The Haladaya Festival of Daanbantayan not only celebrates the feast day of St. Rose de Lima, it also pays homage to Datu Daya. In fact, the name Haladaya means “Halad kang Datu Daya.” Datu Daya is a legendary chieftain who was the leader of the first Malaysian settlers in Cebu. He was the ruler of Kandaya, which was the old name of Daanbantayan. Datu Daya was idolized by the settlers due to his leadership and bravery in protecting the community from marauding pirates who constantly attacked the community.
The people of the town offer a dance and give thanks to Datu Daya for defending the town from attackers. The festival is highlighted by street dancing and a showdown at the grand stand. Contingents from different barangays showcase their talents during the ritual showdown while wearing colorful costumes.