LEISURE

The thrill-seeking persona of Matteo Guidicelli

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Despite his foray into showbiz, Matteo has kept on seeking new adventures, from skydiving to joining the military. Photos from MATTEO GUIDICELLI/INSTAGRAM and KENNETH ABALLA

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — In a barkada, there’s always that one friend who’d try anything once. They always seem to have that spark in their eye, and whenever you see each other, you’re sure to hear about their latest adventure or be invited to the next adrenaline-pumping activity they want to try next. Matteo Guidicelli is that friend.

Matteo started out with a unique dream: to be the first Filipino Formula One racer. Always passionate about what he chooses to do, Matteo then dedicated hours upon hours to training on the racetracks when he was a teenager. But other opportunities presented themselves to the young racer, and the ever-adventurous young man decided to try them out. Despite feeling that he wasn’t quite fit for local showbiz since he wasn’t fluent in Filipino, Matteo nevertheless went on to star and guest in several shows. Eventually, this led him to pursue the performing arts, going on to take Musical Theater in Chicago’s Columbia College.

But despite his foray into showbiz, Matteo has kept on seeking new adventures. Recently, he tried skydiving. In a video posted by one of Matteo’s skydiving instructors, he can even be heard exclaiming “Muntik na ko umihi sa pantalon!” It turns out that he has a fear of heights, but nevertheless, did it anyway: “I like facing my fears, challenging myself … if I think I can’t do something, I’ll do it.” It helped too that he had people in his barkada who skydived already, so he was able to train with them beforehand.

Outside of his showbiz pursuits, Matteo joined the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary in March, and the Philippine Army’s Army Reserve Command in April.

Consistent with his goal of constantly challenging himself, Matteo has joined not just one but two reserve groups. Matteo joined the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary in March, and the Philippine Army’s Army Reserve Command in April. He also underwent the executive rider training of the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group.

While Matteo loves the rush of extreme activities, safety remains a priority. He is very aware of the risks that come with his hobbies, especially as he’s experienced some of these first-hand. Matteo is very appreciative of the trainings that he underwent, as these were “definitely a journey that built strength, character, skill, respect, and brotherhood.”

Some of Matteo’s friends think that he’s crazy with all his adrenaline-pumping hobbies. After all, not all people are excited by the thought of heart-pumping action. He does manage to convince some of his friends to join him in his adventures: his childhood buddy Ivan Carapiet, who “does everything I do” according to Matteo, went skydiving with him. “He cried his first jump!” Matteo recounts, laughing. He can’t quite explain what it is that he loves about “risky” activities, chalking it up to a feeling of “sarap” that you can’t just explain.

At the end of the day, Matteo considers himself a guy who is passionate and just likes to enjoy life. He loves to travel, especially on motorbike, out of the city. On more relaxed days, he likes to hang out and chill with his friends. With his Italian heritage, food and drink are definitely part of what makes a good time, with these being part of the top three things he can’t live without. At the end of a long day, he says he goes for a plate of meat ragu pasta and a glass of light brandy with his family or friends.

On top of all the new experiences that Matteo has had this year, he adds yet another: being the face of Primera Light Brandy. This is Matteo’s first liquor endorsement. Primera Light Brandy, a 55 proof liquor with imported Solera Gran Reserva concentrate from Spain, has become Matteo’s favorite drink.

It is smooth, aromatic and light, and it has all the makings of an imported brandy experience which can be enjoyed everyday because it comes at a reasonable price. Indeed, it has won gold standard award from Monde Selection, a global quality award body in Brussels, Belgium. Primera Light is also great on its own, but goes well with many things, much like Matteo himself.

“I like it on the rocks. There’s [also] a special way we’ve tried doing it: we’ve mixed it with our sangrias. It’s also nice with a lemon peel inside, it’s very refreshing,” he says. Matteo has even created a cocktail of his own: the Primera Sunburst, which he shares in an episode of CNN Philippines’ “Wholesome Meals, Better Life.” He says it’s a fun, citrusy drink perfect for hanging out with friends on a sunny day. “Sarap ng imported sa presyong pang barkada,” he says.

Matteo Guidicelli is always up for a good time. It doesn’t always have to be as intense as skydiving — it can be as chill as enjoying a cool drink on an open rooftop. Whether you want to try something as extreme as skydiving or just lounge around, Matteo is the type of friend you’d want to be around.