang Ginto” and “Probinsyano” rarely leave the internet’s trending lists, with scenes and audience reactions regularly going viral every few days and references to it thrown left and right becoming common occurrences.

Themes and slogans of the network, a recent example being “Family is Forever” of the 2019 Christmas station ID and the term “Kapamilya” which they use to refer to their audiences, is a common sight and a common utterance heard all around the country.

Throughout these years, the ABSCBN franchise has been a constant in the Philippine culture through its presence in the media. ABS-CBN is, indeed, a big part of our culture that we can easily look back to.

A culture on-air, live in broadcast and in plain sight for everyone to take.

At this point, it is not enough to just idly sit and watch as our culture slowly fades away.

As avid consumers of the media, it is not our job to be silent and lenient.

We must stand and we must speak.

We have to call as one to save our pride, our stories, this part of us.

To shut down this constant presence is to kill off a part of our culture. To silence our culture is to stomp on our identity as Filipinos.

As Filipinos, it is up to us to defend our culture—this part of our identity that is being cut off because too.

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