Kinsan Festival

Kinsan Festival is a cultural, food, and fish festival in Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines every second Sunday of June. The fest gives the spotlight to the kinsan fish or dotted grouper, the culinary culture arising from the harvest and consumption of the fish, and the livelihood it brings to the town’s fisher folks.

Kinsan Festival is one of the cultural fests that is part of the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo every August.


Kinsan Festival comes from kinsan, a Cebuano word that refers to a fish that lives in seawater of the town.

The word is also thought to be the origin of the name of the town. According to an oral tradition, a Spaniard asked a native about the name of the settlement. The native, thinking that the foreign colonizer was asking about the fish in his hands, replied that it was ulo sa kinsan (head of kinsan fish).

Kinsan fish

The kinsan fish or dotted grouper has a scientific name Epinephelus epistictus. It is a demersal fish as it can be found living near the bottom of continental shelf and can swim to the depths of about 800 meters. The species is found in Indo-West Pacific including West Philippine Sea to as far as South Africa and northern part of Australia.

It is typically about a foot in length and weighs a few kilos. It can be easily identified by its “pale brown body”, the presence of dark spots on the sides and back of its body, and dorsal fin spines.

Locally, it thrives in the sea of Aloguinsan and interestingly it is said to be rarely spotted anywhere else in the country.

During Kinsan Festival, activities involving kinsan fish are made through culinary events where different savory dishes of the fish are prepared. It is also expressed creatively in the street dance and cultural presentations that show the importance of the said fish and the livelihood it provides to fisher folks.

History of Kinsan Festival

Kinsan Festival was launched on June 17, 2006. Its timing is set in June for the season of kinsan fish. It became the first secular, cultural festival ever mounted in the southwestern portion of Cebu province. In most parts of Cebu festivals are held in conjunction with the religious fiesta of saints. In contrast, in Aloguinsan, the feast of the town’s patron St. Raphael the Archangel is every October 24.

Kinsan Festival was organized during the incumbency of Cynthia Moreno as town mayor, with Val Sandiego providing insight into its conceptualization. It was conducted by the municipal government as a response to the encouragement by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to come up with a cultural festival as a vehicle to promote tourism.

Through the years, the fest has also become an avenue to showcase the talent of the people through street dancing and various festival activities. It also puts a highlight on the importance of conserving and protecting environment and natural resources.

The fest is also an opportunity for various communities and institutions to come together to “emphasize the town’s collective sense of identity.” In 2010, the town’s vendors association was part of the community fair where agricultural produce, fruits, and food items were sold. Additionally, the Aloguinsan Young Visual Artists took part of an art exhibit showcasing outputs created by children.

Kinsan Festival Activities

Activities of Kinsan Festival includes Sangka sa Kaha (Battle of the Wok, a culinary competition), Search for Kinsan Festival Queen (beauty pageant), street dancing, ritual showdown, and entertainment.

How to reach Aloguinsan, Cebu

From Mactan International Airport, take a ride to South Bus Terminal and get on a bus to Aloguinsan.


Kinsan Festival Summary

NameKinsan Festival
CelebrationCulture, Fish, Food
DateSecond Sunday of June
EstablishedJune 17, 2006
FounderCynthia Moreno
LocationAloguinsan, Cebu
OrganizerMunicipal Government of Aloguinsan