SINDANGAN, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines – The world’s shortest man may, after all, not be found in Colombia, as indicated in the Guinness Book of World Records, but in the coastal town of Sindangan in this province.
Seventeen-year-old Junrey Balawig, who was recently featured in Korina Sanchez ABS-CBN’s “Rated K” program, stands only 23 inches or an inch less than two feet, just the typical size of a one-year-old toddler.
Junrey’s mother, Concepcion, 45, said her son, the eldest among four siblings, looked physically normal when he was born in October 1993.
She, however, noticed that when her son turned one, he stopped growing, prompting her to take him to an orthopedic clinic in Dipolog City.
A doctor prescribed vitamins purportedly to help the boy’s bones grow, but to no avail.“His medicine had no effect,” she said in the dialect.
Mrs. Concepcion said her son’s speech is also stunted, as he manages to say only a limited number of words, mostly unintelligible.
The Guinness Book of Records identified the world’s shortest man as 24-year-old Nino Hernandez of Colombia who stands at 27 inches – four inches taller than the Sindangan teenager.