Right in the heart of the Philippines is the small island province of Marinduque. The province is still part of Luzon and is included in Region IV-B (MIMAROPA). The place is just paradise with its untouched virgin beaches and more.
Marinduque is approximately six to seven hours from Manila – a three- to four-hour bus ride and another three hours in a ship (or commonly known as ro-ro). There used to be flights going to the province but due to the small numbers opting for plane rides, the flights were already cancelled.
Every year, tourists and religious pilgrims flock the place during the Holy Week because of the Moriones Festival. It’s a weeklong celebration where men, women and even kids roam city dressed up as Roman centurions. If you go there, make sure to book hotels in advance; they all get fully booked days before the festivities begin. Your best bet to get a good room is to use hotel booking sites including Traveloka that lets you get the best deals on hotels rooms in advance.
Aside from the beaches and the religious festival, however, Marinduque is also known for its “arrowroot cookies.”
Made from pure uraro (obedience plant), these cookies have so much to say about the province and its people. Uraro is highly cultivated for its starch. The perennial plant is native to Marinduque and could be eaten just like any other tubers like sweet potatoes.
Arrowroot cookies are bite-size and have those meringue-like ridges for design. The cookies are made from uraro flour, margarine, sugar and eggs. It is rich in fiber and the flour coming from uraro can be used as a good substitute for the normal wheat flour used in bread as is does not have gluten. You do not have to worry if you are on a diet, as this cookie is not just tasty it is satisfyingly healthy, too.
Rejano’s Bakery in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque is a family-owned business since its establishment in 1946. They are the ones responsible for making the cookies and are now currently exporting this healthy treat in international market.
The cookies are of golden brown hue and crispy with a very unique taste. Unlike other treats and cookies, arrowroot cookies have a mild taste of sweetness and every bite-size cookie melts in your mouth. It has no aftertaste and does not have any strong flavors. It is light and easy to digest.
There are two other variations of the cookies. If you prefer healthier stuff, then try out their malunggay flavor. The sweet aroma of the pinipig is just too tempting to pass on.
The price varies depending on the packaging you choose. The smallest is in those microwavable plastic containers is just P35 while the biggest one is in a tin can with ribbon trimmings and cost P310.
If you’re planning to visit Marinduque anytime soon, make sure to grab some arrowroot cookies on your way home and bring some to your friends. Share the delightful experience with them as well.
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