MANILA, Philippines – Fresh off a month-long Scout Ranger training, actor Matteo Guidicelli has found himself in another battle – this time, online, after he made a post "challenging" people to "unite so we may progress to make a better tomorrow" instead of "talking smack about different issues."
Matteo, 29, said in an Instagram post over the weekend: "Salute to the flag, salute to our beautiful country! We challenge YOU, especially our colleagues in the showbiz industry. Instead of talking smack about different issues, why not unite so we may progress to make a better tomorrow. What do you think?"
The caption accompanied a photo of him in full military attire, saluting the Philippine flag alongside fellow actor Robin Padilla.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Matteo Guidicelli (@matteog) on Jul 5, 2019 at 8:54pm PDT
But not everyone was in awe of Matteo's message.
"Lol you allied with the AFP which is probably one of the least patriotic organisations in the country. It's more concerned with defending foreign capitalists and big businesses (e.g. mining) than safeguarding the people's welfare," wrote Laurence Castillo, replying to Matteo's Instagram post which was cross-posted on Twitter.
"I suggest you just stop talking. Thanks," was Matteo's curt reply.
Matteo on June 27 finished his Scout Ranger Orientation and Leadership Development Course. His family as well as longtime girlfriend Sarah Geronimo attended the closing ceremonies, during which the actor received a military commendation medal for initiating cleanup drives in schools in Bulacan, distributing school supplies, and inspiring the youth.
He also received a special recognition for getting the highest grade (95.02%) among the 97 students in the class. Matteo is a reservist in the Philippine military.
The Twitter exchange caught the attention of many, with one user taking offense over Matteo reducing criticism to "talking smack."
"Many of us do not have the physical and mental strength to join the military. We use words to spread awareness and fight tyranny. Referring to it as simply 'talking smack' is problematic af. I urge you to see lives of the minorities ruined by the people you're clearly supporting," said another Twitter user who retweeted Matteo's original post.
"True, that patriotism comes in different forms. Totally agree. [There] are a lot of issues and problems we are facing. That's a fact. It's also a fact that our neighboring countries have a very strong military because it is mandatory. We should do the same. Are you afraid?" said the actor.
President Rodrigo Duterte's administration is pushing to make military training mandatory for young Filipinos. The measure failed to pass the 17th Congress but is expected to be tackled in the 18th Congress, which is composed mainly of Duterte allies.
Check out the rest of Matteo's replies to critics here:
Criticism with progress or “creative criticism” is good/normal/needed. As long as we move forward for the better. Yes there are people that talk “smack,” that’s the only thing they do. But others are criticizing to actually seek a difference. See the difference? — Matteo Guidicelli (@mateoguidicelli) July 7, 2019
What do you think of Matteo's views on patriotism and service to country? – Rappler.com