Philippine Paradise!; Shutterstock ID 719706694; your: Erin Lenczycki; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: Destination update

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This sprawling city – the culinary, cultural, economic and commercial capital of the south – is, for better or worse, becoming more like Manila. More traffic, more malls, more multinationals, more subdivisions hidden behind security gates. However, Mt Apo looms majestically in the distance, symbolizing the typical Davaoeño's dual citizenship as both an urbanite and someone deeply rooted to the land outside the city. Locals know that Davao (dah-bow, and sometimes spelled “Dabaw”) has more than enough action to keep them satisfied, and yet it’s only a short drive or boat ride from forested slopes and white-sand beaches.


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