I always remember the first time I visited Tiya Tinay’s when I was still a kid. It was still located in plasa (wet market). Its kitchen faces the Salog river. And the one who served our coffee and sapin-sapin was Tiya Tinay
herself. I always wanted to visit the place out of curiosity more than anything else. I would always hear it from the AM radio where politics and local issues were discussed. For a kid who’s fond of history, it sounded interesting. Finally, I still could remember how they filter the brewed coffee through a piece of cloth – we use this process in our home due to lack of coffee maker.
Last year, during the holiday season I also brought my family to Tiya Tinay, minus the daughter. I found a couple of relatives with Rep. Escudero III, it was 630am then. The kape barako was superb, together with sapin-sapin. Mrs. Angeles, retired Pilot school teacher and a classmate of my uncle in the same school, was there to have a short chat with us.
This November, I took my mom when I visited the city. Now it’s located in Plaza Bonifacio, Brgy. Sirangan. There, I met my uncle and my cousin, together with some familiar faces. They were supposed to leave but the Bulusan Volcano had its biggest eruption so far (there would be bigger ones, but at that time, it was the biggest), thus, we simply stood there looking at the eruption unfold. It wasn’t really a perfect sight, a house was blocking the sight, but one could see the ashes in the air.
After a few minutes watching, my mom and I went inside and ordered our coffee. My mom requested that hers be diluted with water. Mine, I just like the way it was served. I also ordered palabok and ibos. The place was deserted, it was a bit late, around 830am. Then, Tom Hayag, son of Tiya Tinay, came and sat down on our table. I knew him since I was a kid – we were in Collegio de la Milagrosa – he was in college and I was in elementary. His family was staying in Gate 1 area, near the shop of the Anchinges family. We had a chat and he shared a couple of facts about the Hayag family and the place:
• The coffee shop didn’t start on the 1950s, rather, it was really started by her grandmother during the 1920s. And her mom just continued it.
• In the family, their kids would start taking coffee as early as 12 years old. And these kids can easily distinguish and instant one from a brewed one.
Once in a while, an acquaintance or a family friend would come in; we’d say pleasantries and had a short chat, then would leave. Aside from the great breakfast, I found the place nostalgic. Furthermore, being familiar with the owner and the guests really makes the place homey.
If you want to come over during peak hours, visit the place around 6am; one can find the governor of the province or the representative of the 1st district. For someone who wants to enjoy local rice cakes and freshly brewed coffee, and prefers to mingle with the locales, Tiya Tinay’s is the place for you!