It started as a regular workday for journalist Jeff Canoy and other ABS-CBN News employees and talents that would become the exact opposite as the day grew darker.
On May 5, ABS-CBN Corp. announced the country's largest media network would stop its broadcast operations in compliance to the National Telecommunications Commission's order over disputes that have hounded its franchise. ABS-CBN went business as usual given legislative resolutions that have assured provisional authority pending the renewal, only to see its AM radio station DZMM and flagship free TV Channel 2 go off air on the same night.
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Canoy, also an award-winning documentarist who has most notably bagged the country's first Gold Dolphin Award at the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards 2018, works for both platforms. Following the turn of events with the country and many parts of the world fraught with the pandemic scare, the Kapamilya journalist who still does day-to-day news coverage took to Twitter the seemingly bittersweet moments at work—before everything faded to black. He was with a few others at the ABS-CBN Newsroom for TV Patrol, including ABS-CBN News' Integrated News & Current Affairs Head Ging Reyes. He with the rest was going to witness Channel 2 go off air, the second time only after September 21, 1972—in the thick of Martial Law.
"Like all journalists, we couldn’t help but document what was happening around us. We were in the newsroom before ABS-CBN went off air. Strange how we were covering our own home," Canoy wrote in one tweet.
Many things, starting with Canoy's early morning duties on Umagang Kay Ganda, the following series of thoughtfully captioned posts has revealed. Many faces and emotions, all captured in either words, stillness, or moving seconds, in one way or another representative of those felt by the many in-house production workers, media men and women across the industry, press freedom advocates, and the general public affected following the decision.
Fittingly, Canoy ended his brief "documentary" with a fiercely hopeful post. "Bukas may laban pa," he tweeted, as if quoting the title of his previous prized work possibly borrowed from a hymn every Filipino was taught to learn by heart.
"Di tayo pasisiil."
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Photos and videos courtesy of Jeff Canoy