He stopped growing at the age of 1. Balawing, the son of a poor blacksmith, was born and lives in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte, about 865 kilometres (537 mi) south of the capital Manila. Although he was documented as the shortest living man, he missed the title of shortest man in history, which was held by Gul Mohammed of India, who was 57 centimetres (22 in) tall and died on October 1, 1997.
In February 2012, Chandra Bahadur Dangi of Nepal, who stands 54.6 centimetres (21.5 in) tall was declared the world's shortest living man. As a result, Junrey held the record for less than a year.