Sunday, March 16, 2014


"The life of a performer doesn't stop on
what we can do or what we've done.
Just like life in general, it's a continuous learning process
so we keep on growing."


Being in the limelight is no joke. 
And for this multi-talented achiever, 
he  thought that time was catching up with him, thinking his ultimate dream
would remain almost impossible.

Until he got the call.

Ariel had been performing all his life and every time you'd get an experience of his show, it's almost as flawless as how he sounds and alive as his soul. This gentleman has the velvet voice, owns a good stature, and is a world-class performer. All of these mixed with his charms and coated up with his confidence, he remains to be one of the most successful bachelors in the industry.

Before we get close and personal, let me give you a taste of how you can totally be at loss once he opens his mouth and sings. 

Just click here.


Graduated as a scholar from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, ARIEL PLANTADO REONAL, earned a degree in Mass Communications, Major in Broadcasting. This offered him a kick start into entering the life of an entertainer, slowly gearing up the skills that promisingly made him righteous in his chosen craft. He had learned a lot in getting exposed to the biz thru the opportunities his course had brought to him. And in applying what he had learned when he would actually take a part as one of the actors, every so often, pushed his talents further. Not mentioning that he can sing and can dance at that point. He had learned a lot about the popular broadcasting companies while doing on-job-trainings.

Until then, he learned of Repertory, Philippines and chose to acquire further training and honing of skills by joining the group. This paved a way for him to invest in himself, developing a special way of seeing life maturely and responsibly. Until he had become one of the theatre managers there.

Since then, he had been in a lot of variety shows, drama series and concerts and did not stop until he nailed every single one of them. He even did voice overs for a number of radio stations, represented the Philippines in MTV Asia-JVC Sound Education in 2003 (held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and was able to attend the "Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts London" Master Class in Manila under Dee Cannon, April of 2004.

On the side, he had done print ads, special events, corporate shows and advertisements. Countless jobs and offers were given to Ariel and as much as he can, he would get himself educated of how it truly works. Until the words, "inferiority complex" were out of his vocabulary.


With how Ariel loves life, he remained open to all opportunities. He remains prepared and he gives more than 100% of his time, effort and focus. Here are some of what he had achieved so far:


1. DISNEY'S "Cinderella" as Herald
2. DISNEY'S "Aladdin" as Jafar
3. Ensemble in "The Sound of Music"
4. "Once Upon a Mattress" as Jester
5. Ensemble in "ANNIE"
6. the Blue Faun in "SLEEPING BEAUTY"
7. Pepe/Alphonse in "THE BOYFRIEND"
8. "Blood Brothers" as Sammy Johnstone
9. the original General/Exile in "Miong"


1. as Basilio/Juanito in "El Filibusterismo"
2. Ensemble in Ryan Cayabyab's "Ilustrado"

with the COMPANY OF PLAYERS (Philippines):

1. as Luis in "West Side of the Story"
2. Ensemble in "Great White Way 3"

with ATLANTIS PHILIPPINES doing "Jesus Christ Superstar" as Simon Zealotes and cover Jesus.

with the NEW VOICE COMPANY PHILIPPINES as one of the ensembles in "CHESS".

with the CHASE INTERNATIONAL PHILIPPINES being a storyteller for the musical,
"Once on this Island"

Those theatre and performance credits were presented in the Philippines alone. These roles had harboured into Ariel and had helped him in becoming more versatile and flexible in terms of acting out the right character for the role. He had explored how to internalize an act and you can expect that he'd be able to portray it smoothly.

one of the Chinese soldiers during the
Mulan Segment for the Golden Mickey Show,
Hong Kong Disneyland
Considering this much of roles he had done, his career had not yet gone full blown until he became in demand abroad too. He established himself in the Philippines quite well that he felt driven to audition for Disney alongside young people and without him expecting anything, he pursued it. He even expected worse saying, "I was so surprised. I auditioned with other younger people whom I thought were more deserving."

Humility was the steering wheel for this lad into pushing himself to the limits. When he got the call from an HR representative telling him that he did good in the audition and that they'd be more than willing to offer him a contract, he was about to do a show for another production (like any other veteran treating any audition, they go, they audition and just forget about it afterwards hoping for the best and just continue doing what they have to do - meaning, "not totally depending on it"), so he just asked them to e-mail him all the details if they may. The rest is history.

Right before he had left for London this March, he had remained doing shows for the Golden Mickeys, a theatre show that can be seen in Hong Kong Disneyland hosted by none other than Mickey Mouse himself. And there were atmosphere shows in whom I get to work with Ariel and truth be told, this jack of all trades can make the audience dance and the kids, shriek in delight during the High School Musical Launch and Cars show. This line of work had its nuances with the theatre shows he had done back in the Philippines as the setup may surprise you everyday. The moment your mind is set to a role, it might change once he got to cover somebody. So, at some point, he had some feelings of giving up or getting burnt out but "Wake up! You can do it! You're almost there!", is what he'd always tell himself.

Be ready with your full energy meter if you're going to work with Ariel.
I get to experience it  in Cars and High School Musical show.
I had to always be keeping up.
- Kyte


He was part of Miss Saigon and had experienced playing the part of Thuy/ensemble under CAMERON MACKINTOSH LTD. (LONDON) PRODUCTIONS for its UK Tour in 2001-2002, then 2004-2006. If that still doesn't convince you, he also worked for the same project for IMG ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT (SYDNEY) in 2001 as the club owner and Thuy all the way back to the Philippines with SAIGON COMPANY OF THE PHILIPPINES perfecting the mentioned role.

Miss Saigon (Dublin) with Niklas Anderson, Kingsley Leggs, Irish President Mary McAleese, Nicky Adams, Joanna Ampil, and Leo Valdez.
 — atThe Point Theater, Dublin, Ireland.

So you see, it had been waiting all along. I have no doubts that he will soon move from being part of the ensemble to landing a lead role. For Ariel, every role is a starring role though. Being in the West End is his ultimate dream and he is more than thankful that it's happening. The actor answered, "Zenaida Amador" as the persona he's looking up to in the industry. The legacy that she had left being the mother of Repertory Philippines had left fire in Ariel's heart to always aim for excellence with every chance that he will get. He doesn't know yet, but he's about to become like her.


Ariel in Maldives for a holiday
Because of moments backstage with Ariel, I had always looked up to him as a mentor. During in-house auditions in the workplace, he'd be more than willing to give you a pointer or two to remember when you're up there in front of the bosses. I remember him saying, "Mean what you sing out to them. They should be lost not only with your voice but with the way you deliver."

As we had shared some moments too battling the lake while training for the Dragon Boat Festival here in Hong Kong under Team Mushu, I have seen how hard he strives to keep himself healthy. Everything about Ariel is "healthy". No vice at all! But he allows himself to have a great time when possible. Being part of a 15-time champion dragon boat team last year, he keeps everything in balance by injecting play in its aftermath. He knows how to party too.

He loves exercising and if I may say, he loves the feeling of getting pumped up by any physical activity. He loves to run and joins a lot of marathons here in Hong Kong. Sweat is his friend as this helps him to stay grounded, constantly making him realize that all there is to compete with is his own self.

Also, I remember him inviting us young people to travel one time during a gym session, since he was eyeing Maldives that time. All of us (which I think, were more than 10 that time), agreed on it. Ending, only 2 or 3 of them went. So, on a more personal note, I know that when it comes to learning by the means of travel and adventure, he'll go for it.

Here is the dream team that he will be leaving this year. I'm sure they would miss you a lot and it would be hard to find a replacement with that much power and motivation you had contributed to the team.

Team Mushu Dream Team 2013


You may have the same answers with our featured artist or you may just find him more than interesting with his own. We have asked Ariel of these for a more fun part of the interview.

1. If you'd be in a musical movie and will have a leading role, who would you like to work with?

A. Anne Hathaway (Les Mis)
C. Julie Andrews (Sound of Music)
D. Other: Please specify ____ - CATHERINE ZETA JONES

2. Which Disney role would most likely describe your own personality?

A. Flynn while singing, "I had a Dream"
B. Woody "You got a Friend in Me"
C. John Smith "Pocahontas"
D. Other: Please specify - QUASIMODO

3. What do you do in your free time?

A. Facebook
B. Listen to music
C. Watch movies
D. Other: Please specify - D. ALL OF THE ABOVE

B.      4. In which would you rather spend money on?

A. Food
B. Travel
C. New gadget
D. Other: Please specify ____

A       5. Who for you is an epitome of confidence?

A. Robert Downey Jr.
B. Martin Nievera
C. Mark Zuckerberg
D. Other: Please specify

6. For fun time, you prefer doing:

B. Beer pong
C. Dance Battle
D. Other: Please specify - Something more on the SPORTS side like bowling swimming, hiking,

A       7. Best asset:

A. Eyes
B. Sense of Humor
C. Wheels
D. Other: Please specify - Hair

Related posts you might be interested to read:

1. THE HEAT IS ON - blog post talking about Lea Salonga and how Miss Saigon changed her life.

2. ELA LISONDRA - another Filipina who's ready to make her dreams come true with Ariel in being one of the cast of Miss Saigon, 2014

3. I'D GIVE IT ALL FOR YOU - one of Ariel's pieces. Click on to have an experience of his voice.

4. TEAM MUSHU - joining the dragon boat for the first time.

5. BORACAY 2013 - a place to be in for a holiday trip

Credits to:

JOEL GARCIA for being the photographer of the
head shots for this post.

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