A Lifetime of Helping Others

Socorro Alfonso

Born in 1950 in the Philippines, Socorro Alfonso travelled half way around the world to live in the Yukon. Throughout her life she has been a caring helper for people of all ages.

Island Beginnings

Socorro was born on the tiny tropical island of Bacacay Albay southeast of Manila. Her mother named her for the Spanish word meaning “help”. Her parents lived by fishing, harvesting fruits and vegetables, and weaving hats and other goods for sale. Their small home of grass and palm leaves was open to warm Pacific breezes and the ocean was a happy playground for children.

City Life

Wanting education for their children, her parents moved to Pampanga. Socorro attended elementary school, studying in Tagalog, with some English lessons. Work was scarce and life was hard with nine children. At twelve Socorro went to live with cousins in Manila, working all day as domestic help to earn tuition for high school in the evenings. Her mother died and after four years she went home to help her ailing father.

Leaving Home ~ Searching for a Better Life

Socorro returned to Manila, working for low wages in government, constantly moving between relatives’ homes. She joined Our Mother of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic church, a source of comfort and inspiration. After ten years she seized the opportunity to do domestic work in Singapore.

Happy to be Here

The Yukon beckoned in 1986. Socorro, nicknamed Cory in Canada, worked as a nanny for several Whitehorse families, undaunted by cold winters. She loved her new home, studying English, making new friends and helping other Filipino immigrants. When she was diagnosed with cancer in 1989, Cory’s friends helped her obtain health care and her Singapore employer sent money. She recovered after several difficult years of treatment. She worked in a restaurant for a few years, then at Macaulay Lodge caring for the elderly until retirement in 2014. Children are her great joy. She adopted a young girl in the Philippines, sending money to ensure her education. After a lifetime of hard work Socorro remains true to her name—always generous in caring for others.