The country’s longest-running show “Eat Bulaga” launched a scholarship program in time of its 30th year anniversary in 2009 for outstanding elementary school students all over the country who don’t have the means to continue their education.
Called Eat Bulaga Excellent Student Awards or EBest Awards, several of the scholars have finished degrees, some of whom even graduated with honors.
One of them is 21-year-old Melvin Dugan, second of three siblings from an impoverished family from Taguig City. His parents used to own a small dress shop that closed down when he was still in elementary school.
With no source of income and bills piling up, his parents did not have enough money to send him to school. Then EB came into the picture. A consistent honor student, he was chosen as one of the recipients of EBest. He was provided a four-year high school and four-year college scholarship grant, a monthly allowance, and annual cash assistance for his other educational needs.
On March 31, Dugan graduated cum laude at Jose Rizal University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration major in Accounting. He said he is one step closer to reaching his dream of providing a better life for his family.
Down south, Hanelyn Mae Milca also had a tough childhood.
Born to a poor family in Davao, she initially thought she will not be able to attend high school or even pursue a career in teaching. Her sixth grade adviser from Tugbok Central Elementary School nominated her for the scholarship as she’s one of the top students of her batch.
After finishing high school, she took up Education at the University of Mindanao and graduated on April 25.
Milca stressed the importance of education especially to someone who doesn’t have the means to support his or her own studies.
Angel Bert Baguhin from Cagayan de Oro City also had a similar dilemma. His father who used to sell empanada and lumpia for a living could not finance his schooling.
When the staff of Eat Bulaga came to his elementary school some eight years ago, he made the most of the opportunity and was eventually chosen as one of the EBest scholars.
Baguhin now holds a degree in Chemistry from Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan. He dedicated his diploma to his late father who passed away in November 2015.
As a way of paying forward, he also plans to grant a young student the same opportunity afforded to him by the noontime variety program.
Baguhin, Milca and Dugan are three of the six Eat Bulaga scholars who graduated from March to May this year. Joining the EBest graduates list are Cebu native Almira Bless Amorado, Ma. Myka Barbilla from Bacolod and Yllor Sedol of Quezon City.
Amorado and Barbilla both graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Management Accounting and Medical Technology at Cebu Institute of Technology-University and Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod, respectively.
Sedol, on the other hand, finished Bachelor of Science in Physics at Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
Aside from the six new graduates, eight more are marching later in June and July.
Eat Bulaga still has 35 college scholars who hail from Sulu, Batanes, Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, Pangasinan, Bacolod, Benguet, Nueva Ecija, Laguna, Bulacan, Manila, Mandaluyong, Batangas, and other remote parts of the country.
Aside from EBest Awards, the iconic noontime variety show also launched campaigns such as EB Classroom Project, EB Heroes, Isang Lapis Isang Papel Project and the construction of 10 AlDub public libraries nationwide.