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2019 Yearender: Overseas -- Of tragedies and miracles: Trending stories here and abroad in 2019

Aleta Nieva-Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 26 2019 10:55 AM | Updated as of Dec 26 2019 12:23 PM

Tragedies, mostly involving Filipinos, were the most read overseas stories this year. 

From murder, accidents, to gaining freedom and easing visa requirements, here’s a look back at stories that captured the attention of Filipino readers globally.

NEWLY-WED DROWNS IN HONEYMOON IN MALDIVES

NQ Modern Photography

It was a tragic end to what was supposed to be a new beginning for high school sweethearts Leomer and Erika Joyce Lagradilla, the newlyweds who drowned in Maldives, the island paradise of their dreams.

The couple was snorkeling when the incident happened, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. 

A fundraising campaign was made to cover the cost of the couple's repatriation.

A COUPLE GOING THROUGH DIVORCE END UP DEAD

Alyssa Rogers GoFundMe page

In Arlington, Texas, police found the body of Filipina Alyssa Marie Mejia Rogers inside a freezer in their home. Her husband, Edward Rogers shot himself to death after a friend reported the incident to the police.

The Pinay complained of domestic abuse, a claim that her husband denied. She left their young son in the Philippines before returning to the US.

ANOTHER PINAY KILLED BY HUSBAND IN TEXAS

Jacqueline Rose Nicholas GoFundMe page

Still in Texas, a Filipino mother of 2 was shot dead inside a hotel in Dallas by her husband. Jacqueline Rose Nicholas had been married for 8 years to husband Peter Noble. The mother of the 32-year old Pinay said she could have been saved if authorities responded on time.

MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF COUPLE IN FIJI

Michelle Calanog Paul GoFundMe page

A young and healthy couple never made it back to Texas after vacationing in Fiji.

The couple were on their dream vacation when they fell ill and died mysteriously after arriving in Fiji. Michelle Calanog Paul died in Fiji and her husband, David, an air force veteran passed away shortly after. The couple has a 2-year old son who is with Michelle's parents.

A MIRACLE AFTER 27 YEARS

Fred Tanneau, AFP

An Emirati woman miraculously regained consciousness after a serious brain injury that left her in coma for 27 years.

The woman was only 32 when a road traffic accident left her injured after picking up her son from school in the city Al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates.

Her son who survived the accident said in reports that he never lost hope and had always believed his mother would get better.

ZIPLINE ACCIDENT

Flight of the Gibbon Facebook Page

A 25-year old Canadian tourist died in a zipline accident in Chiang mai, Bangkok. The tourist was participating in the Flight of the Gibbons activity when the lock on his body harness and the main line broke. He plunged from about 12 meters or 39 feet to his death.

RAPIST PRIEST

Philadelphia Police Department

A well-loved Filipino Catholic priest in Philadelphia was charged with raping a minor and recording the sexual act 5 years ago.

Fr. Armand Garcia had a relationship with then 16-year old altar girl. He allegedly offered her alcohol and marijuana during their encounters over a period of a year at the parish rectory.

The girl came forward after Garcia was transferred to a new parish in 2017.

LION KILLS OWNER

Youtube screengrab

A 33-year old man was mauled to death by one of the lions he bought and kept in a cage at his garden in Czech Republic.

Authorities shot dead the lion that attacked the man. They also shot a lioness to get to the man, who bought the lions in Slovakia in 2016.

MODERN-DAY SLAVE FREED AT LAST

Balitang America

A Filipina domestic worker held captive as a family slave in the United States for 65 years was set free at last.

"Nanay Fidelina" was already 82 when she gained her freedom. She was never paid for her services that spanned 4 generations.

She was rescued after falling ill due to fatigue and malnourishment while taking care of her trafficker who was hospitalized.

EASE IN SOUTH KOREA VISA REQUIREMENTS

Robinson Niñal Jr, Presidential Photo

South Korea is simplifying the process of visa applications to encourage more Filipinos to visit the country.

Travel agencies can now process visa applications to cut lines at the Korean embassy. The South Korean government is also gradually expanding the scope of eligibility for multiple-entry visas.