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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 February 2005, 11:43 GMT
Filipino couples in 'kissathon'
"Kissathon" in Manila
The couples gathered on a harbour front in Manila
Thousands of Filipino couples have locked in embrace for the country's second "kissathon" ahead of Valentine's Day on Monday.

The couples kissed simultaneously at midnight in at least four cities.

However, the numbers seemed down on last year's event, when 5,300 couples kissed their way into the record books.

Not all locals were in love with the event, called "Lovapalooza 2" - local media reported traffic gridlock in central Manila.

Beaten up

The capital held the biggest event, with couples gathering along a popular harbour front to kiss for 10 seconds and watch the fireworks.

One of the organisers - a toothpaste maker - said this year's aim was for "a million kisses, a million heartbeats, and probably a million people falling in love for the second time around".

But Mia Fuentes, spokesperson for Unilever Philippines, admitted: "We're not beating any record this time. We're building a tradition only."

The Philippines' Sun Star reported huge traffic snarl-ups on the capital's already notoriously gridlocked roads.

It also reported that two city officials who were putting up Lovapalooza posters were beaten up by drunken students.

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