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Manila marks Valentine's Day with kissing marathon
Updated: 2004-02-14 16:17

The Philippines sealed a world record with a kiss on Saturday after 5,122 couples lined up in the capital to smooch for at least 10 seconds to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Filipino couples kiss during a mass kissing session on Valentine's Day that could snatch the coveted World record from Chile, along the city's bay in Manila February 14, 2004. At least 5,122 couples smooch simultaneously for 10 seconds along the city's bay, thus beating the record set by 4,445 couples just last month in Santiago. [Reuters]

Thousands of onlookers cheered as the couples, with some women covering their faces, occupied a two-kilometre (1.2-mile) stretch of a boulevard beside Manila Bay and kissed for at least 10 seconds at the stroke of midnight on Friday.

"Some wouldn't let go," Manila city spokesman Armand Sebastian said.

The kissing marathon, in which only married or engaged couples were allowed to take part, beat the previous world record of 4,445 smooching couples set last month in Santiago in Chile, Sebastian said.

"Let's take a break from the troubles we have been having, from our work, from political bickerings," Mayor Lito Atienza said. "After all, it's Valentine's Day."

The largely Roman Catholic country of 82 million is battling a huge national budget deficit, a faltering peso, crime and corruption. It is preparing for presidential elections in May.

The event was organised by the city government and a toothpaste maker.

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