Actor Gerald Anderson
Star Magic/Released
In Photos: Gerald Anderson shares experience as Scout Ranger company commander
(Philstar.com) - August 14, 2019 - 10:10am

MANILA, Philippines – Gerald Anderson, Nash Aguas, Jerome Ponce, Yves Flores and Elmo Magalona stripped their actor’s hat to undergo the Soldier Skills Orientation Training in Camp Tecson, Bulacan last week.

Although the five actors are set to be part of the upcoming Kapamilya soap, “A Soldier’s Heart,” the decision to complete the three-day training that tested their strength and mettle not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally, was something that they did voluntarily.

Gerald Anderson gives a speech during his graduation as company commander in a recent Scout Ranger training. Star Magic/Released

Gerald, who served as the team’s company commander, explained, “We knew if we graduated, we would have the privilege of being in the Philippine army reservist. This would also help us portray Philippine scout ranger in our TV series - 'A Soldiers Heart'.”

Jerome Ponce - Star Magic/Released

As for Nash,the youngest in the group, a certain video of the battles in Marawi when it was under siege, made him push through with the training. 

“It was like World War II in Marawi while we are here in Manila, clueless of what was really happening in our country. Isa ‘yun sa mga naging motivation. Sa maliit na paraan maipapakita ko 'yung suporta at pagmamahal sa bansa natin,” he said.

Elmo Magalona  - Star Magic/Released

Being a part of the training has led the boys to many realizations. Yves took the training as an accomplishment. 

“The ranger training segregates boys from men. I learned the value of discipline, camaraderie and the love for our country,” he said.

Jerome, for his part, noted the hardships that the soldiers undergo on a daily basis.

“Ang mga army, soldiers, rangers ang real heroes because wala tayong alam how they live every day from training until sa battlefield... all they want is to make our country free and safe,” he said.

The actors with their mentors at the Scout Ranger training. Star Magic/Released

The actors have undergone lectures, drills and simulations to have a glimpse of the soldier’s life.

“They showed us na kailangan mong mapagdaanan ito bago mo mapatunayan na gagawin mo ang lahat, mapagtanggol lang ang iyong bansa. Ang pinakamahirap at pinakamemorable sa training para sa akin, ay 'yung pangatlongaraw namin sa camp. 'Yung pagakyat namin ng bundok daladalaang bandolier, rucksack at mga baril namin,” Elmo said.

He also added, “We performed a simulation at doon ko naramdaman 'yung totality ng training namin, lahat ng tinuro, you have to make sure to apply all of them because you and your squad will go down if you don’t.”

The actors taking an oath during their Scout Ranger training graduation. Star Magic/Released

While they seem resolute about the experience, they also had moments when they second guessed their decision.

“Ilang beses ko na gusto mag-quit to the point na tumakas ako nung first night para lang makatulog at makatawag na. Gusto ko na umuwi kasi feeling ko hindi ko kaya dahil unang-una 'di namanako physically active, namahilig mag-gym or tumakbo,” Nash recalled.

But he eventually realized that the training is not only intended to test your physical power, but also your mental capacity.

“Sabi nga nila lagi sa'kin, ‘positive thinking (is) seeing the good side in every shitty, minsan literal, situation you are in.' Yung training tatanggalin lahat ng civilian ways mo -- pride, kaartehan, ego, etc., tapos ibi-build kaulit to be a better person,” Nash ended.

In the end, despite the hardship, the five men said they came out as different individuals.

The actors and their comrades showing their Scout Ranger training certificates. Star Magic/Released

ELMO MAGALONA GERALD ANDERSON
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