#IbalikAngABSCBN: A year after shutdown, calls for ABS-CBN’s revival regain traction

One year ago, the House of Representatives killed the franchise of ABS-CBN, which forced the company to shut down in what is considered one of the biggest blows to press freedom in recent Philippine history.

On Wednesday, May 5, on the anniversary of the shutdown, supporters of the broadcast giant called online for its revival, with the hashtag #IbalikAngABSCBN (Bring back ABS-CBN) topping the country's Twitter trends by 10 am.

#IbalikAngABSCBN was the same hashtag supporters used a month after the network went off-air. 

Former employees talk about the last moments before the network finally bid goodbye to the public, and the ensuing “anger and sadness.”  

The past year was like a bad dream, says journalist Abner Mercado in a tweet. Mercado compares it to a reopened wound: “Para akong bumabalik sa sugat ng nakaraan na hindi pa din tuluyang naghihilom. Sariwa pa ang lahat hindi pa naglalangib ang sugat.” (It feels like the wound has never healed.)

The shutdown also left many Filipinos in the dark during crises, as the country suffered from back-to-back typhoons in the following months.

This year, Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos Recto and Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed bills to give ABS-CBN a fresh franchise. Meanwhile, the network has turned to cable and digital platforms.

Here’s what other online users have to say on the shutdown's anniversary.

– Rappler.com

Iya Gozum

Iya Gozum is a member of Rappler's digital communications team. When off the grid, she’s either a hundred/thousand meters above sea level – or dreaming about it. You may email her at iya.gozum@rappler.com.