Prana Escalante, a townmate of mine from Sorsogon, was found dead today. According to the Inquirer, she set off alone to climb Mt. Halcon in Mindoro Oriental at past midnight of Oct. 29. Her friends, who started climbing a day earlier, were waiting for her. The Inquirer reports that:
Members of a group belonging to the Pilipinas Sierra said they saw her resting at the second stream and subsequently tried to convince her to join them. But she refused and went on her way, saying that she knew the trail....
On Nov. 2, her friends came down from Halcon without her.
The GMA report showed one classmate, a certain Dennis Dy, telling the reporter that he was sure he and Prana would meet again in another lifetime. Her name, the report told us, means life-force in Hindi. And she probably was a life-force.
I didn't really know Prana, but somehow the image of her setting off to climb the mountain in the middle of the night to rendezvous with death (when she was expecting friends) has taken a grip on my mind. What is it that is so romantic about dying in a mountain trek? I am filled with such admiration for her indomitable spirit. What audacity! What youthfulness! To plunge into life and embrace all its dangers!