Rose Osang Fostanes, a 47-year-old Filipina caregiver, has captivated Israel and many others with her performances on the reality show, X Factor. But while her vocals are certainly something to note, it’s her background that will leave you speechless.
Working as a caregiver abroad since she was 23, Fostanes arrived in Israel six years ago. Like many other people around the world, Fostanes works each day so that she can not only provide for herself, but also for her family and loved ones back home.
According to South China Morning Post, Fostanes spends her days taking care of and cleaning after an ailing woman in her 50’s. At the end of the day, she goes home to her apartment that she shares with seven other people to save money, so that she can send more home.
Until recently, Fostanes was just another one of the thousands of Filipinos who work in similar positions in Israel. In fact, the sight of Filipino workers wheeling around elderly Israelis in public is so common that the word “Filipini” has become nearly synonymous with “caregiver.”
But her whole life took a turn for the best when a friend convinced her to try out for The X Factor Israel competition.
Fostanes said she dreamed of singing since she was a child, but suffered discrimination because of her appearance. She said she still can't believe how far she has come. "Sometimes I am asking myself, 'Is it true that it happened to me?'" she said.
Fostanes had her dream come true when she auditioned. Standing at at under 5 feet, she blew the judges and audience away with her powerful vocals and incredible story.
Currently, she is among the final five contestants still left in the competition, and is widely seen by many as the favorite to win.
But more significantly, her accomplishments serve as an inspiration to thousands of people who are in similar situations to the one she was in. In fact, Fostanes said Filipinos around the world have heard about her and often send her text messages of support.
“Sometimes I am telling myself, ‘Is it true that it happened to me?’ At least I can express and show the people that I have also talents, and it’s not too late for me to shine.”