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Cagayan de Oro

Walking the crowded, student-laden downtown streets of Cagayan de Oro (the “Oro” refers to the gold discovered by the Spanish in the river here), not only do you move faster than traffic, but you also pick up on the energy of youth. Otherwise, it's a mostly ordinary expanding Filipino city with a strong culinary scene.

Much of Cagayan’s relatively robust economy centers on the Del Monte pineapple-processing plant north of town. Nestlé and Pepsi also make their corporate homes in the Philippines here. Popular with Korean tourists who come for English lessons, the comparatively cool climate and golf, the city is also the base for outdoor adventures such as rafting, hiking, rock climbing and caving.

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