Fresh from his 45-day training in the Philippine Army Reserve Forces in June 2019, Matteo Guidicelli appeared on TWBA to talk about the experience. As we all know, the life of a Scout Ranger is no joke. And as much as he wanted to contest other people’s doubt, Matteo admittedly questioned his own capabilities as well. “Actually, ‘yung first four days, naaawa na ako sa sarili ko at tinatanong ko na ‘yung sarili ko. ‘Bakit nandito ako?’,” he shared.
As part of the gruelling trainings, Matteo experienced bathing in a river with animal feces on the shoreline, sleeping in tents with his buddy, putting on the same uniform for four days straight, and carrying a 15-kilo rucksack in the mountains or anywhere he went. The cadets slept for three hours maximum each night and were often asked to submerge themselves in filthy canal. “They strip you off all that you’re used to and they put you down to your basics,” the 2nd Lieutenant expressed.
To somewhat ease the exhaustion, Matteo and the other recruits learned how to doze off while standing. The trick works for a few moments as long as their rifles won’t fall off the ground.
If caught with a violation, the military students are demanded to do a yoga move called ‘Tusok-Ulo’ as punishment. Matteo demonstrated the drill, which is basically a ranger’s bow with only the head and toes touching the floor. He called himself an amateur as he still struggle to hold the stunt for more than three minutes. According to Matteo, his classmates can do the ‘Tusok-Ulo’ for an hour.
Matteo already had high respect for soldiers even before he decided to pursue a military dream. But this grew higher when he experienced their plight. “After one month of living with them, my respect for them is in a different level. Civilians out there will not understand fully just by watching documentaries or this interview until you’re there,” he related.
The military man enlightened everyone on his comrades’ sacrifices. “Imagine they’re out in the field for years not seeing their kids grow, not knowing if they’re gonna come back home or not.” He also encouraged Filipinos to at least express thanks when they run across uniformed men and women, saying the little act of appreciation could mean big to our unsung heroes. Even if he is representing the army, Matteo clarified that he will never leave showbiz nor enter politics.
Matteo took on a fun Popster Quiz gauging how much he knows about Sarah’s career. He got only three mistakes out of nine trivia questions. The conversation turned hilarious when he compared Sarah’s age with that of Billy Crawford’s while trying to figure if she joined the children’s gag show, “Ang TV”. He got the right answer to Sarah’s character name in the movie “Catch Me I’m Love” because they were co-actors then. Matteo recounted that he was already crushing on Sarah then but he was too shy to make a move. (Fast forward to February 2020, Matteo and Sarah tied the knot in an intimate Christian wedding.)