NOSTALGIC ABS-CBN COMPLEX

On 15 September 2020, it was indeed a walk down the memory lane as I briefly toured the nostalgic ABS-CBN headquarters on Sgt. Esguerra Avenue (formerly Bohol Avenue) in Quezon City.

ABS-CBN’S tower of power

ABS-CBN complex used to be the compound of the state-run Maharlika Broadcasting System (now PTV-4), under the National Media Production Center and the Bureau of Broadcasts after the Marcos administration sequestered the former’s facilities after the martial law declaration in 1972.

The said compound is nostalgic for us since it had become our playground and recreational place during our childhood.

During that time, my father worked with the Bureau of Broadcasts at the Broadcast Plaza (now ABS-CBN Complex) on Bohol Avenue (St. Esquerra today) in Quezon City.

The Old GSIS Building, designed by Architect Federico Ilustre, situated in Arroceros St., Manila

According to my father, before they transferred to Broadcast Plaza, the Bureau of Broadcasts occupied a space in the Old GSIS Building, opposite the YMCA Building in Arroceros Street in Manila.

My father with the British Ambassador, William Bentley, on the 1976 radio program: Hands Across The Seas. The Bureau of Broadcasts was then occupying a space at the Old GSIS Building in Arroceros, Manila.

In 1980, the Bureau of Broadcasts and the National Media Production Center (NMPC) became under the newly organized Office of Media Affairs umbrella under Press Secretary Francisco Tatad.

As the new Minister, Gregorio Cendaña, took the helm, the National Media Production Center revitalized GTV (Channel 4), becoming Maharlika Broadcasting System.

At the Broadcast Plaza (now ABS-CBN Complex) in the 1980s

However, a year after the 1986 EDSA Revolution, the new Administration abolished National Media Production Center, alongside the Maharlika Broadcasting System and the Bureau of Broadcasts, thereby creating the Office of Press Secretary on 25 July 1987.

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS:

  • 13 June 1946: ABS-CBN started its broadcast operation.

  • 23 October 1953: ABS-CBN broadcasting company made its maiden television broadcast.

  • 23 September 1972: After the declaration of martial law, the company was closed, causing its facilities sequestered.

  • In July 1986: The media network recovered the facilities, including its frequencies.

  • 1987: ABS-CBN came to life and returned to the radio and free television broadcasting on Bohol Avenue.

    Sergeant Eduardo Esguerra was killed during the standoff to recover PTV-4 complex under siege by rebels.

    Later, Bohol Avenue was renamed after the lone casualty in the rebel group’s sixth coup attempt in August 1987.

    Armed Forces of the Philippines Headquarters was set ablaze in August 1987.
  • January 1992: Bureau of Broadcasts Services and PTV 4 transferred on Visayas Avenue.

  • 30 March 1995: Under RA 7966, the Ramos administration granted ABS-CBN a 25-year franchise renewal, which was only executed on 4 May 1995.

  • In the fourth quarter of 2019 up to the first and second quarter of 2020, the company faced a state of flux concerning the grant of Congressional franchise.

  • 05 May 2020, the National Telecommunications Commission, an attached agency of the DICT, issued a cease-and-desist order, which prompted the giant network to cease all its radio and free television programs at once.




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