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12:18 AM January 18th, 2014

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By: Joseph R. Atilano, January 18th, 2014 12:18 AM

In this Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 photo, Rose Fostanes sings during a rehearsal of the X-Factor Israel in Tel Aviv. The 47-year-old Filipino caregiver has emerged as the newest star of Israeli reality television, putting a human face on the thousands of foreign workers who toil away in menial, back-breaking jobs in this country. AP FILE PHOTO/ARIEL SCHALIT

Against all odds, the 47-year old Filipina Rose Fostanes became the grand winner of the first ever season of “The X-Factor Israel,”

Ever since the day Rose won, it has brought back smiles to almost every person in the country. How timely is her victory because we have been battered and bruised by one calamity after another, both natural and even more sadly, man-made, as in the scandalous political shenanigans exposed by media that have sent us all reeling in abject horror and utter disbelief.

For a change, Filipinos are given a reason to rejoice and take serious notice of our sacrificing fellowmen who are forced by their circumstances to work overseas, such as in the case of “Osang.”

Indeed, OFW’s like her are the country’s “mga bagong bayani!

Here is someone who has spent years abroad and, specifically seven years working as caregiver in Israel.

Here is someone who had practically given up all hopes of ever being discovered for her singing talent after having experienced repeated rejections based on her lack of physical attributes.

Here is someone who was just going to give “one last shot” at fame by joining the talent reality show “The X-Factor Israel”, and only upon the encouragement of a friend and incredibly, with the full support of her foreign employer.

Who could have known that her aspirations, even in her very young years, to be a professional singer and to finally receive recognition for her talent would come to fruition in a country thousands of miles away from her own homeland?!

By now, we all know her story and we certainly celebrate with her.

But somehow, Rose Fostanes reminds me so much of Susan Boyle from “Britain’s Got Talent.” Both of them have become our present day symbols of an antithesis of discovered talents! Particularly in a field where good looks hold a high premium, their respective victories are a reminder to never “judge a book by its cover” and to never underestimate anyone because we can never know who that person might become years from now.

Rose Fostanes is gifted not only with a powerful voice. It is a voice that can seemingly soar infinitely to the heavens. It is a voice that enthralls. It is a voice that completely mesmerizes the listener!

It is no wonder she won.

Maraming salamat sa iyo, “Osang.”

You do our country proud!

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