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Residents in Daanbantayan show resiliency, give thanks in Haladaya Festival

| by: Lee De la Cerna

Nine months have passed since super typhoon Yolanda hit the northern part of Cebu, including the municipality of Daanbantayan. However, the resilience of the town remains strong amidst adversity.

“United with the Almighty God’s unceasing guidance and blessing, the Kandayan-ons have shown their natural resiliency and extraordinary ability to rise from the rubbles of Yolanda as we never wavered in our belief that we can survive, and not just survive, but be better than we were before,”  said Mayor Augusto D. Corro in his fiesta message.

Daanbantayan is still recovering from the destruction left by the strongest storm to make landfall in history and yet it won’t affect the celebration of their annual fiesta.

“Unity and transparency for progress and development through authentic leadership” was the theme for this year’s annual fiesta celebration.

The municipality of Daanbantayan stages the Haladaya Festival every Aug, 30 as one of the major highlights of the town’s fiesta celebration, in honor of their patron saint St. Rose of Lima.

Around 3,000 spectators flocked at the Daanbantayan grand stand to witness the ritual showdown.

Five contingents from different barangays vied for the top prizes and showcased their spectacular performances in vibrant costumes.

The festival opened with fireworks that symbolized the ceremonial opening of the street dancing.

Tribu Kasikas sa Kandaya was judged as Grand Champion, Tribu Calaag-Ta sa Kandaya ranked second while Pundok  sa mga Kabatan-onang  Kandayanon ranked third. Masidlakon Kandayan-on  and Pundok sa Kandayan-ong Bacamaba came in fourth and fifth places, respectively.

Kyle Misa, who represented Pundok sa Kandayan-ong Bacamaba was proclaimed as this year’s Haladaya Festival King. His awe-inspiring performance amazed the crowd.

The people of Daanbantayan will celebrate the “Haladaya,” which means “Halad Kang Datu Daya.” It is an offering and a thanksgiving to Datu Daya for defending the town from harassment and attacks of the Moro pirates. The festival was initiated in 2003 by the local government unit of Daanbantayan.

In the legend, in 1834, Daanbantayan was called “Kandaya,” the old name of the town taken after Datu Daya, the brave leader of the first Malayan settlers.

The name Kandaya was later change to Daanbantayan when the place was being converted into a municipality Daanbantayan (Daang Bantayan ), which refers to the old watchtower or “Bantayan sa Hari.”

Daanbantayan is known to be the supplier of dried fish and for being the largest fishing ground in the country.