|Rose Fostanes comes from a family of singers. Watch a video of her sister Nancy singing a part of the Aegis song "Luha".
MANILA - Becoming a singer has been a lifelong dream for Pinay caregiver Rose Fostanes, her siblings said.
Life was not that kind to them when growing up. As a young girl, Rose had to step into the shoes of being the family's provider after their father left them.
"Wala kaming bahay nung time na yun, wala kaming tatay. Lagi kaming pinalalayas bata pa ako nun," recalled her younger sister, Nancy.
But singing did not take a backseat for Rose. Instead, she used her vocal talent to earn extra for the family by joining, and winning, village singing contests.
"Yan, pag nananalo yan noon yan ang bumibili ng gamit namin sa school," she said. One time, Nancy said Rose won a gift certificate worth P500 which her sister used to buy new things for them.
"Tapos, pag malapit na ang Pasko, sumasali yan sa singing contest at nananalo naman siya talaga, Bumibili siya ng mga damit naming," Nancy said.
Her love for her family has become her reflection. During her audition for X Factor Israel, Rose said she's sacrificing abroad for her family.
But prior to her overseas stint, her sister said Rose also worked several jobs including in a canteen in Quaipo.
"Syempre di naman sapat ang kita niya doon hanggang sa may nag ano sa kanya na mag abroad siya. Nagpunta siya sa Egypt, four years doon," she said.
"Parang di din sapat ang kita niya, wala din siyang naipundar doon. Ginawa niya pumunta siya ng Lebanon," she said.
Rose also helped Nancy to land a job in Lebanon.
"May mga singing competition doon, hindi siya nakakasali dahil di pwede, yung amo hawak ang passport niya," she said.
The work in Israel materialized just months after their mother died in February, 2007.
"Pumunta na siya ng Israel noong September. Binalita niya sa akin sumasali siya sa mga bar, kumakanta siya every Saturday," Nancy said.
She added that her sister sends her earnings as a bar singer while her salary as caregiver is used to pay off debts and other obligations.
All in all, her sister has been working overseas, first in Egypt, then Lebanon and now in Israel—for almost two decades now.
But all is not lost for the 47-year-old as she may soon find her childhood dream coming true after making it to the show's top 4 recently.
"Nung una, di ako makapaniwala. Tumatayo balahibo mo, kapatid ko ito ganun ang pakiramdam," said Nancy after watching her sister's performance on X Factor Israel on YouTube.
Rose, whose first stage performance as a child was to sing the song Pearly Shells according to Nancy, continues prove to Israel and the world that she's got the X Factor.
"Kahit maliit pa kapag nakarinig ng singing contest, mga four siya nun, sasabihin niya sa nanay ko 'kakanta ako, kakanta ako'. Ngayon gagawin ng nanay ko, pae-extrahin niya sa kakilala. Ang una niya atang kinanta yung Pearly Shells. Pasan-pasan pa siya ng nanay ko sa likod kasi sa Sta. Ana pa kami," recalled Nancy.
Her mother's care and support is also being missed by Rose. In a video shown before her live performance last January 5, Rose likened Shiri Maimon, her mentor and one of the show's judges, to her mother.
"She's like a mom to me. It reminded me when I was young, my mother was with me. It's like a flashback to me, you know? A flashback that my mother is beside me," Rose said.
Her sisters also shared Rose's caring nature. They said she not only takes care of them but also served as an Ate to OFWs in need. Nancy said when they were in Lebanon, Rose would prepare and pack pancit which she would distribute to fellow OFWs who missed eating it.
"Di siya makasarili. Kahit sa mga kaibigan napakabait niya," said Nancy. She added that when someone needed money for their family back home, they go to Rose. Rose, in turn, would ask her employer to advance her salary and remit the same to the OFW's family in need in the Philippines.
Her other sister, Gina, is happy and proud of her achievements.
"Sayang nga hindi naabutan ng nanay ko," said.
She likewise is grateful for all the sacrifices her sister continues to make for them.
"Malaki ang naitulong ng kapatid ko lalung-lalo na sa akin. Kasi nangungupahan lang din ako ng bahay dati. Pero binili niya ako ng lote at maliit na bahay para di na ako nangungupahan kaya malaking bagay sa akin yung nagawa ng Ate ko," she said.
She added, "Lagi kong sinasabi sa mga anak ko na pagdating ng araw si Ate tatanda na, tulungan nyo rin kasi di habang panahon malakas ang Ate ko. Kung magkasakit ang Ate ko may pambili siya ng gamot kasi Nanay ko namatay yun wala kaming pambili ng gamot".
They are happy that Rose has somehow managed to still follow her dream while toiling overseas. She deserves it, they said.
"Natupad niya ang pangarap niya kaya nagpapasalamat kami sa panginoon, Kahit di siya manalo talagang proud kami sa ate ko," Gina said. -- Report from Marie Lozano, ABS-CBN News