Bukas Palad is a non-government organization established in Manila in 1983 in response to the widespread problem of poverty. It was started by the youth of the Focolare Movement who wanted to put into practice the challenge launched by its founder, Chiara Lubich, “to die for our own people” during her visit to the Philippines in 1982. Believing in the phrase of the Gospel, “Freely you receive, freely you give”(Mt.24:40), the young people of the Focolare Movement decided to name the present organization, Bukas Palad, a Filipino term which means “open palms.” Work with the marginalized families started in Pasay City but later spread to other parts of the country, where there are Focolare Centers: In Tagaytay (1987); Cebu (1987), Davao (1988), and La Union (2000). The first volunteers of Bukas Palad Cebu started in 1987 in Mabolo area which was one of the poorest urban areas in Cebu City but later expanded its operations in nearby areas. In 2004, Bukas Palad Cebu was formalized and incorporated as BP Cebu Foundation, Inc. It was registered as a non-stock non profit organization with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 13, 2004.
Over the years, more than 2,000 families have been reached since the Foundation started its programs.