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As an occasion of ethnic pride celebrated throughout Mexico and the U.S., the Cinco de Mayo festivities in the Las Vegas area offer a lot of great food and drinks, fun events, and themed contests around the valley.

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at The Chef’s Table

Star and Will’s Residence 10029 Artistic Walk Avenue Las Vegas, NV 89149

Keeping up with the Mexican tradition of eating, drinking, dancing and celebrating during the occasion, the Chef’s Table invites guests to celebrate with them the annual observance of the Mexicans’ historic day of unity and patriotism on May 1, 2010, 5:00 p.m. Guests are expected to enjoy festival food including Barbacoa, Carnitas, Arroz, Frijoles, Pico De Gallo, Tortillas, Chips and Salsa, Pan Dulce, and Margaritas. There will also be a salsa contest for those who can whip-up the best homemade salsa. Those who are interested should bring their labeled entries during the celebration.

There is a $10 per person fee to be collected at the door. Reservations should be made on or before Apr. 29, 6:00 p.m. There is an option not to pay the $10 fee by bringing a bottle of tequila. Interestingly, there is a welterweight boxing match on the same night: Mosley vs. Mayweather. And if there’s enough interest and donations, guests can enjoy watching the pay-per-view fight while enjoying the rest of the festivities. The event will be hosted by Star M and Vernalisa, The Party Chef.

Lindo – Centennial’s The Gringo and Me ‘Cantina’

7870 W. Tropical Parkway Las Vegas, NV 89149

The Lindo Michoacan Gourmet Mexican Cuisine invites everyone for the 2nd Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Lindo Centennial. On May 5, 2010, guests will enjoy festivities all day long with food, beer, and margarita specials, the featuring of the Karma Tequila (a top shelf 100% blue agave tequila); the live Mariachi Band “Mariachi Franco” performing from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., the Lindo T-shirt Giveaway, the FUZE Jamis Mountain Bike and Coleman Roadtrip Grill Giveaway, and the featuring of the Karma Tequila Girls to further spice up the occasion.

Pre-Cinco de Mayo Celebrations at the Rio Hotel

3700 W. Flamingo Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89103

A two-day event intended to kick off a weekend before Cinco de Mayo 2010, the Pre-Cinco de Mayo at the Rio Hotel and Casino will feature the most popular Tejano bands including popular groups and folk and regional performers at the hotel’s pavilion.

The Friday event will feature: David Lee Garza y Los Musicales, Roberto Pulido Y Los Clasicos, Chente Barrera, Tobias Rene and Gabe Nieto and Jalapeno Express. The Saturday event will feature: Little Joe Y La Familia, Flaco Jimenez, Augie Meyers and Charlie Rich, Jr.

Comedian Rick Martinez at Harrah’s The Improv

3475 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89109

May 3, 2010 shall mark an early celebration of Cinco de Mayo at the Harrah’s Hotel and Casino by sharing a few margaritas and laughs with Latin comedy sensation Rick Martinez. Bringing his style of hilarity to The Improv stage by 8:30 p.m., this special one-night-only performance by the Mr. “Spicy Latino Nights” himself will offer Latino music and stand-up comedy performances for guests to enjoy.

Tickets are sold at $19.75 (plus applicable taxes) for general admission and $27.45 (plus applicable taxes) for VIP tickets. The VIP treat includes special seating, meet and greet with Rick Martinez, and a complimentary T-shirt. Tickets can be purchased at the Harrah’s Box Office (702-369-5223) and online at

Erik Estrada at the Tacos & Tequila’s 12-Hour Cinco De Mayo Fiesta

3900 Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89109

Erik Estrada will host the tribute to Tacos and Tequila’s (T&T) most beloved holiday on the second annual 12-hour celebration of Cinco de Mayo on May 5, 2010 (starting at 11:00 a.m.). T&T at the Luxor Hotel and Casino will provide sizzling Cinco de Mayo food and drink specials, a Mariachi happy hour from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., “Cock-a-Doodle Duel” competitions, and an action-packed fiesta hosted by former “CHiPs” star and Cinco de Mayo celebrity favorite Erik Estrada.

Estrada and surprise guest judges will also host the Tacos & Tequila’s “Miss T&T Hot Tamale” pageant. Guests will expect a stunning lineup of Vegas’ hottest muchachas to go head-to-head in a competition of brains, beauty, and brawn. The winner will receive $5,000 in cash and will become a spokesmodel for T&T and Hennessey Black.

2010 Cinco De Mayo Celebrations in Las Vegas
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The Hurt Locker list of Oscar wins

Story & Screenplay
Production Design
Sound & Music
VFX/Animation (if any)
Acting/Voice Acting
Commercial Flair

The disclosing of the 2010 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture was without suspense as Tom Hanks opened the envelope and readily divulged “The Hurt Locker” as the film that garnered this year’s Oscar nod. Yet, it was full of surprises and intrigues as this relatively small film defeated the biggest contender for the award which was no less than the world’s highest-grossing film of all time to date — Avatar.

Director Kathryn Bigelow, writer Mark Boal, and producers Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro accepted the award.

This Iraq war drama walked away with five more awards including Best Original Screenplay for Mark Boal, Best Film Editing for Bob Murawski and Chris Innis, Best Sound Editing for Paul N.J. Ottosson, Best Sound Mixing for Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett, and for the record, the Best Director for the first woman filmmaker to ever receive the coveted Oscar for film direction — Kathryn Bigelow.

“The Hurt Locker” also received nominations for Best Actor for Jeremy Renner, Best Cinematography for Barry Ackroyd, and Best Original Score for Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders.

The other nine nominees for the Best Picture Award were: “Avatar,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “The Blind Side,” “District 9,” “An Education, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” “A Serious Man,” “Up,” and “Up in the Air.”

Bigelow and the rest of her collaborators expressed how unreal and extremely humbling it was to receive the award and that they never imagined it in their wildest dreams. They also expressed their gratitude to their intrepid financier and fellow producer Nicolas Chartier who bet on the movie when no one else would. They also dedicated the award to the entire cast and crew. They reiterated their respect and honor to the people in uniform who dedicate their lives in service of the country. From the military to the firemen, they gave their utmost gratitude to them in their speeches.

As for the historical feat of Bigelow besting her award-winning compatriots including Quentin Tarantino for “Inglourious Basterds,” Jason Reitman for “Up in the Air,” Lee Daniels for “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” and her ex-husband James Cameron for “Avatar,” presenter Barbara Streisand made the historical announcement during the Oscar Night last March 7, 2010 with the words “Well, the time has come,” right before saying Bigelow’s name. Bigelow accepted the award with the words “There’s no other way to describe it. It’s the moment of a lifetime.”

Best Picture – The Hurt Locker,”

‘The Hurt Locker’ gets 2010 Oscar nods for Best Picture and Direction
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2010 Local Easter events in Las Vegas

Local Easter events in Las Vegas provide bonding and celebration opportunities to children and their families.

Alice and the Mad Hatter’s Dance Along Celebration (1300 W. Sunset Road, Henderson, NV; 702-434-0202)

The Easter Bunny Arrival will feature an interactive show with Alice and the Mad Hatter’s Dance Along Celebration and a parade at the Galleria of Sunset Mall’s Center Court. Children can have their photos taken with the Easter Bunny during mall hours from Mar. 13 to April 3, 2010. Each kid will also receive a free activities book after the photo session.

Family Flashlight Easter Egg Activity Night (Mirabelli Community Center 6200 Hargrove Ave. Las Vegas, NV; 702-229-6359)

The children and the whole family can enjoy carnival games and a Flashlight Egg Hunt meant for ages walking up to 12 years old on March 26, 6 p.m. This Family Flashlight Easter Egg Activity Night offers free admission to all the games and activities. Advance registration is recommended.

Easter Festival Egg Decorating Workshop (East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center, 250 N. Eastern Ave. Las Vegas, NV; 702-229-1515)

Create personalized Easter eggs with instructor Bobbie Ann Howell on Mar. 27, 2010, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The works are meant for display as official entries to the Easter Festival Egg Decorating Contest. The competition is open from ages 7 to adult. The $3 fee includes supplies needed for the workshop.

Easter Cultural Festival (East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center Bandstand, 250 N. Eastern Ave. Las Vegas, NV; 702-229-1515)

Bring the whole family for fun and bonding with a number of Easter activities including art projects, games, live entertainment, Easter Bunny, and information booths at the Easter Cultural Festival on Apr. 3, 2010, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Information will be offered in English and Spanish.

Arts and Entertainment – Other Events,” Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Local Las Vegas Events – March 2010,” Vegas4Locals.

2010 Local Easter events in Las Vegas
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The film Aninag by Rianne Hill Soriano

To the staff and cast of Aninag:

Aninag is showing in two film fests this June 🙂 Thank you so much to all of you!!

The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival – Aninag is showing on June 26, 2005.

The New York Filipino Film Festival - Aninag is showing along with The Memories of a Forgotten War on June 12, 2005, in celebration of the Independence Day
This is an article from
 Date: 6/27/2005 8:20:49 AM

“Aninag” (“Light’s Play”)
a film by Rianne Hill Soriano

15 mins., 35mm Fantasy/Children New York International Independent Film and Video Festival 2005; Cinema Purgatoryo 2005; New York Filipino Film Festival 2005 Indiemand: The 1st Pi Omicron Independent Film Festival; Pelikula at Lipunan Film and Video Festival 2005

Isabel journeys in a dream world with her new mystical friends “Saya” (Happiness) and “Pag-asa” (Hope) in an attempt to overcome her isolation due to her blindness.

“Aninag” (“Light’s Play”) is a 15-minute narrative shost in 35mm film. Isabel, a blind girl who journeys in a dream world formed through the emotions she feels, plays with her new mystical friends “Saya” (Happiness) and “Pag-asa” (Hope). As they leave, Isabel succumbs to her negative thoughts. Her life becomes endangered. The question is: “How would she overcome her fear, helplessness, and depression in this struggling situation?”

“Aninag” (“Light’s Play”) is a film grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Most of the film stocks used in the film came from Kodak Philippines through the filmmaker’s prize as Kodak Film Awardee 2003 of the UP Film Institute through her thesis film “Karsel” (“Prison”). With the help from production houses Filmex (through a number of short ends and lending of equipment) and Production Village (through a number of short ends), the film was greatly blessed with a good number of generous institutions and artists willing to help out with this kind of independent film production.

The film’s dream sequence was inspired by the storybook “Ang Ika-Sampung Taong Kaarawan ni Prinsesa Mayumi” (“Princess Mayumi’s 10th Birthday”), which the filmmaker originally wrote for the film.

The child actors were from the Advocacy Program of the Museo Pambata (an institution helping deprived, underprivileged, and street children and a museum for kids). The staff was proud of these three kids who each did a great job as first time actress/actor for a 35mm film.

Through the help of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR, Province of Rizal, Philippines), the City Hall of Antipolo and the Municipal Hall of Rodriguez, Rizal, the bulk of the film (dream sequence) was shot at the historical site of the Wawa Gorge, more familiarly known as the Wawa Dam, in San Rafael, Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal — where the legend of Bernardo Carpio’s “Dalawang Nag-uupugang Bato”(The Two Clashing Boulders) originated.

The Cast

Patricia de Silva – Isabel

Karla Pambid – Mom

Joel Torre – Dad

David Trinidad Jr. – Pag-asa

Rency Van Dorpe – Saya

Charisse Mara Luluquisin – Fairy dancer

Iroy Abesamis – Fear-fed shadowman

The Production Team

Rianne Hill Soriano – Screenplay and Direction

Wowie Hao – Director of Photography

Chrisel Galeno – Production Designer (Day 1 to 3)

Joy Puntawe – Production Designer (Day 1)

French Lacuesta and Joy Puntawe – Asst. Directors

Ron Dale – Editor

Philip Arvin Jarilla – Musical Scorer

Jason Galindez and Noel Bruan – Audio Engineers

Alda David, Rianne Hill Soriano and Mayleen Enorme-Menez – Production Managers

Iroy Abesamis – Choreographer

AG Sano, Rianne Hill Soriano and Philip Arvin Jarilla – Storyboard Artists

Rianne Hill Soriano – Original children’s storybook made for the film

Al Rio and Ojay Desuasido – Storybook Artists

The filmmaker would like to thank the NCCA, Filmex, LVN, Provill, Optima, Museo Pambata, Kodak Phils., Kontragapi, UP Film Institute, First Call, Sun for All Children, GiantSponge, City Hall of Antipolo, DENR (Rizal), Municipality of Rodriguez, the people of Wawa Gorge, and all those who helped us in the production.

My film ‘Aninag’ screens in the U.S.
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