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World's shortest man 2011 - Junrey Balawing Smallest man in the world

World's shortest man 2011 - Junrey Balawing Smallest man in the world

ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, Philippines - Guinness World Records may declare on Sunday a Zamboanga del Norte resident as the world's smallest man.

From his looks and his height, it's easy to mistake Junrey Balawig for an infant.

But on June 12, Junrey - the eldest of 4 siblings - is turning 18 years old.

His family held a simple celebration for him before his trip to a health center in Sindangan to meet with officials of Guinness World Records.

Junrey is a contender for the world's smallest man.

"Masaya ako na si Junrey ang pinakamaliit na tao sa buong mundo. Proud kami na makikilala sa buong mundo ang anak namin," said his mother, Concepcion.

Guinness officials weighed and measured Junrey but declined to release the figures just yet.   

Doctors and other local health officials say an endocrine imbalance appears to be the cause of his condition. He also appears to lack normal growth hormones, according to Dr. Lolita Hamry, municipal health director for Sindangan.

Balawing mugged pleasantly for the cameras Saturday as Glenday and other Guinness officials visited the town to take measurements for the record books, clearly relishing being at the centre of attention.

"He can understand what you say to him, but he's not that articulate," Hamry said. "His mind is really that of a 1-year-old."

Delia C. Jamisala, a nurse at the centre, described Balawing's case as baffling. "He's had complete immunizations," she said. Neither his parents nor his three siblings share his condition. "Maybe it's genetics. But (otherwise) Junrey is completely healthy."

He is believed to be 23 inches tall, smaller than the current world's shortest man - Khagendra Thapa Magar of Nepal - who stands 26.4 inches.

If the claims are true, Balawing will not only be the shortest living man, but the shortest living man in history, a statement from the Guinness World Records said on Saturday.