Ara Mina is Hazel Pascual Reyes in real life. She was born on May 9, 1979 in Manila. The Reyes in her name is the surname of her stepfather. Ara's real father is Chuck Mathay who was once a congressman from Quezon City.
Ara Mina started as a teen sensation in German Moreno's "That's Entertainment" of GMA-7. There, she honed her hosting, singing and acting skills.
Ara then hosted in "Saturday Entertainment" and in ABS-CBN's noontime show "Sang Linggo NAPO Sila". She then appeared in different shows namely "Ibang Klase", "Super Klenk", "Kiss MUna" and "Family Zoo".
She was also casted in primetime shows such as "Kung Mawawala Ka", "Mulawin", "Magpakailanman", "Darna (guest as Dyesebel)", "Lupin" and the most popular and longest running gag show in the Philippines "Bubble Gang". Ara cut short her stay in "Bubble Gang" and do afternoon soaps with ABS-CBN's "Prinsesa Ng Banyera" and "Ligaw Na Bulaklak" with Roxanne Guinoo.
When sexy bold films came into the scene, Ara ventured into it and made some sexy films herself. She starred in "Init Sa Tag-ulan", "Sagad Sa Init", "Pahiram Kahit Sandali", "Tatlo Magkasalo", "Banatan", "Phone Sex", "Maldita", "Mano Po", "Laro Sa Baga" and others. Those bold movies that were topbilled by Ara became big hits in the box office. Ara also became one of the hottest bold symbols in the Philippine movies.
Ara's most notable performance is in "Ang Huling Birhen Sa Lapa" (The Last Virgin) with Maui Taylor where Ara earned the Best Actress award for that year.
Ara Mina was once linked to Manny Pacquiao after they made a movie together titled "Anak Ng Kumander". She is currently in "Totoy Bato" with Robin Padilla and in "Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin" as Gracilda.
Aside from making movies and appearing in TV and modelling, Ara also ventured into Politics. In the 2010 national and local elections in the country Ara Mina ran for the council of Quezon City but lost. Politics is in the blood of Ara Mina as she is a daughter of the influential Mathay clan.
Ara Mina Movies/TV Shows
Ang Utol Kong Hoodlum
Ara gets a very important role in the action-comedy-romance offering of TV5 titled "Ang Utol Kong Hoodlum". It is claimed as the first "actionserye" that will be aired in the Philippines. The said TV series is top billed by JC de Vera and the so called new princess of TV5 Jasmine Curtis (sister of Anne Curtis).
It is actually a remake of the 1991 movie of the same title with Robin Padilla and Vina Morales in the lead roles. Ara Mina portrays the character of Rhea Bustillos.
This is fantasy TV series aired in GMA-7. It is a story about witchcraft and sorcery which was a big hit in the Philippines. Ara portrayed the role of Elsa Sebastian, the mother of the main characters, Romana and Krisanta. This TV series showed the versatility of Ara as actress. In the beginning, her character was of the white sorcerers who were good in nature. She was then killed in a battle against the blacks but then revived in the later part of the series. But when she was revived, she became a black sorceress and battled against the whites, including one of her daughters.
Ara Mina proves that she could still be effective even with the switch of characters that makes her versatile and can act no matter what her role is.
Tinik Sa Dibdib
This is typed as sine-novela that was aired in GMA7. It is another remake of an old movie in the 80's with the same title which was top billed by superstar Nora Aunor and Philip Salvador. Ara Mina portrayed the role of Trixie Domingo which was one of the main protagonists of the series.
This is one of the major projects for the career of Ara and a big break in her career. Due to the success of the said series, it was also aired in the Kapuso network's inernational channel GMA Pinoy TV.
Ligaw Na Bulaklak
This is one of the biggest projects of Ara Mina in television, particularly in ABS-CBN. Ara billed side by side with Roxanne Guinoo who played the main character of the show. It is an afternon series which piloted in November of 2008 with a total of 110 episodes.
"Ligaw Na Bulaklak" is a television remake of the 1950's movie "Mga Ligaw Na Bulaklak". She played the role of Janet/Jennifer Alegro who was one of the characters who gave impact to the show. She is the half-sister of the main character and they struggled for one man whom they both love.
The show is one of the hottest series in the afternoon slot in Philippine TV at that time. In fact, it topped the TV ratings game against it's rivals in its time slot.
Ara - Manny Pacquiao Controversy
Mina and boxing icon Manny Pacquiao were together in the movie "Anak Ng Kumander". It was a story of a young man, played by Pacquiao, who used the vigilante style of justice for the villains. He had a shot to kill order from the mayor of the town and offered money for his head. The event was followed by a young and beautiful reporter, played by Ara Mina, until they meet and became romantically involved.
The movie was a flop as it only generated a gross income of PHP2,500,000.00 form the budget of more than 30 million pesos. It also tailed in the Metro Manila Film Festival as it only got one award - the Best Original Song award. But despite of the mediocre performance of the movie, controversy sparked even after the movie has been pulled out from cinemas.
There were many reports that Ara Mina and Manny Pacquiao were seen in various places and according to them, they were allegedly dating and they were said to be romantically involved in real life, not just in the movie. Both camps denied this rumor but the rumor continued for a while. But in the end, rumors gradually slowed down and the alleged romance between Ara and Pacquiao died through natural death - gossip stopped.