Spreading good in Cebu through SM scholarship program

TWO years from now, 20-year-old Nathaniel Fabular of Hilongos, Southern Leyte, will graduate from college with a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy at the University of San Carlos.


A son of a laborer, Fabular would have had difficulty achieving his dream but with the help of SM Foundation Inc., he is on his way to do so.

Fabular is one of the 150 scholars from Cebu and one of the thousands supported by SMFI.

He heeds the words of SM founder Mr. Henry “Tatang” Sy: “To accomplish great things, you must not only act, dream and plan but believe in that dream.”

The late SM patriarch established the SM college scholarship program in 1993 — a social good vehicle that intends to carry out his vision of providing quality education to youth in grassroot communities.

He believed that if you send one child from an economically challenged family to college, that child would have more opportunities to have gainful employment and later on uplift the economic status of one’s family.

Each school year, the program attracts over 6,000 applicants — wherein applicants undergo written examination and interview. If shortlisted, the SM Education team conducts home visits to know the applicants further.

Scholars are given the option to pursue their desired college courses specializing in computer science, information technology, and engineering courses; accounting and allied business courses; and elementary and secondary education degree programs. Through the years thousands of youth have been given a shot at a college education nationwide.

Laborer’s son dreams big for his family

“When the SM foundation sent an email informing me that I was accepted as a scholar, I was really on cloud nine. I’m really grateful to Tatang and the SM Family for this opportunity. They shed some light in my path in order to achieve my dream,” Fabular said.

After graduation, Fabular aims to pass the CPA board examination. He is also considering post-graduate studies in law. But his priority once he graduates is to get a job so that he will be able to support his younger siblings in finishing their education.

“If I can get a chance, I want to work with the SM Group. I also want to give back to what the SM Foundation has given to me. I will do that by continuing the Legacy that Tatang has started — which is extending hands to the community,” he said.

The SM Brand

Another SM scholar is Jose Rey Tabuco Buenavista, 34, who graduated from the University of Cebu. He is now married with three children.

“I was able to find a job immediately because I informed the job interviewer that I am a proud SM scholar,” he said.

The interviewer asked what he meant, and he proudly replied: “I graduated as a scholar of SM, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines.”

Buenavista was told to report for work the very next day.

Applying the culture of an SM scholar has earned him the respect of his colleagues. From being a member of a project staff, he moved up to become a supervisor and eventually a manager. And to further his career and learning, he is currently pursuing his MBA at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.

To learn more about the scholarship program, visit https://scholarship.sm-foundation.org. For more updates, follow SM Foundation’s official social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube): @SMFoundationInc.