Friday, November 12, 2004

Prana Escalante, 21
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!

7 comments:

tochs said...

will you allow me to post your article in the climbing group? having no idea on what drove her to break all the protocols in climbing and not knowing her, your closing lines dramatize well what we trekkers cannot express. may i?

Prem said...

sabi ng kuya ko, there is no point in mountain climbing, climbers still descend. tanong ng isang climber: have you been there?

Ronnel said...

Tochs, No problem.

Ronnel said...

why do we climb a mountain? The famous reply is: because it's there.

Nakapag mountain climbing ako sa banahaw. masaya. doon mo mararamdaman na masarap pala mabuhay dito sa mundong ibabaw kahit paano . siguro ganon ang pakiramdam pag high ka. matagal na naming binabalak ng mga kaklase ko dati sa high school na umakyat ng fami o makulot (ganito ba spelling?) pero di natutuloy dahil hindi magtugma-tugma ang mga iskedyul sa trabaho.

R. O. said...

Hi Ronnel, anong town ba yung sa Bicol na puro Es- umpisa ng surname? Legaspi? You fr. there?

Ronnel said...

Hindi ko alam sa legaspi, pero sa Gubat, isang bayan sa Sorsogon, marami ding E, marami ding Es.

Xandra said...

Hi Ronnel!
Remember me?? hhmmm.. we met at the Ramon Magsaysay Essay Competition.. a long, long time ago..
Prana was my cousin (3rd degree or something like that).. It seems that mountain climbing is congenital. I climbed Mt. Apo when I was 5 years old.. My mom climbed when I was in the womb.