The origin of “Mang Tomas” can be traced to businessman Tomas de los Reyes in La Loma, Quezon City. In the late 1950s de los Reyes built his business around the Filipino favorite food, “lechon” (roast pig).
De los Reyes named his stores Mang Tomas Lechon. Soon thereafter Mang Tomas Lechon became famous and “Mang Tomas” became a very powerful brand that was often used interchangeably with lechon.
In the decades following the birth of Mang Tomas Lechon, other enterprising businessmen followed de los Reyes’s lead. Some of them also became successful and paved the way for the creation of other powerful brands including Aling Lydia’s Lechon, Mila’s Lechon, etc.
Meanwhile, Mang Tomas Lechon has expanded to offer other lechon-based products, most notable of which is lechon’s ever-present companion, the “sarsa” (roast pig sauce). Mang Tomas Sarsa became even more popular than Mang Tomas Lechon itself. Today, “Mang Tomas” has become a household word referring to and used interchangeably with sarsa more than with lechon.
See also lechon, sarsa, Aling Lydia’s.