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WATCH: National Book Store's Nanay Coring Sings Karaoke

Socorro Ramos, the founder of the nation’s largest bookstore chain, turns 95.
IMAGE YVETTE FERNANDEZ
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National Book Store founder Socorro Ramos, fondly known as “Nanay Coring” turned 95 this week.

Yesterday, she celebrated at her office with a birthday cake, pancit, lumpia, and kakanin, with her National Book Store team, as well as representatives of foreign publishers from around the world.

After merienda, the team invited her to do karaoke, a favorite Filipino pastime. Ramos shared that when she was young girl, she had always dreamed of singing on the radio. At the time, radio performers were paid two pesos a song.

Ramos then she gamely sang “Dahil Sa ‘Yo” with Rino Balatbat of Simon & Schuster.

Her granddaughter, Xandra Ramos Padilla, managing director of National Book Store, joined the fun with a rendition of the Carpenters’ “Top of the World.”

Before everyone went back to work, Ramos shared some advice that she has learned from working for over 75 years.

“Sipag at tiyaga. Pabayaan mo yang mga coiffure, coiffure, mga lipstick-lipstick. Ang importante, asikasuhin ang tindahan. Believe it or not, it is not easy, but you will be given a reward afterwards,” she said.

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Ramos recounts how she would stay at the store till 3 a.m. working in the stock room, fixing the store window displays, sweeping the floor, and doing the accounting.

“Sipag at tiyaga, kung hindi binigyan nang ganoon, ang National, wala yan,” she said. “Firm determination to succeed. Period. You have to work hard.”

National Book Store has 241 stores all across the country.

 

For more stories on Socorro Ramos, check out her biography “An Open Book: Thursdays with Nanay Coring,” by her daughter Cecilia Ramos Licauco and Yvette Fernandez. Available at National Book Store.

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Yvette Fernandez
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