There is no concrete record to support the story on how Danao got its name. Although in the 1960s there were circularized copies of a story concerning the early founding of Danao, but the contents and substance were but clear reproduction of an old legendary version which related of a Spanish Captain by the name of Manuel Aniceto del Rosario who, as the story went, was commissioned by the early Spanish authorities in the province of Cebu to establish municipalities starting from what is now Danao City towards the northern part of Cebu as far as what is now presently the municipality of Borbon.
This developed when in compliance with his commission, Capt. Del Rosario went to said places to perform his duties. Riding on a horse on his way to the north after a place called Cotcot, he came upon a few natives who were resting and taking time bathing their carabaos in one of the many lakes in the area.
Dismounting from his horse, the Captain took his rest and in a short while struck conversation with the surprised natives. Pointing vertically his forefinger to the ground where they stood, the captain inquired just what was the name of the place, with the impression that the stranger might have asked the name of the small lakes where their carabaos were resting, one of the native instantly replied: DANAWAN (a Cebuano dialect for small lake) which, according to the story, on account of the Captain’s defective sense of hearing, only heard and recorded the first syllable DA-NAO. Thus begun the early naming of the place DANAO.