Caregiver no more: Rose Fostanes to focus on singing

After winning 'X-Factor: Israel,' Rose Fostanes had a choice to make: keep caring for her employer, or live her dream

AMBASSADORS. Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Menashe Bar-On calls ‘X-Factor: Israel’ winner Rose Fostanes an ambassador both for the Philippines and Israel, promoting both countries as a Filipina and Israel's winner. Photo by Carol Ramoran/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Filipina X-Factor: Israel winner Rose Fostanes will not be coming back to work as a caregiver for the elderly woman she was reportedly caring for.

This, after Rose’s boss decided to let her go so that Rose could fulfill her dreams after winning the reality TV show.

During her courtesy call to the Israeli Embassy in the Philippines, Rose told Rappler how worried she was towards the finals of X-Factor. (READ: Pinay ‘X-Factor Israel’ Rose Fostanes winner returns to PH)

Her caregiver visa was about to expire, and she needed to have it renewed if she were to push through with her original plan to go back to her employer after the competition. But towards the end of the show, she was puzzled to find out that her caregiver visa wasn’t being processed, despite having complete requirements.

Dumating yung finals, ninerbyos ako. Anong gagawin ko pagkatapos nito? Hindi ko alam magiging resulta,” Rose recalled. “Hindi na ako makakabalik sa employer ko kasi expired na visa ko.

(When finals came, I was so worried. What am I going to do after the competition? I don’t know what the results will be. I won’t be able to go back to my employer because my visa is expired.)

Worried over her employer’s well-being, Rose even tried to go back to work during the competition.

Tapos nag-try pa rin ako pumasok sa kanya kahit na alam ko na mag-eexpire na visa ko, then sabi nya sa akin ‘Bakit? Anong ginagawa mo?’ Sabi ko, ‘Papasok ako sa ‘yo’. So siya na rin nagsabi sa akin na ‘No, you need to rest.'”

(I tried going back to work even though my visa was about to expire. She told me ‘Why? What are you doing?’, I told her, “I’m going to work and take care of you.’ And she was the one who told me in the end ‘No, you need to rest.'”

After winning the competition, Rose was faced with a visa dilemma that left her torn: to stay as a caregiver and get limited rights as a singer, singing only for 10 hours in a week – or to sing full-time with an entertainer visa, giving up her caregiver job. (READ: ‘X-Factor Israel’ winner Rose Fostanes’ visa type can be changed, says ambassador)

Rose sat with her employer, the person in Israel who first supported her singing and pushed her to chase her dreams, and told her about the situation. In the end, it was her employer who told her that she wanted Rose to choose the entertainment visa to fully fulfill her dreams.

Rose admits she misses and still worries about her employer, saying that she already treats the elderly woman like family. For now, her former employer is being cared for by another Israeli national, but Rose is looking for another Filipina to replace her. 

Gusto nya yung trabaho nating mga Filipino. Pero natatakot na s’ya kasi baka mamaya mapamahal na naman s’ya. Tapos sabi pa niya baka maging second X-Factor [winner] pa. Kaya siguro pipiliiin na niya yung walang talent,” Rose joked.

(She likes the way Filipino caregivers work. But she’s scared to get too close to another Filipino caregiver who might end up winning in X-Factor‘s next season. Maybe she will pick a new caregiver with no talent)

Dream come true

Along with the fulfillment of Rose’s dream to become a singer, comes the huge responsibility of singing at several events in a day. She says that sometimes, she misses her job as a caregiver, as it was actually less tiring.

These days, Rose cannot go out in Tel Aviv without being approached by fans of the show. She remains down to earth and would always grant their requests for photos, and even stay a little longer to chat with them. However, she admits that she does miss the privacy. (READ: Rose Fostanes’ ‘X Factor’ journey)

Rose shares that when her girlfriend Mel and her sister Nancy visited her in Tel Aviv to watch the show’s finals, Mel was actually starting to feel sad as Rose was constantly away to fulfill her duties as the X-Factor winner – granting interviews and doing several performances in a day.

These days, her schedule is packed. Rose will only stay in the country until Tuesday. She will have to get back to Israel right away and continue recording her upcoming album.

She is also set to perform in 3 separate concerts in Israel and 4 more in Australia in the coming months.

Despite Rose’s instant fame, she remains grounded and says that she will continue to support her family in Manila.

Kaya ko ginagawa to para sa kanila,” (I’m doing this for them) Rose says. She admits however, that she will probably have less communication with her family due to her schedule that will only keep on getting busier. 

Equal opportunity

Rose, standing 4 feet 11 inches, impressed the Israeli judges and audience of X-Factor Israel during her stint in the show with her deep, powerful voice. She admits that she never expected to win the competition due to her citizenship, and that she thought that one of her Israeli competitors would win.

Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Menashe Bar-On says that Rose’s win makes him proud of how his country gives equal opportunity to everybody – Israelis or foreigners, Jews, Muslims, and Christians. 

He admits that he is one of the people who were captivated by Rose’s singing and inspired by her story.

“It is touching to see a person who went to another country to work as a caregiver then coming back here as an idol,” he said.

Rose’s initial contract with her record label will last for 3 years. She hopes other Filipinos abroad will not stop themselves from chasing their dreams while doing their job well. 

Kung ano mang talent meron ka, i-try mo lang, huwag susuko. May oras para sa’yo, kahit ano mang hitsura mo. Huwag tayo matakot kung alam nating kaya natin makipagsabayan kahit anong lahi.”

(Whatever talent you have, just keep on trying, don’t give up. There’s a time for you, no matter how you look like. Don’t be afraid keep up with anyone, wherever they’re from.) –

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