Tears flow as stars who stood by ABS-CBN renew contract

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    MANILA — Tears flowed Wednesday during the contract-signing of three Kapamilya stars, as TV production head Lauren Dyogi expressed gratitude to them for choosing to stay on despite the uncertainty of the last two years, following twin crises of the coronavirus pandemic and ABS-CBN’s forced broadcast shutdown.

    “It’s Showtime” mainstay Vhong Navarro, his co-host and OPM pillar Ogie Alcasid, and leading man JC de Vera each renewed their respective contract with ABS-CBN during a livestreamed event dubbed “Good Job,” after a popular catchphrase in the noontime program.

    ABS-CBN executives who signed were Rick Tan, head of finance; Dyogi, head of TV production and head of Star Magic; Cory Vidanes, chief operating officer; Carlo Katigbak, president and CEO; and Mark Lopez, chairman.

    Inking their contract one by one, Navarro, Alcasid, and de Vera turned sentimental about the tumultuous years ABS-CBN endured after the non-renewal of its franchise by a congressional panel, compounding the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on its employees.

    The franchise crisis resulted in the widescale retrenchment of thousands of workers, including entire units. It also led to the exodus of on-camera personalities as ABS-CBN grappled with the loss of its flagship free-TV channel and radio stations.

    At the end of the “Good Job” contract-signing on Wednesday, Dyogi gave a speech addressing Navarro, Alcasid, and de Vera.

    “This is a very important day for all of us. We are formally renewing our commitment with you JC, Vhong, and Ogie,” he said.

    Visibly emotional, Dyogi paused to compose himself. The artists, too, appeared to be holding tears as the executive gathered himself, at one point stepping aside to drink water.

    “Sa totoo lang, what’s important was the last two years,” Dyogi continued. “Iyong two years na dinaanan natin hindi biro.”

    Dyogi, who also stepped up as Star Magic head after the departure of founder Johnny Manahan and his partner Mariole Alberto, recalled that ABS-CBN had to pause renewing or signing on new talents.

    “Those were two years of difficult times na walang pirmahan. There was a lot of uncertainty, pero you were here. You were here with us,” he told the three.

    Dyogi echoed earlier statements of his fellow ABS-CBN executives — pledging to continue building the careers of artists who stood with the company during the dark chapter.

    “‘Yung mga taong kasama namin sa hirap, ngayong paahon tayo, we’ll be together. We’re committed to be with you and to support you, because you did a good job in serving the public and being with us.

    “Maraming, maraming, maraming salamat sa inyong tatlo,” he said.

    Two years after ABS-CBN’s TV and radio broadcast were shuttered, the media giant has successfully transitioned as a leading content creator, with a continually growing number of platforms through partnerships and bolstered digital presence.

    ______

    CAPTION: ABS-CBN TV production head Lauren Dyogi turns emotional as he thanks Vhong Navarro, Ogie Alcasid, and JC de Vera for staying on despite the network’s broadcast crisis, during the artists’ March 23 contract renewal as a Kapamilya. ABS-CBN

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