Former Balita editor David Casuco, 57, writes 30

Remembering happy times with our ‘Teddy Bear’

By Myrna Aquitania

David Casuco, flanked by his best friends Myrna Aquitania and Lydia Solis of Philippine News (right).

David Casuco, flanked by his best friends Myrna Aquitania and Lydia Solis of Philippine News (right).

The sad news on the sudden passing of our “Teddy Bear” David Casuco was not only shocking but numbing. Media colleague Lydia Solis (of Philippine News) and I shared Dave as our “huggable Teddy Bear” – a caring, charming and lovable friend.

Though I’ve never met his family, Dave would relate how happy he was whenever he went home to his family on weekends to bond with them, particularly his son, Justin, who he spoke of so lovingly; He enjoyed playing with their dog, cleaning him up and dog-sitting.

There were times when he would call me from the Greyhound station in Rosemead, to ask if I could pick him up so we could have lunch in Chinatown or to his favorite restaurant called Pista Sa Barrio in Eagle Rock, whom he called the place that served his “to die for” pancit bihon and surely, we always had fun bonding whenever we were together.

Looking back, Dave strived to win the weekly “Biggest Loser” contest at the Balita/US Asian Post office, where he was our outstanding editor. He had quite a sense of humor, which only a few of us knew; he had the ability to make you laugh, particularly when he related his stories of the ‘aswangs” who “followed” him when he visited Siquijor.

Once, the three of us (Lydia, Dave and I) went to watch a movie at a theatre nearby, and as soon as we sat on the comfy chairs inside the dark theatre, Dave started snoring, sleeping like a baby. Lydia and I looked at each other and allowed him to dream his time away because he was probably tired, but we pinched him to get his attention and asked him to go ahead with his quiet sleep.

On his birthday celebration last year at the Kapistahan Restaurant on Temple, Dave had a blast singing Visayan songs at the karaoke bar where it was packed with his friends greeting him that night. Unbelievably so, he had a good karaoke voice.

Unforgettable were our numerous “happy hour” afternoons at the Cheesecake Factory in Glendale. Dave loved the ambience there as well as the selection of happy hour food along with his favorite mojito. There were times when we would go see a movie after savoring the happy hour food and we would have ice cream or coffee before heading home.

Like my little kid brother, Dave was excited receiving the souvenir shirt I gave him from Paris, which he liked wearing all the time, particularly when he’s with me; he even bragged about it on his last “Thanksgiving” article.

Thanks for all the happy memories, Dave. We will forever treasure the great friendship you’ve shown to all of us.

Our staff at the office of Balita Media Inc., will surely miss his unassuming smile and charming personality. Dave was also an editor of numerous Filipino-American publications, including California Examiner and Ang Peryodiko. Before coming to the U.S., Dave was a sports writer for Times Journal, a daily newspaper in the Philippines.

Dave is survived by his wife, Susan, son Justin and daughters Daphne and Rose Anne. Memorial services will be announced soon.

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