The Guinness Book of World Records now officially recognizes Junrey Balawing, an 18-year-old Filipino man, as the shortest man in the world.
Balawing lives in Sindangan township of the remote Zamboanga del Norte province on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
His height was officially determined by measuring him both standing (just above 23 inches) and lying down (24 inches).
“Officially he is the world’s shortest man,” said Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of the Guinness Book of World Records who measured Balawing in front of cheering relatives and villagers.
“Thank you to all of you for supporting my son, the world’s shortest man,” said Junrey’s father, Reynaldo.
Reynaldo also said Junrey had been a sickly child and stopped growing when he was two years old. However, local doctors who examined him were not able to diagnose the problem.
Concepcion, Junrey’s mother, said that he has difficulty standing for long periods and needs assistance when walking.
Uncle, Paulino Empag, who is the local village chief, said “he is a very special boy. He has trouble speaking and standing up, but he is God’s blessing to his family and to the community.”
Junrey’s family had to pull him out of regular school because of fear for his safety — children would crowd around him and on one occasion nearly crushed him in their curiosity.
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