Expat newlyweds die in Maldives honeymoon horror

Both were expat nurses based in Singapore and Saudi Arabia. (Facebook/Leomar Lagradilla)
Updated 15 January 2019

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. 


In bad taste? North Korean-themed restaurant in Seoul removes Kim images

Updated 16 September 2019

In bad taste? North Korean-themed restaurant in Seoul removes Kim images

  • North Korea-themed decorations were intended to attract attention and make the restaurant more profitable
  • The restaurant’s exterior still has socialist-style propaganda paintings with parodies of North Korean slogans

SEOUL: You can sell North Korean food in South Korea. But you’re likely to get into trouble if you decorate your restaurant with pictures seen as praising North Korea.
Authorities say the owner of a restaurant under construction in Seoul “voluntarily” removed signs with images of North Korean leaders and the North Korean flag from the restaurant’s exterior on Monday, after they were criticized on social media over the weekend.
Police quoted the owner as saying the North Korea-themed decorations were intended to attract attention and make the restaurant more profitable.
Police said they are looking at the possibility that the owner violated South Korea’s security law, under which praising North Korea can be punished by up to seven years in prison.
Full enforcement of the National Security Law has been rare in recent years as relations with North Korea have improved greatly since the Cold War era. In the past, South Korean dictators often used the security law to imprison and torture dissidents until the country achieved democracy in the late 1980s.
Many restaurants in South Korea sell North Korean-style cold noodles, dumplings and other food. But none is believed to have portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, the late grandfather and father of current leader Kim Jong Un, or a North Korean flag.
Despite the removal of the images, the restaurant’s exterior still has socialist-style propaganda paintings with parodies of North Korean slogans such as “More booze to comrades” or “Let’s bring about a great revolution in the development of side dishes.”
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the owner would remove those decorations as well. The owner hasn’t expressed any intention of changing the restaurant’s concept, according to a Seoul police officer who requested anonymity, citing department rules.
The restaurant is being built in Seoul’s Hongdae neighborhood, a bustling area known for fancy bars and nightclubs.
Both police and local officials refused to reveal details about the owner, citing privacy concerns.
During a visit to the site on Monday, some residents expressed opposition to the restaurant, while others said they were curious about what it would be like once it opens.
“I think it is too early to do this kind of thing (displaying portraits or the North Korean flag). But once this place opens for business I would come here purely out of curiosity,” said Park So-hyun, a company employee.
Another citizen, Oh Sang-yeop, said, “I see they have taken down the portraits and flag, so I think it will be OK.”