When Marcos delared land reform in 1972, Martin Imperial Tinio, Jr. (Sonny), left the farm to await the guidelines of the land reform laws. Being utterly bored, he decided to do the Tinio family tree. When Manuel Quijano Tinio, his uncle, found out about the project, he gave a few pages of yellowed Grade 1 paper that had a list made by Catalina Bundoc Tinio de Hernandez (Impong Tale)in 1925 that contained the siblings of Mariano Tinio, her and Gen. Manuel Bundoc Tinio's father. Included were the descendants of their 1st cousins as the names of the 1st cousins had been forgotten by Impong Tale.
With these records, Sonny began to research the baptismal records in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, the 1st of which, dated 1740, already had Tinios recorded as indio mestizo, meaning Chinese-Filipino. A death record of that period recorded Matheo Tinio as Chino cristiano. He would have been one of the earliest Tinio ancestor from China. Researching the church records was difficult, not only because they were in Spanish, but also because the dust induced hay fever.
Sonny then visited relatives in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija during weekends to trace relationships. Rrom 7 am to 7 pm he interviewed scores of relations who were called to be recorded. Inevitably, he went home with writer's cramp, a sore throat and fever.
Finding this too taxing, he and Martin Huerta Tinio, his father, decided to hire a researcher to do the work and asked Prof. Agoncillo, Dean of UP History Dept. to recommend a female graduate who was single. Cynthia Jose was recommended and she was put on the payroll for 6 years.
Cynthia was sent to a spinster relative in every town, where she went through the earliest baptismal records up to 1900 of nearly every main parish church of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Pampanga and parts of Tarlac.
Each individual's information was carded and then collated by family. She then started tracing the descendants up to 1976. At this point, the family tree had 15 generations and 35,000 names.
In 1992 Sonny and his sister Concepcion Imperial Tinio (Chona) began computerizing the initial data gathered up to 1976. In the year 2000 Sonny started researching at the Mormon Family History Center. The research is still ongoing, but he has been able to connect various branches.