On May 23, iWant released Ranger G, an immersive exploration of Matteo Guidicelli’s Scout Ranger training in the Philippine Army.
Last year, Matteo completed his army reservist training and is now a 2nd Lieutenant of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). He was the first civilian to graduate from Scout Ranger training—arguably one of the toughest military training in the country.
To become a scout ranger, one has to undergo trainings in: anti-guerilla jungle warfare, raids, close quarter combat, and urban warfare. Matteo, despite his celebrity status, underwent this rigid process with no special treatment involved. (Read: How a mother’s love inspired this female valedictorian’s success in the PMA)
A Story of Hope
We often see celebrities undergo rigid and immersive training when they are preparing for a project—may it be an upcoming movie or a telenovela in the works. However, this time, Matteo has neither of those. He wanted to train in the military to serve the country.
Ranger G, a project of Viva Films, depicts a story of hope, surrender, and compassion. It gives the viewers a first-hand account of what soldiers have to go through to protect the Philippines and its inhabitants. But this iWant original film does not only provide an appeal to emotion—it is a complete narrative of the course with every fall and every literal obstacle caught on camera. (Read: These men will inspire you to go after your dreams – no matter the odds!)
Matteo, although the star of the documentary, is not the star of the rangers. In the film we see him get overwhelmed, suffer fatigue, get yelled at by his superiors, and fall flat on his face multiple times. But at the end of the day, as he films himself on a handheld camera, Matteo manages a smile and says, “tomorrow is another day.” True enough, it is. Not only for Matteo but for his mates as well. (Read: What we can learn from the heroes of Araw ng Kagitingan)
A Ranger’s Dream
Ranger G, while a narration of the voluntary involvement of one the country’s A-listers, is also a story of ordinary people—soldiers who dream of a better life for their family.
Unlike Matteo, who willingly underwent all that hardship to serve, some of the trainees were there because of a dream of a better life. One ranger says that he chose the military because it is free and you get paid. His parents cannot afford to send him to college. (Read: This tricycle driver graduated from college at 64 years old!)
Despite the injuries, heatstroke, countless berating by superiors, and the pain of being away from their families—these soldiers toughen up and with every fall, the “Yes, sir!” gets louder and louder every time.
As the documentary narrates how these men and women undergo one of the toughest moments of their lives—physically, emotionally, and mentally, Ranger G succeeds as a tool to help the Armed Forces recruit citizens and volunteers for the AFP. It’s another facet on how one can serve the country, a facet that Matteo successfully showed to everyone through this film.