MANILA — Sharon Cuneta, a music icon who considers ABS-CBN her home, broke down in tears as the network was forced to go black on Tuesday, risking the jobs of some 11,000 employees.
Cuneta, 54, bared her emotions over the government closure of ABS-CBN in an Instagram Live session with her followers.
"My heart is breaking," she said, pausing several times to compose herself. "Thirty years na ako sa ABS-CBN. It's my home. There's 10 of thousands of employees who are going to lose their jobs, and I cannot take that."
Cuneta, dubbed local showbiz's "Megastar," has been a Kapamilya for a greater part of her 42-year career. Milestones of her personal life also unfolded on ABS-CBN, from her heartbreaks, marriage, to becoming a mother.
"There's so much going on now. We have this virus. Wrong timing kasi ang daming natutulungan ng Kapamilya," she said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.
Amid the public health crisis, ABS-CBN has led the wide-reaching fundraiser "Pantawid ng Pag-Ibig," which has so far gathered P350 million and delivered relief to 2 million Filipinos.
"Tapos 'yung staff namin mismo at crew, sila 'yung mawawalan ng trabaho. Ako, okay lang, okay na ako, pero sila? Ang sakit," Cuneta said.
During her Instagam Live session, Cuneta was in the middle of preparations for an online concert from her home. Among those helping her mount the project were long-time colleagues in ABS-CBN.
When she saw their faces via video conference, Cuneta started sobbing. "I love you all of you," she told them.
Addressing other Kapamilya employees whom she interacted with over the years, Cuneta said: "ABS-CBN staff members, crew, marshalls, Nanay loves you, I'm thinking of you. You're in my heart."