It all began in 1951 with the question, "What is Europe's fastest game bird?"
Sir Hugh Beaver and his friends were arguing over the right answer at a shooting party in Ireland, even combing through their host's library for an answer. Although none could be found, Sir Hugh, who was the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, realized questions like that were being asked all the time throughout the world.
So, he, along with twins Norris and Ross McWhirter, set out to compile what the Guinness World Records calls a"definitive collection of superlative facts to reality."
The Guinness Book of Records was first published on August 27, 1955, and it became a UK bestseller that same year.
Today, people all over the world scramble to get their names in the book, and Filipinos are no exception. The world's largest fruitcake (9,622.23 kilograms at the La Trinidad Strawberry Festival in Benguet); the largest human cross (formed by 13,266 people at the University of Santo Tomas); and the most boxing world titles won in different weight divisions (eight, by Manny Pacquiao) were all accomplished by Pinoys.
Local animals have also entered the record book. As of 2006, Monfort Cave in Samal Island had the largest colony of Geoffrey's Rousette fruit bats estimated at 1.8 million. Lolong, the giant crocodile, meanwhile, might soon be on the list as the world's largest crocodile in captivity.
Here are seven of the oddest records Filipinos have held through the years.
Most Women Breastfeeding Simultaneously
"Breastfeeding is still best for babies for up to two years," the commercials say, and 15,128 Filipinas set out to make the point on May 2, 2007. They garnered the record for the most women breastfeeding simultaneously at multiple venues (295 sites all over the country.)
Banding up for the event were Children for Breastfeeding Inc., Nurturers of the Earth Inc., the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Largest Pipe Drum Ensemble
When the people at Maynilad aren't busy laying pipes, treating wastewater, and cleaning septic tanks, they're making world records.
On January 1 last year at the SMX Convention Center, 1,874 employees with water pipes and plastic paddles in hand played Queen's "We Will Rock You" in a team-building activity that lasted for 5 minutes and 19 seconds.
More about it here. They earned their stripes as the largest pipe drum ensemble in Guinness history.
Check out this video
This year, around 2,000 Maynilad employees braved the rain to form what they hope would the world's biggest human water drop. In celebration of World Water Day on March 22, they trooped to the Quirino Grandstand to show how important water is.
Maynilad recorded the event to be submitted for Guinness' inspection.
Most Wine Glasses Held in One Hand
Reymond Adina has ordinary hands with extraordinary powers. On October 24, 2007, at the Quatre-Gats restaurant in Barcelona, Spain, he made the record for most wine glasses held – 39 – in one hand.
In a Facebook exchange with an Italian who wants to attempt the same feat, Adina, who hails from Taytay, Rizal, simply commented, "Good luck. You can do it really."
A participant in the world's largest shot slam has his game face on. Photo from the Guinness World Records website.
Largest Shot Slam
Tagay na! On December 27, 2010 in Naga City, 2,435 people lined up for a shot of Ginebra San Miguel, breaking the record for the largest shot slam in the world. Naga Mayor John Bongat downed the first shot, followed by Ginebra San Miguel Inc. Board Member Gerardo C. Payumo.
Mexico was the previous record-holder, with 1,412 people drinking a shot of tequila in September 2010.
Most Coffee Beans Moved with Chopsticks in One Minute
On June 5, 2011, Cynthia Novicio did more than enjoy the swimming pool at the at the Butlins Bognor Regis resort in West Sussex, UK. The woman from Lipa City showed off her superior chopsticks skills by moving 38 coffee beans in one minute.
Most Blood Identification Tests in 24 Hours
A local entrepreneur and international evangelist, Grace Galindez-Gupana of the HalleluYAH Prophetic Global Foundation still has the time to make a few Guinness World Records.
On March 15, 2008, she initiated the most number of blood identification tests taken in 24 hours: 260. Gupana also had the largest tablet of the Ten Commandments built at Dominican Hill, Baguio City, and unveiled it on August 12 last year.
She also assembled the world's largest banner by sewing together the flags of the Philippines, Israel, North Korea, and South Korea, along with those of 180 Member States of the United Nations. Calling it the "777 Yahweh’s Banner," Gupana wanted to focus on the four Christianized nations through the 54,451 square meter object.
In 2006, she attempted to break American Thomas Demski's record for the largest flag by having an 18,818-square meter Philippine flag built. Strong winds tore at the 3,700-kilo flag while it was being unfurled.
She finally attained the record in November 2007, but for the flag of Israel, "God's country." The 18,847-square meter flag has since been superseded by a 65,975-square meter flag erected by Ashraf Makarem in Lebanon on October 10, 2010.
Setting the record for the world's most Mentos and soda fountains was a wet affair. Photo from from the Guinness World Records website.
Most Mentos and Soda Fountains
Because fireworks are so ho-hum, Mentos manufacturer Perfetti Van Melle made a different kind of explosion at the SM Mall of Asia Complex on October 17, 2010.
In a splashy spectacle, raincoat-clad participants combined Mentos and Coca-Cola Zero to set the record for the most Mentos and soda fountains in the world: 2,865.
300 tables lined the venue, each of which had 10 Coke Zero bottles and 10 Mentos on it.
More about it here, and check out this video: