February 14, 2011

Dagmay's best includes my essay

I learned from Dominique Cimafranca, who was the coordinator of the recently concluded Taboan International Writers Festival, that my essay The Pilgrim has been included in the The Best of Dagmay 2007 to 2009. The book is expected to be out in March. 

Here is an excerpt from the essay:

"Like ancient wayfarers following the frankincense trail to a sanctuary in the middle of the desert, pilgrims of all ages, ethnic origins, religions, and sexual persuasions would congregate at the United Center that night. I set off on Halsted Street. I walked three blocks until I reached the corner of Madison Avenue, and took a left turn. I could hear my heart racing. My dream was about to come true. This journey had taken me 24 years to make, traversing different time zones and the expanse of the great Pacific Ocean. It was a voyage of 8,000 miles, and nearly 9,000 days since the first time I saw Madonna in the Borderline video when I was in third grade. In the intervening years I’ve slipped in and out of faith and nonbelief, sailed across the oceans of lucidity and melancholia, even navigated the sexual topography from being top to bottom to versa. But throughout these constant movements, my devotion to Madonna never faltered. And now I would see her in person, my Salve Regina. But was this the end of a journey? What was I expecting out of this experience? An absolution? An achievement? A proof of devotion? Just like a suicide bomber is convinced that detonating a bomb in a busy Baghdad street is an absolute act of devotion? What if there were no houris waiting in Paradise? What if Paradise doesn’t exist at all?"

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