In 1983, when people were in the streets of Manila, rallying for change in government, the youth of the Focolare Movement (an ecclesial movement within the Catholic Church founded by Chiara Lubich; aims to fulfill the Last Testament of Jesus, “May all men be one”) made another choice instead: to change their lives by practicing the culture of giving. They aimed particularly at marginalized areas and together they decided to help those communities concretely in relation to their basic needs. With the intention to uplift the people in these communities from poverty and restore their dignity as human persons. They opened their cabinets and tried to see those things that they no longer used or other superfluous items and raised money through a rummage sale. Furthermore, some of those youth were medical practitioners, so they rendered medical services, free of charge, to these people. Attracted by the example of the youth, a family from the neighboring barangay offered the youth the use of their garage as a medical clinic and eventually, people gathered in the place so that they could be oriented and get assisted in their health needs.
Believing in that phrase of the gospel that says, “Freely you receive, freely you give” (Mt.10:8), these young people decided to name the present agency, Bukas Palad (BP) because of this discovery and experience. Bukas Palad has spread even to other parts of the country where there is Focolare: in Tagaytay (1985), Cebu (1987), Davao (1988), and La Union (2000).