At 8:30 on the morning of Friday, May 16, hundreds of tourists, residents, media, and local government officials convened at Station 2 in White Beach to witness a most important event on Boracay Island: the bid for the Guinness World Records Longest Massage Chain.
As early as 5:30 am, around 2,000 participants, composed of massage therapists and non-experts taught of the massage drill, gathered along the shore at Station 2 to form five lines of people sitting one behind another, assuming a back-massage position. Local island authorities, Department of Health (DOH) representatives, and media outfits also did their roles, either officiating or recording the activity.
A New World Record
Malay Mayor John P. Yap said that the bid for the longest massage chain was successful. Surpassing Thailand’s 1,223 participants by 377, Boracay got the record with 1,600 massage experts performing the massage drill for seven minutes simultaneously. According to Felix Delos Santos, Malay tourism officer, only 1,600 people out of the total turnout were allowed to participate due to lack of space at the front beach.
The successful bid, Yap added, would need a couple of months before declared official because no Guinness adjudicator came to witness the actual event. However, the local government has gathered all evidence required by Guinness to support the claim: a letter covering the details of the attempt, high-quality footages, and photographs, logbooks, expert measurements, surveyor reports, and signed copies of the Agreement.
“We already break the record of Thailand in terms of the number of participants, but we still have to submit the required documents and materials for final validation and confirmation,” said Yap.
Supporting the Professionalism of Boracay’s Massage Industry
Aside from breaking the Guinness longest massage chain record, the activity also supports DOH’s campaign for professionalizing its massage industry. Dr. Kenneth Ronquillo, the department’s chairman of the Committee of Examiners for Massage Therapist, said that only licensed massage therapists will be allowed to practice the profession beginning 2015.
“We want to see to it that we provide customer safety and quality and because it is no doubt that the massage industry is booming,” said Ronquillo. To date, Boracay has approximately 600 of these experts employed by around 70 registered spas and massage clinics. Nationwide, the department has 7,481 licensed massage therapists on its record.
Organized by the Aklan administration, the Friday activity was made possible with Petron, San Miguel Corporation, Aldritz Corporation, and Remnant Institute.