Martin Tinio, Jr.

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Martin Tinio Jr., known to Sonny to his colleagues, is a writer and a businessman. He has numerous books hihglighting the Philippine culture at its best.


Background Information

Martin Tinio Jr, or Sonny, graduated from New York University. He took a Business course and graduated from the New York University. He doesn't have any background in Journalism but he is an avid historian. He has been collected Philippine artifacts since he was 11 years old. He is 55 years old.

As a child, he grew up to a prominent Filipino family in Manila. He recalls a time when they lived with 17 servants. As a part of the rich Tinio clan, he is a straight descendant of the great Gen. Manuel Tinio who served the country during the Spanish Era. He grew up rich and has stayed the same througout.

While vacationing at their mining company back in Nueva Ecija, a foreign investor thought of writing an article about gold and silver in the Philippines. But he was too busy to do it so he assigned Martin, who at the time had nothing to do, to write for him for $500. It took him two days two finish the article. It took him 2 years to pass it to the investor. And this is where he started his writing career. To date, he has written more than 50 articles and more than 10 books. When asked, he had forgotten how many he has written. The numbers are merely a rough estimation.

List of Works

  • Nueve Ecija: Now and Beyond
  • Asian Culture
  • Philippine Ancestral Homes
  • Jewelry of the 17th Century
  • Nueva Ecija: Now and Beyond


Perhaps the greatest work of Sonny Tinio was when he was chosen to write for the book "Asian Culture." This book focuses on the evolution of Asian culture's furniture. He was one of 10 international writers who were chosen to write articles about the said topic which was to be collated in one book. Writers from China, India, Indonesia, and some others were beckoned to join in on this venture. As he beemed with pride at this work, you could see in his eyes the passion in which he puts to writing, You could also see the passion he has for the Filipino culture.

What is most obvious in his part of the book was the way he intertwined the evolution of Philippine furniture to Philippine culture. As he wrote the book per era, he took notes of the influences of several foreign countries and influences within our country. He weaved his way through the times when we were inspired by our tribal ancestors. He took notice of how the furniture then looked. As eras passed, you notice the evolution of Philippine furniture. He puts the influences of foreigners to the intricacy of the designs and the process of making. It is beautiful how we intertwined culture to influence.

Take note: Because of the beauty of his writing, the editor sent back the articles of the other writers so they could follow the way Sonny Tinio wrote his. These aren't normal journalists: these are writers with a background in Journalism, and have P.H.Ds in their forte.



Paolo Tinio 4I

As I listened to his interview, I couldn't help but be enamored at how passionate he is about writing. He spoke a great deal about how much he loved researching and travelling to different places just to know about the topic of his books. As we continued on with the interview, one line from he struck me. It was about how long it takes for one to finish writing a book. He told us that it takes one year of nothing but researching and writing just so one can finish a book. And it doesn't end there, it will take another several months for the book to be edited and published. I couldn't imagine how patient these people are. One must be passionate enough to finish writing a book, persevering enough to do research and interviews about the topic, and patient enough to wait and see if his book will be published. It really is hard to be writer because of these. But in the end, he said it is all worth it. Because in the ene, you'll feel contentment withing yourself. You'll feel victorious when you get to finish a book after all the troubles, obstacles, pain, suffering and sacrifices. His being a writer speaks a great deal about his character. One cannot be successful without those 3 traits.

Kevin John Z. Gamboa 4I

   The experience of interviewing a writer taught me a lot of things. One of the things I learned from Mr. Sonny Tinio was that one doesn’t necessarily have to graduate from a writing course from college to be a writer. I thought all this time that in order to be a successful writer, one should graduate from Journalism, Creative Writing and other courses, which are related to writing. He himself was a commerce graduate. Little did he know that he was going to be a successful writer. He said that becoming a writer was just an accident and wasn’t part of his goals in life. I was struck about this because anyone can be a writer.
    Mr. Sonny Tinio would usually go to the Public Library to read as many books as possible for the topic he will write about. He would travel around the world to explore different museums to gather information. He has visited a total of 29 countries throughout his life. I was struck when I learned this because I never knew that being a writer was this hard. I thought that being a writer should just literally write what he thinks and submit before a certain deadline. I thought wrong. 
   This experience is truly memorable because this is the first time I experienced life in the perspective of a writer. A writer is not just someone who writes. A writer is someone who writes to make a difference here in the world. A writer writes to affect the reader in a way that he or she could make a difference here in the world.

This Article is made by

Ateneo High School Students

Paolo Enrico R. Tinio 4I

Kevin John Z. Gamboa 4I