Making Memories · Travel and Food

Ang Pagkakape sa Kapehan Ni Tia Tinay

There are only a few places here in Sorsogon City where I hang out: the church, the pier, Calle Nueva, Jollibee, and Tia Tinay. While there are places here in Sorsogon which I have visited, I guess other than church, Tia Tinay is never missing in my itinerary.

Kape at Gatas, brewed coffee with milk at Tia Tinay which costs around 15php only
Kape at Gatas, brewed coffee with milk at Tia Tinay which costs around 15php only

Not a month goes by without me visiting the place. Other than living to their tagline of “Masiramon na barato pa” (delicious and affordable), it’s their brew and their kakanins (sticky rice treats) which keeps  me coming back.

At tia tinays
Breakfast at Tia Tinay around 9am with Diane last October 2, 2014.

I have written about Tia Tinay many times. I featured the eatery in two Facebook Pages and wrote a blog about it in a Bicolano culture, travel, and history blog. Well, I think it’s about time to write about it here in my own blog.

Preparing the wrap for their suman sa ibus (sometimes spelled as ibos)
Preparing the wrap for their suman sa ibus (sometimes spelled as ibos)

Rolled buri leaves Coffee and History More than the coffee, what fascinated me to this place was its history. The coffee they serve is actually a part of their family recipe which has been passed down from one generation to the next. The same goes with any of their other delicacies and snacks. Whenever the family would learn another recipe, expect it to be handed down to the next generation.

Kutchinta / Cuchinta at Tia Tinay's
Kutchinta / Cuchinta at Tia Tinay’s

I remember talking to Tito Rene Hayag, one of Tia Tinay’s descendants. While it already amazes me how my Lolo even use to visit the eatery, learning the history from Tito Rene made a bigger impact on why I love the place so much.

Mami with pork and sliced hard boiled egg
Mami with pork and sliced hard boiled egg.

The kapehan started way back in the 1925 – and it wasn’t even called Tia Tinay. There was no name for it honestly. It was just a place that served good brew and was managed by Lola Awi. Later on the business was passed down to Mama Caring, her eldest niece. The next generation to handle it was Tia Tinay herself. In 1957, the place was named Kapehan ni Tia Tinay after locals would always refer to the kapehan by her name. Whenever the province would get visitors, locals would always direct them to Tia Tinay’s kapehan. This led the eatery to be featured in Living Asia thrice.

Puto with cheese
Puto with cheese

Starting Early After Tia Tinay died, her youngest daughter took over. Nanay Jing, as she was fondly called, managed Tia Tinay since 1983. The place would open up at 3 am and would be very packed till 8 am. I once managed to have breakfast there around 7am and honestly it was hard to get through the line of people stating their orders. I was even surprised to see Sorsogon Gov. Lee there at that time (which I know he usually went there earlier). Although there were many people there that I and my friend Mae had to share our table to other visitors, I have to admit that being early helped me enjoy my favorite suman sa ibus and maja blanca. There were more breakfast delicacies to choose from!

Breakfast with Diane last October 2, 2014 which costs not more than 100php.
Breakfast with Diane last October 2, 2014: spaghetti, puto, sapin sapin and kape-gatas.

The place never ran out of customers during the one hour we stayed there. It was Sunday so our time was limited compared to the hours I’d stay in there by myself or with Diane (another friend who simply loved Tia Tinay).

With my Rockstar Tia Tinay eating partner Diane
With my Rockstar Tia Tinay eating partner Diane
With Road Manager Roda ;) another Tia Tinay eating buddy
With Road Manager Roda 😉 another Tia Tinay eating buddy

In Tia Tinay, it doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor. You can enjoy great food without spending too much! It’s a great place to have snacks or breakfast with friends after a jog at the pier or capitol park, to meet people from different walks of life, to see families enjoy time with kids, and to just fall in love with the history that has become part of every Sorsoganon who loves good food!

A painting of Sorsogon Market displayed in Tia Tinay
A painting of Sorsogon Market displayed in Tia Tinay

P.S. I’m not going to put all the prices here 😉 be surprised!

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