Serving the Country through ABS-CBN

There are moments of silence that make me remember the noise of my classroom. Two years have passed but the innocent laughter of my students, the loud stomps of their feet when they are running along the hallways, and their cute little voices of “Sir!” whenever they raise their hands to answer my question still linger until now.

Here’s a photo that I took on the day I left teaching in the public school in 2018, and it’s been a crazy journey since then. I eventually landed a job at ABS-CBN as a Script Supervisor then a Writer/Brainstormer in January 2020.

Dela Paz Main Elementary School in Biñan Laguna

Now, all I hear are these creative prompts and ideas why the character should die, how the character will die, how the character plans to reveal its intention, etc. Sometimes, I end my day thinking about how the story will progress from where we left. And I wake up asking the same questions all over again.

As the newbie of our team, I got curious why my director chose to work on TV despite having his masters abroad and experience working on Hollywood. He told me, “because this is the best service I can give for the Filipino people. TV is free and so is entertainment. I can’t do that on Film, because you have to pay to consume stories.”

I was taken aback by his statement. I never really asked my “why” when I started working for this company. All I know is that I’m finally working at ABS-CBN.

There are times that I wished to go back to teaching to serve this nation once again. Sing rhymes and tell stories inside my classroom and hoping to spark change once again while they are young.

But that short conversation with my director gave me a different perspective of my job. I realized that the core of this company is telling stories to serve this nation. And hoping that these stories would inspire love and togetherness inside the Filipino homes. Kaya pala, In The Service of the Filipino People.

This is the same narrative that people who are working at ABS-CBN are claiming: we want to tell more stories to serve this country. However, these intentions are all unspoken – and this made it more inspiring as I realized that we were brought together at ABS-CBN having the same desire to serve this country through storytelling. And I am grateful that I belong in a company that shares the same vision and concept of service I had when I was a public school teacher.

But right now, we won’t be able to serve this country as our company’s journey is going to be rewritten by our policymakers.

As you turn on your TV and switch it on Channel 2, all you hear is this deafening silence on RGB or black screen – not even a bleep or a sound, just silence. And this is the same silence that we hear which tells us a real-life narrative with no proper ending and justice.

Today, I woke up asking myself the same question I ask whenever we craft stories: how do I plan to move my story forward? And for sure, we are 11,000+ main characters who are asking the same questions, ano na ba mangyayari sa buhay ko? May trabaho pa kaya ako? Makakapag-kwento pa kaya ako kinabukasan?

I honestly don’t know the answer. But I am hoping that my friends and kamag-anaks, regardless of your political beliefs, will continue to support our vision. It means a lot to us storytellers. At nawa, maniwala kayo sa kwento namin dahil hindi ito fictional, real life ito.

#IbalikAngABSCBN #HoldTheLine

About the Author:

Levi Jun Miscala is a writer/brainstormer at ABS-CBN. He worked as a public school teacher through Teach for the Philippines, an NGO working for excellent, quality, and relevant education to all Filipino children. He is passionate about education, media literacy, and storytelling.

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