‘Eat Bulaga’ through the years – public service beyond laughter

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Pupils and teachers of Herculina Edig Elementary School in Tagum City, Davao del Norte are happy beneficiaries of ‘Eat Bulaga’s ‘Isang Lapis, Isang Papel’ advocacy

Pupils and teachers of Herculina Edig Elementary School in Tagum City, Davao del Norte are happy beneficiaries of ‘Eat Bulaga’s ‘Isang Lapis, Isang Papel’ advocacy

Noontime is not complete for millions of Filipino viewers worldwide without a dose of fun and entertainment from the country longest running television show.

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The variety show is an escape from the stresses of daily grind for most viewers, but for a couple of promising young students whose lives the show has changed over the years, Eat Bulaga has been their ticket out of the doldrums.

One example is Sylvan Dan Moldes. When he graduated from elementary school seven years ago, life ahead seemed murky and thorny. Getting into high school was a remote possibility, a grim outlook for the bright consistent honor student.

One day while watching Eat Bulaga, his mother learned that the show was accepting applications for a new scholarship program, “Eat Bulaga Excellent Students Awards” or “EBest.”

He did not let the chance pass him by and filed an application for the scholarship. The young boy was hopeful he’d make the cut, and was naturally overjoyed when he received an invitation from the show.

Sylvan and the 29 others with him that day were announced on national television as the first batch of “EBest” scholars.

After seven years, Sylvan is now a graduating student from UP Diliman taking up a bachelor’s degree in Library and Information Science.

Jaydee Lucero, now 19 and a fourth year Civil Engineering student at UP Diliman, was also among the first batch of “EBest” scholars.

The “EBest Awards” was established in 2009, in celebration of the show’s 30th year, to provide scholarship grants to students who excel academically but whose families could not support their education.

Eat Bulaga draws inspiration for its social responsibility programs from its own humble beginnings.

“When we finally tasted our first sweet success, we gave back to our viewers in one way or another. We realized that the more we gave, the more we were blessed, and that inspired us to give all the more,” Eat Bulaga producer Antonio Tuviera.

“One thing which I think contributed greatly to the success of Eat Bulaga is our tradition of giving back. It’s no longer just an entertainment show; it has become a public service program masquerading as an entertainment show,” said long-time host Senator Tito Sotto.

“We’re lucky our viewers have allowed us in their homes for 37 years now. Only time will tell until when. For as long as we’re here, we’ll continue to work hard to do good not only in show business but also in the business of doing good,” he added.

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