Barangay Soccoro was once the enlisted men’s residential row of the American Occupation Era military Camp William Francis Brennan Murphy, and its spiritual center for the Philippine Army’s Catholic personnel was the Saint Ignatius Chapel in the camp. However, the original chapel was destroyed by the Japanese during World War II, and the area was left without a church after the war.
During the post-war Reconstruction Era, a small orphanage with a chapel was opened along 13the Avenue, for the youngest victims of the war. The orphanage was partially established by Sr. Alfonsa de la Santísima Trinidad, who had purchased the lot on 13th Avenue from her own family, and later donated the land to the Archdiocese of Manila in 1957, right before her passing. Sr. Alfonsa was an Augustinian nun, who was one of the founding sisters of the La Consolacion College Bacolod in 1919, the first Catholic private educational institution in the province of Negros Occidental. Sr. Alfonsa served as the school’s prioress from 1922 to 1940, and returned to Manila after World War II.
Although the orphanage operated for a few years, the chapel continued to grow and was dedicated to Our Lady of Succor (Our Lady of Perpetual Help); which was first administered by priests of Society of the Divine Word, from the Christ the King Mission Seminary, 3.7 kilometers away on the Sen. Eulogio Adona Rodríguez Sr. Boulevard. On the 6th of November 1961, the old enlisted men’s residential row Barrio Murphy was established as Barangay Soccoro, which was named after the chapel and took the Our Lady of Perpetual Help as the patron saint of the new barangay.
On the 12th of September 1964, Cardinal Rufino Jiao Santos (1908-1973) declares the Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) as a parish, with Fr. Mariano C. Borlongan as its first parish priest. Fr. Borlongan served from 1964 to 1976. And it was during the term of Fr. Cesar B. Pagulayan did Cardinal Jaime Lachica Sin (1928-2005) declare the parish as the seat of the new Vicariate of Our Lady of Perpetual Help of the Archdiocese of Manila on the 24th of March 1983. And on the 28th of June 2003, the Vicariate of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was transferred to the newly established Archdiocese of Cubao. During his tenure as the parish priest, Fr. Borlongan helped establish the then-chapels of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, the Transfiguration of Our Lord, and the Nativity of the Lord. After his term at the OLPH, Fr. Borlongan would be transferred to Project 2, when he would serve as the first parish priest of the Holy Family Parish.
During the 1950s, the industrialist José Amado Sitchon Araneta (1907-1985) purchased 35 hectares the Cubao area from the American conglomerate the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), and started investing on the infrastructure in the area. Don Amado also invested on the construction of a new OLPH chapel, and seeing the completion of the modernist architectural church by 1961.
The first OLPH church was a simple Brutalist inspired structure, with its massive walls and simple structural lines. However, through the years of the parish priests Cesar B. Pagulayan (1976-1988), Celso J. Ditan (1988-1990), Antonio Benedicto (1990-1992), Roberto C. Canlas (1992-1999), Enrique Aloysius Ma. S. Alino (1999-2006), and Alfonso A. Bugaoan Jr. (2006 to present); the OLPH would go through numerous renovations.