Kugtong Fish Story

By | April 21, 2019

The Philippines is surrounded by the ocean so it’s no wonder we have scary stories about sea monsters.

Kugtong (the biggest coral-dwelling fish) is a local term for an unusually large grouper or Lapu Lapu/pugapo fish found in the waters of Cebu island. One popular version is the Kugtong in General Milling Corporation located in Lapu-Lapu City. This Kugtong is said to be large enough to devour a human being.

The kugtong in a milling company in Lapu-Lapu City. Locals of the island city of Lapu-Lapu know too well the story of a grouper fish living under a milling company. The fish is said to be so big that it can swallow a person whole. Some people would say that it has razor sharp teeth and scales allegedly because it mutated due to the biological waste products of the milling company.

A variation of this story states that the owners consider the fish lucky and that it is fed a live person to continue bringing in business abundance. (Sunstar)

In the craggy depth of the sea lies a monster – the giant Lapu-Lapu or grouper. Fishermen in the area respect the niche of this benthic creature. They tell stories of missing pets and fishermen, of mysterious encounters that turn the sea inside out, a battle between a kugtong and a giant squid or whale. These are stories of fishermen and are often exaggerated.

There is a story about a kugtong that lived under the old pier of San Fernando, La Union. For a long time, the strange fish was feared by the residents and many animals around had mysteriously disappeared. Then the local fishermen decided to catch it with a big hook luring the fish with a live piglet as bait. The fish took it and struggled until it was finally subdued. It was hauled by many men and if the story is accurate it took a six-by-six truck to transport it.

The fifth class Municipality of Libertad in the Province of Antique drew public attention last July 8, 2015, when pictures of a very big fish circulated on social media and the internet.

The fish which was stranded in the shallow waters of the town was identified as a giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus), locally known as Lapu-Lapu in Filipino, or pugaro or kugtong in the Kinaray-a dialect. the stranded fish measured 7 feet and weighed 176 kilograms. Fisherman Jessie Cacam of Barangay Taboc in this Municipality spotted the dying fish in Balo Point and solicited the aid of seven other fishermen in carrying it from the Pandan Bay to shore. (rappler)

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