Albayanos in high spirit though Albay’s giant no-smoking sign fails to make it to Guinness

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LEGAZPI CITY, 12Oct2013 (PNA) – Though the province of Albay failed in its attempt to land in the Guinness World Records, those who took part in executing the World’s Largest Human No-Smoking sign last June 28 are still filled with stories of achievement and fulfillment.

First, no-smoking advocates hailed the formal signing in public on that day by Gov. Joey Salceda of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the province-wide ordinance.

Rose Olarte-Orbita of ADD+VANTAGE Community Team Services, Smoke-Free Albay Network (SFAN) secretary, said “we can now fully and effectively enforce the no-smoking ordinances of the province and some local government units like Legazpi City.”

Second, although the attempt failed to put the event in the Guinness book, the World Records Academy has informed the SFAN, the group tasked to assist in the implementation of the Albay Smoke-Free Ordinance, that the event was already accepted as a world record.

Albayanos from all walks of life showed their spirit of unity and cooperation as they attempted on June 28 to make a world record of forming the largest human anti-smoking sign in a 5,033-square-meter area at the Bicol University football field here.

Led by Albay Gov. Joey S. Salceda, at least 13,892 Albayanos, out of almost 17,000 who registered, participated in this try for the Guinness World Record to show to the world their determination to fight the evils of smoking and a make a world record for their province.

Albay failed to make it to the record because, according to Guinness officials, there were certain gaps in the giant no-smoking sign that were captured by a video recording.

“Never mind, there is always a second time. What is important is the unity shown by those who participated. Albayanos aspired and moved as one,” Salceda said in a remark of comfort.

Recently, the SFAN held a meeting to formally recognize the contribution of the independent witnesses to the giant no-smoking sign formation.

SFAN Chairman Herbert Borja, Dr. Raul Zantua of the Department of Health-Provincial Health Team Office, Col. Joannis Dimaano of the Philippine Air Force-Tactical Operation Group 5 and chairman of the documentation committee, Aida Naz of the Philippine Information Agency-Bicol, Civil Service Commission-Bicol representative Emilyn Severo and Olarte-Orbita presented the awards to lawyer Marylou Duka-Castillo of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Amelia R. Sayson of A.R. Sayson and Associates, and engineer Virgilio Perdigon, representing Christian E. Rivero of the Aquinas University.

These three persons who acted as independent witnesses expressed their pride to be part of the memorable event and congratulated SFAN for the achievement.

Castillo beamed with pride when, she said, her relatives from other parts of the world called her up, saying the event was published in world news.

Sayson said it was one of a kind in the history of the province.

Other members of the working committee gave an impression, saying “it was worth it!”

Professor Rowena Zoilo, NSTP-Bicol University director, presented the text message from the Bicol University President, Dr. Faye Lauraya, congratulating the organizers and wishing that the friendship created by that unifying event will last a lifetime.

Dimaano shared how he handled such an inherited event from Lt. Col. Pedro Francisco who left an unfinished challenge for his team to execute by being the chair of the documentation team.

Naz said the media did their best to publicize the event.

Harvey Mayores, AMA Computer College school director, said the event contributed so much for their school to be recognized as among the top 25 campuses nationwide. SFAN is coordinating with the World Records Academy to formally confer its certificate to the provincial government of Albay for this world-breaking record. (PNA)

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