Expat newlyweds die in Maldives honeymoon horror

Both were expat nurses based in Singapore and Saudi Arabia. (Facebook/Leomar Lagradilla)
Updated 15 January 2019
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Expat newlyweds die in Maldives honeymoon horror

  • The couple were snorkeling at a resort in Maldives’ Dhiffushi island when they drowned
  • The Philippine diplomatic mission in Dhaka is arranging the repatriation of the bodies of the two victims

DUBAI: A Saudi-based Filipina nurse and her newlywed husband drowned while snorkeling on their honeymoon in the Maldives on Sunday, officials have confirmed.

Highschool sweethearts Leomar Lagradilla, 30, and his wife Erika Joyce, 29, were snorkeling at a resort in Maldives’ Dhiffushi island when they drowned, UAE daily Gulf News reported.

They were taken to a local hospital, but were pronounced dead on arrival.

"They cannot give the full details why my brother and sister-in-law drowned. As of now, nobody from the hotel has messaged us what really happened," Lagradilla’s sister said in an interview on a local radio program.

Lagradilla and Joyce, who were nurses based in Singapore and Saudi Arabia respectively, married in the Philippines on Dec. 18, before flying to the Maldives on Jan. 9 for their honeymoon.

The Philippine diplomatic mission in Dhaka is arranging the repatriation of the bodies of the two victims, which according to the couple’s friends would cost $23,000.

An online fundraising campaign has been created to raise the money, but Philippine officials have vowed to meet the costs. 


Hugh Jackman reveals Global Teacher Prize finalists ahead of Dubai ceremony

Updated 21 February 2019
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Hugh Jackman reveals Global Teacher Prize finalists ahead of Dubai ceremony

  • The awards ceremony will take place on March 24
  • Out of 10,000 nominations from 39 countries, 10 finalists were chosen

DUBAI: Hollywood A-lister Hugh Jackman has lauded teachers as the “real superheroes” ahead of the  million-dollar Global Teacher Prize ceremony to be held in Dubai next month.

Speaking in a four-minute long video message, the actor revealed the 10 finalists who will be up for the prize on March 24.

Recalling his own experience, Wolverine star Jackman spoke of his “transformative” experience with his acting teacher.

Hugh Jackman and his acting teacher. (Supplied)

And he described the teaching profession as “the most important job in the world.”

“My favorite uncle was a teacher, my sister’s a teacher, my brother’s a teacher… My hope for every single person on the planet is that you have at least one,” he said.

“All of us go through insecurity and doubt, trepidation, along this journey of life, and those teachers that see the best in us and are patient enough to allow us to grow into that, they are like gold,” he added.

Out of 10,000 nominations from 39 countries, 10 finalists were chosen, including teachers from the UK, India, Japan, and Kenya.

The Dubai-based Global Teacher Prize was set up by global education charity Varkey Foundation to recognize one teacher “who made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.”

“I hope their stories will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world every day,” said Sunny Varkey, the founder of the Varkey Foundation.

The winner will be announced at the “Global Education & Skills Forum” on March 24.

On the eve of the forum, chart toppers Little Mix, Liam Payne, and Rita Ora will perform at the Dubai Media City Amphitheater in a tribute concert organized by the foundation.

Here's the video announcement: