How Tinapayan Festival Reinvented Pandesal Through the Years

By using local ingredients that suit the modern palate, Tinapayan Festival reinvented the well-loved pandesal in so many healthy ways.

Pandesal is part and parcel of every Filipino’s life. While seemingly simplistic, this humble bread is affordable, filling, and very versatile. It’s a blank canvas that can be enjoyed in so many ways—from dipping it in coffee, filling it with your choice of meat, cheese, and spread, or even enjoying it as is.

Some, however, seek to reinvent the very form of the pandesal. In fact, the pandemic saw the rise of many flavored pandesal variants. These include the highly popular Ube and Cheese, as well as other quirky variants like Red Velvet or Butternut.

But before all these game-changers, there was Tinapayan Festival. Established in 1982 by Lucito “Chito” Chavez, the bakeshop celebrates 40 years of selling soft and sweet baked products. Beyond its highly popular (and diverse selection) of pandesal, Tinapayan Festival’s bestsellers include the cheesy loaf, ensaymada, and cheese rolls, which the Filipino tastebuds have patronized throughout the years.

What’s more, Tinapayan Festival has always committed to innovating its products in order to adapt to the ever-changing times. This is how they’ve stood the test of time—even during the height of the pandemic.

A Household Staple

“When you own a bakery in the country, it is certain that you will always offer pandesal,” begins Lucito “Chito” Chavez, the founder of Tinapayan Festival. “Growing up in the province, our usual breakfast would consist of piping hot pandesal fresh from the pugon, dipped in hot chocolate or coffee.”

Since pandesal is a well-loved favorite in every household, it is essential to have good pandesal. And Chavez knows that for a fact. “Pandesal has been a part of our lives and in our culture as Filipinos. At Tinapayan, we are very proud of the versions of pandesal that we offer, coming from various recipes we’ve innovated and improved over the years.”

“In the 1960s, pandesal was pugon-baked by the panaderos,” he adds. “In the 1970s, the demand for pandesal grew and dominated the market, where almost forty percent of flour for bread goes to the production of pandesal. Cuenca, Batangas was very famous in the bakery industry in the ‘70s for its very tasty pandesal.”

The brains behind Tinapayan Festival: Lucito “Chito” Chavez, and his wife Belen (Photo from

Giving Back to the Community

Going beyond providing quality soft and sweet pastries, Tinapayan Festival is also committed to helping the community. In fact, decades ago, Chaves himself was the Executive Vice President and Spokesperson of the Philippine Federation of Baker’s Association, where he was very vocal about supporting local agriculture and farmers. 

Now, he carries this commitment with him as the founder of Tinapayan Festival. How? By maximizing the use of agricultural products and crops and integrating these into their slew of baked bread, pastries, and cakes.

“We are proud to be Filipino bakers and it is but just to be able to support fellow Filipinos working hard to provide local crops for everyday consumption,” he emphasizes.

Product Innovation Throughout the Years

Since 1985, Tinapayan Festival has been at the forefront of product innovation. Centering its focus on the Filipino pandesal, the brand has pioneered the use of agricultural crops such as squash, sweet potato, cassava, carrot, purple yam, malanga, and potato to make healthy and delicious varieties of its bread rolls.

To date, Tinapayan Festival offers seven healthy kinds of bread. These include:

Potato Bread (1985)

A creation that was borne during the early years of the bakeshop, Tinapayan Festival’s potato bread was inspired by a famous Ermita-based bakeshop that used potato in some of its products, as most of its bakers are from Cuenca, Batangas. Chavez, a fellow Cuencaño himself, started his research on how he can incorporate potatoes into his products.

The result? Potato bread. Soft like a marshmallow, this healthy pastry is enriched with potato flour for longer shelf life. And the innovation doesn’t stop there. In fact, the store even came up with potato pandesal, which remains a favorite among patrons to this day.

Potato Bread

Kamote Pandesal and Squash Pandesal (2007)

Tinapayan Festival first introduced its kamote pandesal to the market in the year 2007. Made with kamote (sweet potato) flour that was developed by Architect Nelson Cuevas, this pandesal is not only packed with delicious flavors, but also supports the immune system, healthy vision, and gut health.

On the other hand, the store’s squash pandesal is just as healthy, as it is made with real squash, which is vitamin-rich and beneficial for the heart, eyes, and colon.

Squash Pandesal

Malunggay Pandesal (2010)

Malunggay is a go-to for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. Still, beyond its milk-generating capabilities, this vegetable also helps control blood pressure, relieves headaches and migraines, and helps restore skin condition.

With that, Tinapayan Festival developed a malunggay pandesal—a top choice for those who want something healthy but different. Best of all, it’s packed with real malunggay for those health benefits!

Malunggay Pandesal

Carrot Pandesal (2014)

Carrot cake has found its place in the world of dessert, and carrot pandesal is also establishing itself as a must-try at Tinapayan Festival. Soft, filling, and tasty, this pandesal is healthy, as it is, and made with real carrots. Carrots are known to boost eye health, fight cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and boost skin health, among others.

Carrot Pandesal

Ube Cheese Pandesal and Sweet Potato Pandesal (2017)

In 2017, Tinapayan Festival created two new pandesal variants: the ube cheese pandesal and sweet potato pandesal.

While ube and cheese are made by many online shops and bakeries today, Tinapayan Festival started much earlier on its own. Soft, moist, and rich in ube (which is a great source of carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber), this pandesal gains a salty contrast with the addition of cheese.

On the other hand, the sweet potato pandesal is a hefty one—packed with nutrients and made with real sweet potatoes that really show how customers are getting their money’s worth in every piece.

Ube Cheese Pandesal
Sweet Potato Pandesal

NEW: Super Healthy Pandesal (2022)

Just when people think that the innovation stops there, Tinapayan Festival debuted its newest and healthiest pandesal yet: the Super Healthy Pandesal. Made with malunggay, pandan, and lemongrass, this hearty pandesal includes the health benefits of these 3 vegetables.

Super Healthy Pandesal

“It is about creating variations of Filipino staples and favorites and giving it a twist. With our various pandesal and Manila rolls, we are giving our customers a chance to discover new flavors, and eat delicious yet healthy baked products,” Chavez ends.


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Visit Tinapayan Festival at 1650 Dapitan St. corner Don Quijote, Sampaloc, Manila or call (02)87322188 or (+639)617152714 to place advance orders. You may also them an email at sales@[email protected]. Tinapayan Festival is available in GrabFood and FoodPanda.

To learn more about Tinapayan Festival’s new products and treats, follow them on Facebook or Instagram