Manila pre-Valentine kissing festival: 2,000 couples to lock lips

At least 2,000 couples were expected to gather along a popular seaside walkway in Manila on Saturday to lock lips at the stroke of midnight in a kissing festival that kicks off Valentine's Day celebrations in the Philippines, organizers said.

The event, dubbed "CloseUp Lovapalooza '06," is being held for the third year in a row. It began in 2004, when 5,327 couples kissed for at least 10 seconds in Manila, landing the festival in the Guinness World Records for the most number of couples kissing.

The previous record was held by Chile, with 4,445 kissing couples. "We're not breaking any record this year because we still hold the record," said Ginggay de la Merced, a spokewoman for the event organized.

She said at least 800,000 people are expected to attend the festival in Manila and similar gatherings in three other Philippine cities. A concert by several local live bands will start off the all-night party on Manila's brightly lit Bay Walk along Roxas Boulevard, followed by a countdown until the stroke of midnight, when the smooching frenzy at a cordoned off "kissing pit" begins, she added, reports the AP.


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