On the 178th night of training, Major Lucente (Mon Confiado) gathers the cadets and orders them to take off their shoes and use their shirts to blindfold their eyes. Major Lucente says the trainees will be sent as reinforcement to a war in Mindanao.
While blindfolded and off to a still unknown place, some of the recruits express their doubts. But the superiors keep mum. An unidentified group of men block the convoy and holds the cadets in hostage. The trainees are tortured while Alex (Gerald Anderson) is brought to a separate area and is beaten up. The mystery man repeatedly dunks Alex’s head into a drum of water. Alex manages to take off his blindfold, fight it out, and discover that the opponent is none other than Elmer (Vin Abrenica). The brothers struggle against one another until Alex successfully escapes.
The other candidate-soldiers flee as well and find their way out of the forest. Abe (Carlo Aquino), Michael (Nash Aguas), and Benjie (Yves Flores) chance upon Gorio (Angelo Ilagan)’s group while looking for Alex. The overly confident Gorio mocks his classmates for still wanting to search for their leader. Abe uses his knowledge in navigation by looking at the stars until he, Michael, and Benjie find Alex.
Meanwhile, Phil (Jerome Ponce) and two other comrades leave Gorio in the forest since he keeps on insisting his own decisions. Later, everyone, except Gorio, arrives at the camp on time. Elmer feels disappointed when Alex shows up.
Five minutes before the target time, Gorio is still missing. Alex volunteers to look for Gorio in the woods and brings him back at the meeting place. Despite being a few minutes late, Alex and Gorio still pass the test. Major Lucente even commends Alex for displaying good character.
A celebration happens later that night. The other candidates already anticipate Alex as their batch’s top graduate. Gorio isn’t pleased hearing such remarks.
Alex escorts an intoxicated Michael going to the barracks. Gorio follows Alex and provokes him into a brawl. Yet, Alex remains calm especially when Major Lucente passes by. As soon as the superiors leave, Alex drags Gorio into the bathroom and dares him into a fistfight. Defeated and embarrassed, Gorio admits that he aims hard to be on top in order to please his father.