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Beneath the Surface: Socorro Cancio-Ramos's Resilience




Life is a battlefield, and we all have our struggles. When everything is handed to us on a silver platter, it's easy to become complacent, self-absorbed, and indifferent to life's true blessings. Pope Paul VI's words ring true in describing the remarkable journey of one extraordinary woman.


Meet Socorro Cancio-Ramos, affectionately known as "Coring," the matriarch of Public Bookshop, the Philippines' premier retailer of books, office supplies, and greeting cards. Her story is one of resilience, perseverance, and unwavering determination.


Born into a family of merchants who fell into poverty after losing their business, Coring's upbringing was marked by struggle. Working alongside her brother-in-law, she crossed paths with Jose Ramos, whom she would later marry.


Together, they founded Public Bookshop in 1940. With limited resources, Coring took on multiple roles within the business - manager, cashier, buyer, saleswoman, janitor - juggling them all with unwavering resolve.

Despite facing setbacks, such as the destruction caused by the Japanese occupation and later by the devastating Typhoon Yoling, the Ramos couple refused to be defeated.


They rebuilt their business from the ground up, working tirelessly day and night to turn adversity into opportunity. Their perseverance paid off, culminating in the establishment of a thriving bookstore that became a cornerstone of the community.


In the 1950s, Coring envisioned a new venture: creating a line of greeting cards and postcards showcasing Philippine culture and artistry. This innovative endeavor not only promoted Filipino heritage but also expanded the company's reach globally. Over the years, Public Bookshop continued to evolve, diversifying its offerings and expanding its presence across the country.


Despite her success, Coring remains grounded, attributing her achievements to timeless values and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. She emphasizes the importance of staying vigilant in a constantly changing business landscape, always ready to embrace new opportunities and challenges.


Coring's contributions have not gone unnoticed, earning her numerous accolades both domestically and internationally. From being named the Ernst and Young Philippine Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005 to receiving the TOFIL Award in 2006, her legacy continues to inspire generations of entrepreneurs.


Today, Socorro Ramos's empire extends far beyond the realm of bookselling, encompassing various businesses including publishing, music retail, and convenience stores. But amidst her vast wealth and success, she remains true to her roots, committed to making education accessible to all, regardless of economic status.


In a world where success is often measured by material wealth, Socorro Ramos serves as a shining example of humility, integrity, and the transformative power of hard work. Her story reminds us that true greatness lies not in what we accumulate, but in the values we uphold and the lives we touch along the way.



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