Meet the Pinay who started the 'tapsilog' craze

Posted at 03/01/2014 11:42 AM | Updated as of 03/03/2014 8:44 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Ever wondered who started the “tapsilog” craze in the Philippines?

Restaurant owner Vivian del Rosario of Tapsi ni Vivian claims she was the first to coin “tapsilog” or tapa, sinangag (garlic fried rice), and itlog (fried egg).

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“Noong araw nag-umpisa lang ako sa tinda namin lugaw-lugaw lang, tapos nagtinda din ako ng tapa at mga sinangag. Naisipan ko mag-imbento ng pangalan, ‘yun nga ang sinasabi nilang tapa, sinangag at itlog. Shinortcut ko ng ‘tapsilog.’ Ako ang kauna-unahang nag-imbento ng tapa, sinangag at itlog,” she said on “My Puhunan.”

Tapsi ni Vivian's famous tapsilog. Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page

Del Rosario popularized the Filipino favorite when she opened the first branch of Tapsi ni Vivian at Lauan Street corner Molave in Project 3, Quezon City in the 1980s.

But before her success, del Rosario said she also went through the hardships of being an entrepreneur with a limited budget.

“Mahirap talaga dahil nagsimula ka sa maliit, dapat magsikap ka. Pagsikapan mo at magsipag ka, gumising ka ng maaga, magluto ka,” she said.

Del Rosario’s first stab at the food industry came in the form of a small cafeteria at a parking lot.

Her patrons then were mostly jeepney drivers looking for cheap meals during their lunch break.

With a capital of P1,000 per day, del Rosario said she made P2,000 from selling rice meals.

“Gigising ako ng madaling araw, mga alas-kwatro, tapos mamamalengke, magluluto, magtitinda sa jeepney driver,” she said.

Tapsi ni Vivian owner Vivian del Rosario. Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page

Now at 62 years old, del Rosario still practices the hands-on approach to her food business, which has expanded to more branches in Marikina.

Tapsi ni Vivian now has a full menu of dishes and is offering catering services to seminars, weddings and corporate events.

Del Rosario said aside from her cooking, what made her successful is her down-to-earth attitude that endeared her to her customers.

“Kailangan masarap ang luto, masarap ang pagkain, malinis, at hindi ka masungit sa tao. Hindi ka dapat mayabang at mapagmalaki, kailangan marunong ka lumingon sa pinaggalingan mo,” she said.