The World’s shortest Man Crowned

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SINDANGAN, Philippines –“Little Big Man”—A small fishing town in the southern Philippines was beseeched by journalists and 100 villagers as Guinness World’s Records declared Junrey Balawing the world’s shortest man Sunday.

The 23.5 inched Balawing, who celebrated his 18th birthday on Sunday, was thrilled to receive the title as world’s shortest man.

Guinness World Records representative Craig Glenday presented Balawing with a framed certificate that nearly reached his nose.

During Sunday’s celebration, Balawing and his parents were given a feast of roasted pig, seafood and cake.

Balawing, who wore a white shirt emblazoned with the Guinness seal, took over the title from Khagendra Thapa Magar of Nepal, who is 26.4 inches (67 centimeters) tall, Glenday said.

“Thank you,” Balawing told the crowd in a local dialect which was translated by his father, Reynaldo. Balawing tried repeatedly before managing to blow out the candles on the cake and clapped heartily each time the crowd applauded. He was later heard saying “Kapoy,” or “I’m tired.”

Balawing’s mother grew teary-eyed during the ceremony, saying she was happy with her son’s instant fame.

Glenday said he was struck by Balawing’s lively personality and constant smile.

“Although he’s short, he takes that in stride,” Glenday told The Associated Press. “He has this cheeky smile.

Nobody could explain why Balawing stopped growing two months after his birth, his father said, adding that he first walked with help from his parents when he was 5 years old.

Sindangan Vice Mayor Bess Jagonio, a doctor, speculated that he may have had an endocrine or a birth-related defect.

Balawing’s brother and two sisters are all average size.

Local officials got the idea of informing the Guinness records committee about Balawing from journalists who learned about his size.

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