MANILA - Socorro "Nanay Coring" Ramos celebrated 75 years of National Bookstore this month by singing a duet of her favorite song, "Dahil Sa 'Yo" with heartthrob Piolo Pascual, a fitting tribute for the trailblazing entrepreneur.
Ramos' granddaughter, Xandra Ramos-Padilla, who now runs National Bookstore, said the family matriarch always lived by "sipag at tiyaga" (hardwork and diligence) and expects the same from employees in over 200 stores.
Nanay Coring, 94, personally received deliveries, chose pocketbooks and fixed the store window everyday in the company's first store along Rizal Avenue in downtown Manila.
"She did everything. Now, we have a whole team," Ramos-Padilla said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss.
"We want them to keep that sipag at tiyaga and that entrepreneurial spirit," she said.
Ramos-Padilla said her grandmother reminds family members involved in the business that "it's all about relationships" with people they work with.
"My playbook is pretty much based on her style, how she deals with the different people she meets," she said.
Another thing she learned from her grandmother is to never be afraid to ask questions, Ramos-Padilla said.
"She really has been a mentor. She taught us to keep asking questions, not to be shy," Ramos-Padilla said.
"It's her humble way of learning, she gets a lot of information that way," she said.
Ramos-Padilla said Nanay Coring introduced her to reading with her first set of Nancy Drew novels.
She then relocated to the US where she worked for retail giant Wal-Mart in Shenzhen, China, maintaining a long distance relationship with her future husband. Until her father called her up asking her to return and help run the family business.
Ramos-Padilla said she said yes, with inspiration from one of her favorite books, Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist.
"It's about the person who travels around the world looking for treasure only to realize that the treasure is right there in his own home," she said.
"I'm glad for the opportunity to work again with Nanay Coring," she said.