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Filipina Caregiver wins Israeli X-Factor

On January 15, 2014

Filipina caregiver Rose 'Osang' Fostanes won the first season of singing contest The X Factor in Israel last night.

Fostanes came to Israel four years ago to work as a carer for an ailing Israeli women, and has worked across the Middle East in similar roles for the past 20 years (sources: Manila Bulletin, Jerusalem Post)

The 47 year old from Taguig, a city in Metro Manila, wowed judges with her powerful voice, singing hits such as 'I who have nothing' and Frank Sinatra's 'I did it my way'

In this clip, Rose talks about her life as a caregiver, living in a cramped apartment with fellow Filipinas - and then gives a flawless performance of Shirley Bassey's 'This is my life'

There are an estimated 700,000 migrant workers in Israel (2011, Migration News), many of them Filipina domestic workers and caregivers.

Low income migrant workers in Israel remain largely out of the public eye, despite their large numbers. Rose's X-Factor victory was a rare opportunity for a migrant woman to have her voice heard in the media (in this case, literally!), and she has now become a household name in Israel.

Rose plans to continue working as a caregiver, but hopes that her victory will put the spotlight on Israel's large population of Filipinas.

“I think I will be a leader for them because of what I did and I think also they will be proud of me. Everybody in the world will know that Filipinos, even working as a cleaner… can also share their talents" she said.