With his iWant documentary Ranger G now available for streaming online, Matteo Guidicelli said his 45-day orientation course to become a scout ranger was one of the most fulfilling yet difficult challenges in his life. “In the first week or so is basically they will break you down physically and mentally. So during that one, the (documentary) crew was able to stay near me kasi I was inside the camp mismo. The last week of the training phase that was mostly in the mountains already. It’s called Field Exercise Training. So everything we did during the three weeks, map reading, different kinds of attacks, ambush, etcetera. We were exercising everything in the field na. When we went na to the field, not the whole crew came. Maybe just one or two, it was a skeletal force already because we were sleeping in the mountains and they had to do what we were doing,” he shares.
It was during this period that Matteo admitted he couldn’t help but totally break down at one point. “Sabi ko sa sarili ko bago ako pumasok dito iko-kondisyon ko yung sarili ko, yung katawan ko, yung physical aspect of things. So bilang triathlete ginawa ko lahat. I really did what I could do, push ups, sit ups, kasi yun yung mga basic exercises ng military. So I tried my best doing that. I felt like physically I was good, physically I was prepared. But I think on the third or fifth day into training that’s when I emotionally broke down. You will be able to see it sa documentary because it was all captured there. I really broke down not just physically but emotionally and mentally. From a person that wasn’t used to the military life and then after one day transition na agad sa military life, talagang parang sumabog yung pag-iisip ko,” he said.
Despite his celebrity status, Matteo said he did not have any special treatment and trained just as hard as his batchmates. “You can only eat, drink, go to the banyo, change, if your ranger instructor tells you to do so. So there were times na sobrang physically exhausted ka, sobrang init, marami ka ng paltos sa kamay, sa paa at marami kang gustong gawin pero hindi mo puwede gawin dahil you’re under observation, you’re being monitored. So I think that was the pinaka-challenge, the first week. But after the second or third week parang naging okay na lahat. Naka-adjust ako. Gising kami ng 3 am everyday and then 3:30 we go out for a road run. That’s a 30 minute to one-hour run. And then around mga 5 am polishing yan, naglilinis kami ng gamit, nagwawalis, Mga 6 am breakfast time already and then we have classes, we have exercises, and then we go back to bed mga midnight to 1 am. So we only had two to three hours of sleep everyday. It was an experience,” he shared.
Matteo also supports the decision of other celebrities like Dingdong Dantes, Ronnie Liang, and Rocco Nacino who have also signed up as reservists. More recently, Alden Richards has also expressed interest in following suit. “You know it’s great. All these other celebs joining the reserve forces. Alden if he wants to join the Air Force if I’m not mistaken, but a lot of other celebrities have joined the army, air force, merong coast guard, and all these different things. I feel like it’s very, very important to be unified and to learn things from the reserve force and the military. No matter what branch, I think they’re all good. Especially their basic training for reservists, it really teaches you different things you really have to learn for yourself and for the country kumbaga,” he said.