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Experience Your Sushi Like None Other with SUSHISAKE

What I’d gathered from years of eating in sushi restaurants whenever the craving struck (which happens once a week, honestly), is that making sushi is truly an art form. The meticulous knife techniques, the understanding of what flavors work together, and the careful assembly all come together to create one of the most recognizable dishes in the world—a true testament to the skill of the chef who prepares it.

It’s no surprise, then, that when Radisson Blu Cebu decided to open a Japanese restaurant in one corner of the lobby, finding a chef was the most important item on the agenda. “We had ‘auditions’ for the chef,” marketing communications manager Lara Agua tells me as we settled into our seats at the restaurant’s only long table. “Chef Jeff,” she continues, referring to Chef Jeff Yalung, who ended up at the helm of SUSHISAKE, “flew in from the Middle East and cooked for the management. When they tried his sushi, they knew that he was it.”

Hailing from Nueva Vizcaya, the chef is soft-spoken, but his passion and mastery of the craft is evident as I ask him about his creations. “It’s the sauces and the marinade,” Chef Jeff answers when I ask him about what sets his sushi apart from the many other variations in the city. “They’re all my own recipe. I really think about what goes well with the fish, so that all the flavors come out.”

With ten years of experience in international hotel brands in Ras al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, he had started out as a sous chef who had worked closely with the sushi chef in the kitchen. When the itamae left, Chef Jeff asked to take over the position. Since then, he continues to take inspiration from the cities he’s lived in and the dishes he’s tried, bringing them together to create his own unique take on the Japanese favorite.

The glowing introduction had gotten me especially curious about the sushi. Chef Jeff brings out a selection of makimono rolls to the table, some of which had become fast crowd favorites and the others off-menu specials. “The menu is actually very limited, so when you’re here, ask me for the specials,” Chef Jeff reveals.

“Depending on what we have, we can create something different for you.”

A specialty that’s on the menu, though, is the Dynamite Roll—the roll features tuna, salmon, and white fish fried with tempura batter, all topped with creamy crab and finished off with a flame torch, which presents an interesting combination of flavors and textures that make every bite seem better than the last. Other specialties include the Surf & Turf, an ebi tempura roll wrapped in beef tenderloin and topped with a savory sauce and tempura flakes, and the Special California Roll, what seems like an overflowing version of the staple maki.

The sushi and sashimi presentation of the Chef’s Special can only be described as a work of art—served in a bowl, the sashimi slices are tucked into a circular ice sculpture, each hand-shaped and kept in the freezer overnight, while the sushi sits on a bamboo mat over the crushed ice.

Of course, the other half of the name is Sake, and the restaurants serves up a selection of sakes that are meant to be enjoyed with your food. A waitress came with two varieties for us to try out, but it was the Gekkeikan Sparkling Sake that stood out for its fizzy, slightly sweet taste that complemented the stronger flavors of the fish.

As soon as we finished off the last roll, a trio of desserts arrived—the Sesame Seed Panna Cotta and Coconut Ice Cream, the Mochi Ice Cream, and the Yuzu Tart with Sake Meringue and Green Tea Ice Cream. The combination of tart, sweet and tropical flavors made the selection as much of a palate cleanser as it was to wrap up the meal. “The desserts are prepared at Feria, but only served here,” Lara explains.

With sophisticated modern interiors, the 21-seater SUSHISAKE is the latest addition to Radisson Blu’s dining selection. “We had to think about the cuisine that we wanted to serve, something that would appeal to locals and the tourists coming in,” Lara continues. In the end, the influx of Japanese visitors spurred them to create a dedicated Japanese restaurant. “There was always the Japanese section of Feria, but this gives us the chance to offer a more authentic, more premium selection. Plus, Cebuanos really love sushi,” she adds.

There’s certainly more to love about sushi here. Chef Jeff was right—his sauces and marinades really do make all the difference at SUSHISAKE. By adding different degrees of flavor to the fish and other ingredients, he ensures that everything coming from the restaurant’s open kitchen is a celebration on the palate and, if I may, a work of art. 

Radisson Blu Cebu,

Serging Osmeña Blvd. corner Juan Luna Ave., Cebu City

(032) 402 9900



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The Uncommon Traditions that Mexicans and Filipinos share when celebrating the Day of the Dead.

Dia de los Muertos

By Allain Dumon Fonte

The 2nd of November is All Soul’s Day, a holiday that is very important to many Filipinos to remember our loved ones who passed on. This is also widely celebrated in Mexico as “Dia De los Muertos” or in English, “The Day of the Dead”. And Mexicans celebrate the 2nd of November grander than they celebrate Christmas. Well, you can witness it from the Disney movie, “Coco”.

As All Soul’s Day or Dia de los Muertos is about to end, here are some interesting traditions and superstitions that Filipinos and Mexicans share:


Dia de los Muertos or All Soul’s Day is not practiced on October 31st or on the Hallow’s Eve as many other western cultures practice; but we celebrate it on the 2nd of November. We celebrate November 1st as All Saint’s Day or the Day of the Holy, while in Mexico they call it Dia de los Innocentes or Dia de los Angelitos to commemorate the children who died too early in life.


Both in Mexico and in the Philippines, we visit the grave of our loved ones and we clean it well. This is a ritual to honour their resting places and to let them know that they are never forgotten.


In Mexico, they believe that the scent of flowers attract spirits. So the flower offerings are invitation to their dead loved ones to visit the living families. While in the Philippines, we believe that flowers offered to the dead exalt the souls and somehow fill in the sadness that we feel when missing our dead loved ones.

Most of the time, Filipinos choose all-white flowers to offer because white is the absence of colour, which means the absence of Joy and happiness. White also symbolises purity of soul which we hope our dead loved ones will attain as they journey to heaven. While in Mexico, they have the yellow Mexican marigolds as the official flowers of the dead that will guide them in their journey to the afterlife.


Both cultures believe that monarch butterflies are dead loved ones who visit us and show their appreciation that we have not forgotten them. A presence of monarch butterflies also means that our dead loved ones are always there guiding us and looking after us.


Spending a night at the graveyard and picnicking with the rest of the family may sound very creepy to many; but to both Filipino and Mexican cultures, picnicking and spending a night at the cemetery is a must to show our love to our dearly departed. It is the only time in the year that families gather and tell stories of the dead loved ones and how colourful or how great their lives were.


In Mexico, they have what they call “ofrendas” or an altar where the pictures of their dead loved ones are displayed and offered with flowers, candles, and their favourite food. Very similar to the Filipino culture of cooking the favourite food of our dead loved ones and everyone in the family enjoys the food for dinner.

My family tradition involves me driving all the way to Colon street and buy that famous Snow Sheen’s “pancit canton”. This is my granddad’s favourite snack. Sadly, the old Visayan Restaurant is no longer there. My late uncle and my late grandpa love their sweet ad and sour fish. We also set up an “ofrenda” on their graveyard and eat their favourite food while picnicking in the cemetery. We do not spend a night in the cemetery; but while we are picnicking there, we usually play the songs of Pilita Corrales and Susan Fuentes that my late grandpa used to listen every afternoon while enjoying his coffee, pan de sal, and pancit canton.

What about your family traditions? Share your thoughts by commenting to this article.

MODEL: Michael Joseph Mortola Enriquez & Alexis Wingfield
PHOTOGRAPHER: Gianne Paolo Anciano
STYLING: GPA Lifestyle + Clothing

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Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+

Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+


Rating: *****/ *****

The multi award–winning comedy series airing on Apple TV+ is one of my favorite shows.  Ted Lasso starring Jason Sudeikis is about a fun good-natured American football coached hired by a British soccer club (AFC Richmond in London) to become their new coach.  In spite of the fact that Ted has no experience or knowledge about British football/soccer, his positive demeanor and charm helps him overcome the animosity of the team’s players, staff and fans.  Eventually Ted wins over the team and the locals as they fight for position in the English Premier League.

The show won the 2021 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and 7 Emmy Awards in its 2 seasons and Season 3 is just around the corner.  You can catch Seasons 1 & 2 of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+

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PANDEMIC DIARIES: Twelve Months Later

Photos taken by Pablo Quiza around Cebu City during the months of March, April and May 202

AS WE APPROACH ONE YEAR under pandemic times, we look back at March 2020 with fascination. And awe. We had 12 months of lockdown and survived the so called new normal. We lived with masks and alcohol even today. Carless roads and dark malls. Those were the early days of March, April and May.
It stretched to October and past Christmas. No Sinulog. Virtual parties on Zoom and virtual mass on You Tube and FB Live. We debated on the best meds to take if we get sick and whether to wear masks (please do!). We scampered for face shields and anti-viral sprays. Vitamins C and D and zinc. Later, we survived being swabbed and we learned the difference between a PCR and an anti-gene test. The latter cost less.

We dreaded the declarations of IATF mandated from Manila. And we got mad at the police chief who had a birthday party while his people were busy locking up everyone violating the lockdown. Most horrifying of all, we needed to produce IDs! Are you a resident of Barangay Lahug or Banilad? Are you employed and why are you still working? Everyone suffered thru endless checkpoints. Most sad of all are those using motorbikes, they seem to get the raw end of the deal since those with cars are not as scrutinized. We managed to trick the system by putting a big handwritten note in front of the car: COMPANY CAR, and zipped tru the police desks in the middle of the road. Don’t even think of travelling, by plane, boat or bus. The collection of the required documents is enough for one to get exposed to Covid.

We learned to shop online, order groceries and necessities thru delivery. We slowly moved towards cashless payments. Gcash and banks like Union Bank and China Bank with friendly apps are heroes for making life easy for most of us to spend what little cash we have to spend on Lazada or pay the VECO bill. Oh and we binged on K dramas on Netflix and You Tube, kamsaminada.
As 2021 enters, there are some good news. For those obsessed with news, you already know that 7,000 vaccines arrived last March 2 in Cebu, with more expected in the next few weeks. The death rate is not as high among those who caught this pesky virus, which tells us that doctors in the hospitals have some proven expertise in dealing with Covid. More cures should be in the horizon.

Meanwhile, lets continue dreaming of the day when we can cross borders again, even if its just Bohol or Boracay, Bangkok or Hong Kong. Ready those luggages and bags bought during the 3/3 sale in Shopee in preparation for the day when we can take the ferry or the plane for new adventures.


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