Recent events have created some confusion regarding the status of Mts. Banahaw, Cristobal and Batulao, hence this short clarification. However, I am issuing this with the disclaimer that this is not an official bulletin, but my best guess / best opinion.
Mt. Banahaw: Closed until at least 2014
The closure of Mt. Banahaw has been extended for two more years (not again!) and this has been met with mixed reactions from the hiking community. Of course, there are other entry points going up Mt. Banahaw but since DENR has actually moved to stop these entries in cooperation with the barangay officials in Kinabuhayan, Mt. Banahaw is both de jure and de facto closed.
Mt. Cristobal: Nothing has changed (so still de facto open)
The status of Cristobal is very confusing because whenever DENR makes an announcement about Banahaw’s status, Cristobal is always included, and so the media always announces that “Banahaw and Cristobal are closed to trekkers”. The inclusion of Cristobal is questionable because it was never flocked by pilgrims, nor by the Holy Week crowd of locals. It has always been one of the cleanest mountains in the region.
However, since Cristobal has never been de facto closed, we can conclude that Mt. Cristobal is de facto open, without making any judgment as to whether it is legally or technically closed.
Mt. Batulao: Remains open
Mt. Batulao remains open in the aftermath of the tragic fall of first-time hiker Diana Fajardo last week. Since this accident cannot be atributed to inclement weather or any changes in the trail, the mountain remains open, although we advise hikers to exercise caution.