By Jed Nykolle Harme

Filipino food might not have a reputation for being veggie-friendly – but we ate our way through Bacoor City, Cavite to visit this whole-food plant-based dining.

Photo Courtesy by Hidden Wonders

This restaurant is the first-ever whole food and plant-based fast-food business in the Philippines that serves their foods with organic, no salt, no oil, no added sugar, non-dairy, and has non GMO ingredients. 

They serve the highest quality foods and are based on 5-years of research and food development production.

Their best seller UTMOST burger is 95% organic. This recipe is completely vegan and made from nutritious, whole food ingredients plus plenty of spices for a delicious patty.

They import their ingredients from different countries such as Sri Lanka, Iran, Egypt, Japan among many others to ensure that it has grown with no fertilizers. That includes their own ketchup and mayo made of tofu. Plus their healthy burger buns made of organic flour. 

Photo Courtesy by Hidden Wonders

They also have the best sugar-free non-dairy Matcha milk tea.

Their locally grown potato no-oil fries. 

Their Cinnamon Rolls are made of organic all purpose flour and dates, almond milk, organic Ceylon Cinnamon, and Sourdough Starter.

Photos Courtesy by Hidden Wonders

And the best sellers, a very Filipino pandesal and Apple Pie. 

Photo Courtesy by Hidden Wonders

In an interview with The Explained PH, Randy Wyche, 47, the owner of Hidden Wonders shared how he gave birth to his business. 

Photo Courtesy by Hidden Wonders

“Mataba ako dati eh. Alak dito, alak doon. Until one day, di na kinaya ng katawan ko. I decided to be more healthy,” said Wyche.  

He then completely changed up his routine. From a meat-eater, he focused more on unprocessed foods and eating more plants. In his healthy diet plan, he’s more on vegan whole-foods plant-based foods, meaning the emphasis is on whole grains and nuts for protein instead of processed meat substitutes.

“Habang ginagawa ko siya, hindi ako mapakali. Nagbasa ako nang nagbasa. I do research. At doon ko nalaman na wala sa mga vegan restos dito sa Pinas ang nagse-serve ng mga pagkain na wala itong tatlo: salt, oil, sugar,” he explained. 

“Hindi talaga nawawala yung isa. Kung walang asin at asukal, merong oil. Kung walang oil at sugar, meron namang salt. Iniisip ko, bakit hindi nila kayang mawala itong tatlong ‘to? Doon ako na-challenge. Sabi ko, I want to make food with organic ingredients, no salt, no oil, and no added sugar.”

Randy then started to make his dreams happen five years ago. This includes whole-food research, creating his own recipe, planning his business, making connections, and building his own restaurant. 

Just like any other startups, Randy didn’t have a good start. Filipinos love meat (especially pork) and for decades, the Philippines has no reputation of being a vegan.

“Noong nagsisimula ako sa ginagawa ko, andami kong naririnig. Sinasabi nila na, nababaliw na ako. Sino ang bibili niyan, walang kuwenta yung pinatutunguhan nito. But I didn’t listened to them, kasi naniniwala ako sa pangarap ko.” 

“Maraming nawala sa akin, sasakyan, bahay, sapatos para rito. Naalala ko nawalan kami ng ilaw for three months, para lang sa research na ‘to. Pero hindi ko siya tiningnan na ganoon, tuloy pa rin ako. I take every problem positively.”

“Andaming hindi naniniwala sa akin. Pero yung asawa ko, hindi niya ako iniwan.”

Randy Wyche together with his wife, Agnes Guiron.

He also explained that plant-based food industries have gained prominence over the years. Not only because it’s more environmentally sustainable, but also for its real health benefits.

“Many Filipinos are now health-conscious. Given the pandemic, andami nang naghahanap ng totoong pagkain: yung healthy, plant-based, and organic. Minsan nga, may pumupunta rito sa store, nagmamakaawa na, baka raw may pandesal pa kami, may apple pie, kahit isa lang,” he shared, drawing laughter. 

Hidden Wonders have been strong for years, which has been fueled by the people that support their vision and of the resurgence of people coming back into their restaurant.

Randy also told us that what they serve is not just food, it is a lifestyle. It’s something that should be shared and continued for the people that need it the most. And you’re buying not just their products, but the 5 years of research in mastering their recipes.

This is not a drill. Randy has been busy studying and creating new masterpieces that will be hitting their menu very soon. This includes GLUTEN-FREE bread. 

Photo Courtesy by Hidden Wonders

If you’re looking for a quick healthy escape, Hidden Wonders is the place to go. The vegetarian café is sprawling with numerous plants outside, decorative crafts, and book shelves that make up its cool interior. 

Located within close proximity to SM City Bacoor, Hidden Wonders is the new vegan haven in Cavite you can visit for.