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On the second to the last day of 2013, the family has suddenly decided to welcome the new year somewhere outside the home. A first for us! And why not? It would be REALLY something to remember in the years to come!

So, we have decided to spend the last day of 2013, and greet 2014 at the top of the world (not really, but it is high enough).

Cebu City, abuzz with the preparations of the New Year, is blessed with the laid-back beaches and mountains nearby. And as we already had spent a day at the beach, we chose to go to a mountain resort this time. It’s a place located at latitude (10.370354) and longitude (123.876221) in Philippines. 🙂 (thanks to Google!)

That’s the Mountain View Nature’s Park in Busay, Cebu City.

Here’s what greeted us, while we set up camp (yes, we lived on a tent on our first day)

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Breathtaking, is it not?

We explored, and planned for the next days’ activities … Our first time on a mountain resort, and with all the walking/climbing, I think I know what my new year’s resolution will be… to get fit!😀

It’s more of a great playground for Kids and Kids-at-heart, and we loved the place, even as we first glanced at it.

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We all discovered an old jukebox…

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The hundred-worth of 5-peso coins (that we drop into the jukebox’s coin slot) was nothing compared to the sing-along, fun dance we shared in the cool, crisp dusk air amidst the stillness of nature. We had to cut our revelry short though, as we headed back to our tent, to rest awhile and then, prepare for New Year’s eve dinner.

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We didn’t dress fancy. We were, after all, high up on the mountain and doing things differently this time! We’re sure it’s not the first thing that people would notice as they enter the restaurant. Definitely, it is the beautifully gleaming city lights!

And here’s our view from the top, a little before and during midnight…

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We saw hundreds, no … millions of fireworks lit up one after the other, and simultaneously, as we greeted family and strangers alike, a happy new year. There was no more race, nor religion (some ladies donned the burka), but we were one people, happy and full of hope for 2014.

And on the 1st of January, we spent the whole day by the pool…

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and start the year, fresh!🙂

We ditched the tent on our second day at the resort, and claimed some much higher spot on the mountain. And this is what greeted me the next day (our 3rd day there)!

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a city slowly waking up…

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and a lovely sunrise! (a sight to behold for aspiring vampires!)

And so, off we go to our next adventure…

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the Rope Course! yay!

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It was a 5-meter high, 16-obstacle rope adventure (made by Speedrunner) that blew us away and literally, made us breathless!

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 When we finished, we raced to the nearby kiosk for an ice-cold soda, but on our way there, we couldn’t resist the Indian clock vines calling us to stop for a while.🙂

 and now, with recharged vigor, we decided to go by the hanging bridge on our way back to our room.

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It was an experience we’ll never forget, one of the first treasures of 2014!

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It’s now part of us,

and as we left the place, we vowed to come back into this hidden paradise.

🙂