I was surprised at the printed icon of Batangas’ Starbucks City Mug. I thought they would probably use coffee beans (kapeng barako) which Batangas is known for, or maybe balisong (fan knife) which is another uniquely Batangueño product, and then there’s also tawilis, a freshwater fish endemic to Taal Lake; but none of my guesses were correct, instead, they have jusi printed on the mug.
I actually had a hard time guessing what the print was; was it a carpet, a tea bag, a trellis in an orchard, perhaps? After much research, it turned out to be jusi, the fabric used in making barong tagalog.
It found later that Batangas, ignorant me, produces one of the finest barong tagalog in the country. With the abundance of pineapples in the area, it should have been a no-brainer.
For the uninitiated, barong tagalog is the Philippines’ national costume. It is worn untucked by men (and sometimes women) during formal occasions. It is made from pineapple, jusi and banana fabric, is lightweight and is almost transparent. The front usually has an opening surrounded by embroidered patterns.
There are three lesser variations of the barong tagalog. The polo barong, a short-sleeved version which is the least formal of the three; the gusot mayaman or linen barong, which are usually used as office attires; and the shirt-jack barong, which are cut shirt-jack style and is usually used as a casual apparel.
In Batangas, jusi fabric is produced by the Municipality of Taal.
The back part of the mug is printed with Batangas’ coastlines which are a popular beach and diving destination. There’s Anilao in Mabini, Matabungkay in Lian, Punta Fuego (Pico de Loro) in Nasugbu, Calatagan and Laiya in San Juan.
I also noticed that the beaches are lined with coconut trees. While this may be normally what you’d see in coastal areas, this has a further significance in Batangas since Batangueños are known to produce local liquors such as lambanog and tuba from coconuts.
Starbucks Coffe Lipa
Address: Ayala Highway (in front of the bus stations)
Lipa City, Batangas