A year ago today my true friend Rufo Balicas — a good, humble, and honorable man if ever there was one — passed away unexpectedly, and I spontaneously wrote a post entitled: Remembering My Good Friend Rufo Balicas. Rufo was an amazingly talented, creative, and hardworking grip who could make magic happen on a movie set and do it in less time than any US grip I know, with better results and a smile that just never went away. Little did I know that just venting my feelings when he passed would yield a gift that has enriched my life almost as much as Rufo did himself.  Since that day, I’ve become long distant facebook friends with so many wonderful Balicas kids, and Rufo’s wife — people whom I didn’t know before, but who now have reached out me in ways that I won’t ever forget — and in ways that remind me in so many ways why I truly treasure being “almost Pinoy”.

I went from knowing Rufo and Rene, to now knowing–and being made to feel special by–a long list of wonderful Balicas folks including everybody listed below (if you’re logged into Facebook you can visit their profiles)

On August 18 his beautiful daughter Roxan wrote: “Everyday When I RememBer Him.. I just Put a Smile In My Heart Then I Looked Up In The Sky, God Gave Me The Best Father in The WORLD! I Love My Daddy Very Much! ”

To all the Balicas clan — thank you so much for your friendship and many kindnesses to me, and although I know this will be a sad day for you — I hope that in some way you’re also able to celebrate the wonderful family that you guys have, and that Rufo was so important in creating, and know that he’s proud of you. God Bless all of you.


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