8 am in the morning, one day after typhoon Milenyo hit the Philippines. My friend and I decided to drive around our village to see the extent of the damage. Every where we looked, every turn we made, there were trees on the ground, uprooted. Telephone posts were hanging and even some in the middle of the road. After about half an hour into our drive my friend and I finally made our way to our destination, Cuenca Park. However as we got down from my car, and took our football cleats out, we saw that the field was an utter mess. Trees and branches were everywhere, and the soil was muddy to the point that our feet would sink up to our ankles. However in the jungle that was Cuenca Park, we started to hear a hacking sound. We took a closer look and found a boy with a machete, dressed in a bike outfit hacking down the large branches and single handedly moving them to the sidewalk. We walked closer to him and asked why he was doing what he was doing and he said to us “that he just wanted to help everyone out and make it easier on the people who had to clean up.”
Every once in awhile someone comes along, who changes your whole perspective on how a person should be. This boy, the one who tried to clean a village all by himself, changed mine. This boy was named Ambrosio Gregorio Robles, or simply Gig, and if you asked any of his friends what type of person he is, they would all answer the same thing. He was funny, he was smart, he was eccentric and he was kind hearted from head to toe. However there was more to Gig than met the eye. Unlike the majority of the youth today, Gig found value in books and became curious about almost everything around him. He could tell you a fact that would help you on whatever you were trying to achieve or tell you something that had no relevance whatsoever, either way whatever he told you, would fascinate. The thing that stood out most about Gig however, was his zest for life. He approached everything with a smile and never let anything set him back. On more than one occasion did he arrive at my house at 6 am, asking for a pump because he got a flat tire on his way around the village. When I told him I didn’t have one, he just took his bike smiling and walked back home, not complaining even a little bit.
Gig was a lot of things, to a lot of different people. He was son, brother, grandson and friend. He brought people together with his infectious laugh and widening smile. He was the type of guy to cut his own hair or cut it like a mane just because he felt like it. His faith was strong and his will was even greater. He understood that life was full of beauty, but people just never took the time to realize it. From smelling sampaguita, to skate boarding on the road, to clearing branches that had fallen. Gig never took for granted all the little things around him and that set him apart from everyone else.
God is good, God is great and Gig will always live in our hearts. – Pedro Picornell, 2011