What’s in a Name

Okay, it is a bit confusing. Some places we call ourselves the following:

Bukal Life MinistriesBukal Logo Small New

Bukal Life Care & Counseling Center

Bukal Life Care & Training Center

Bukal Life Care

Perhaps the following will correct the confusion.

1.  Bukal Life Ministries. When we first formed as a group in October/November of 2009, this was the name that we went by. BUKAL is the Tagalog word for “spring” (as in a fountain of water). We felt the name fit our focus on helping people recover from Tropical Storm Ondoy and Typhoon Pepeng.  Even after our name officially changed, we retained the name “Bukal Life Ministries” for projects that were tied more to social ministry (as opposed to pastoral care or clinical pastoral education). So, in a sense, we never retired the term.

2.  Bukal Life Care & Counseling Center. When we incorporated in June of 2010, we utilized the name “Bukal Life Care & Counseling Center.” The term counseling implied related to our pastoral care and clinical pastoral education work. The term care focused on the social ministry and training work. This has been our official name up until the present.

3.  Bukal Life Care & Training Center.  In November 2012, concerns about the use of the term Counseling Center came up. It was felt by some that the term “Counseling” was inappropriate based on Philippine Republic Act 9258. Based on that, there was a decision to research a name change removing the term Counseling and replace with Training. That actually made sense since it could be said that implied two basic ministries “Life Care” and “Training.”  So we started making changes towards the name change. That stopped based on a reevaluation that we did not violate the Republic Act. <Frankly, the law is quite… curiously…  written. The law professionalizes the use of the term “counseling” but fails to recognize many common uses of this common term, only recognizing  psychoemotional counseling. As such it ignores legal counseling, spiritual counseling, informal counseling, professional/vocational counseling and so forth. The Law also criminalizes the use of the term “center” but doesn’t technically clarify that the such criminalization only relates to psychological counseling organizations. However, one has to appreciate the spirit of the law that seeks to professionalize a noble activity.> Gradually we started moving away from this name.

4.  Bukal Life Care. We often have used this term as the short form or our organization. A number of us have considered the possibility of changing our name formally to this short-hand title. It gets rid of the term “counseling center,” which causes so much confusion in the Philippines. Secondly, it focuses on our main role “LIFE CARE.” Life Care is the term we use for the following sub-topics (both as an activity and as a training are):

Pastoral Care/Spiritual Care

Member Care

Crisis Care

Health Care


Our board of trustees will be meeting in a few weeks to come up with a final name. We will let you know what is finally decided.





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