MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Bukas, the tech-enabled education financing platform under its parent company ErudiFi, has consistently advocated for students who have courageously chosen the unconventional path in their academic pursuits, defying societal norms and expectations surrounding education.
In its newly-launched campaign “Sa’Yo Ang Bukas” (Tomorrow is yours), Bukas has boldly challenged the negative connotation of the phrase “walang hiyang estudyante“ (student with no shame.) Instead, it celebrates the millions of Filipino students who have stepped up to the challenge and persevered against all odds to achieve the future that they have imagined.
Even before the campaign, the so-called walang hiyang estudyante has been around in every college and university. They are the working students, the scholars, the student parents, the shiftees, the transferees, the career shifters, and the list goes on. They are the ones often tagged as “irregular” students in school databases, the outliers in a group of students who are programmed to finish a degree in four or five years. Or less.
What’s so bad about being irregular?
Different is not bad. Different only means different, an unusual but equally valid path to success. The walang hiyang estudyante understands this: there is no shame in creating one’s own path. These students are unapologetically owning their future, and taking bold steps toward a better tomorrow, regardless of their socioeconomic status, a journey that Bukas is committed to helping Filipino students with through its mission of making education accessible for all.
Likewise, the campaign’s call to break stigmas about the different student journeys also challenges the persistent negative perception of loans in the Philippines, often associated with high interest rates and fear of debt. Through its tuition plans (student loans), Bukas empowers students by giving them an alternative option to fund their studies. In this way, there should be no shame in taking loans as it is only one of the many ways that can help students pursue their dreams, just as much as other financing options like part-time jobs or side hustles.
Celebrating the walang hiyang estudyante
Through a series of online content and offline events to be held in selected partner schools, Bukas highlights stories of hope amidst adversity that a lot of students face in pursuit of their goals and dreams. As hinted in the kick-off video, these stories will be amplified by the Walang Hiyang Estudyante ambassadors who represent different student journeys, namely: The Scholar, The Transferee, The Shiftee, and The Working Student. The latter is content creator and education advocate Macoy Averilla, more popularly known as “Macoy Dubs,” who himself juggled his time in college between studies and a job in a publishing company.
More than just a campaign, Bukas invites everyone everywhere in the country to celebrate the students who have taken up the #SayoAngBukas challenge by nominating them for the first-ever Walang Hiyang Estudyante Awards. The nomination period officially began last July 17 and will run until August 31. The awardees will be recognized in the highly anticipated awards ceremony in September.