MANILA (UPDATED) – From competing in singing contests to a whole new world of being a recording artist in Israel, Rose Fostanes is slowly making sense of what happened on Tuesday evening (Wednesday morning in Manila).
"Mahirap pala yung ganito. Magiging busy ka na! Ngayon, maagang-maaga pa imbes matutulog pa ako di ako makatulog maaga pa lang yung media nasa bahay na," she said with a laugh during a phone interview with DZMM.
On Tuesday evening in Israel, Fostanes' hope of a better life happened when she was announced the winner of the prestigious singing series, X Factor Israel.
But Fostanes humbly declined to say how much she earned from winning the title. But she announced that it comes with a recording contract.
"Sa ngayon, di ko pa masasabi pero kasama sa contract yung recording contract. May cash, pero di ko muna pwedeng sabihin kasi di pa nila pinasasabi," she said.
Although it's not a secret, Fostanes said she would rather get the go signal from X Factor first before announcing the amount she won.
Fostanes said her rise to fame is still unbelievable up to now.
"Hindi ko inisip dahil yung mga kalaban ko mga bata pa. At mga bata pa sila nagko-compose na sila ng mga kanta. So di ko talaga inaasahan na ako ang magiging top 1," she shared.
The once faceless among the crowd now has a bodyguard. "Natatawa nga ako nagkaroon na ako ng bodyguard," she said.
The win made her speechless she said, but likewise thankful to the people, especially Filipinos all over the world who helped her achieve her dream.
"Talagang malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa lahat ng Pilipinong tumulong sa akin, sa mga sumuporta sa akin sa buong mundo, lahat ng Pilipino, lalo na po dyan sa Pilipinas. Hindi ko alam na ganito ang mangyayari, parang nakakataba ng puso lalo na yung mga lahat ng caregiver sa buong mundo," she said.
Israel law bars Osang from singing professionally: report
However, Fostanes' runaway success in Israel's first "X Factor" competition is unlikely to improve her earning prospects in the Jewish state, an Agence France-Presse report on Wednesday said.
An Israeli official said Fostanes would not be allowed to put her talent to professional use in the Jewish state.
"She can only work as a carer, according to the law," a spokeswoman for Israel's population and immigration authority told AFP.
"Of course she can sing - anyone can do that - but not as a professional."
Fostanes' day job had been to care for an elderly employer in Tel Aviv.
She is one of some 10 million Filipinos, about a tenth of the population, who have gone to work abroad to escape poverty and joblessness back home.
Israel's media said her victory had put the spotlight on the country's low-paid migrant workers, among them tens of thousands of Filipinos, who work as carers or in menial jobs.
Her victory comes as tens of thousands of African immigrants and asylum seekers pressed a major protest against the Israeli government's tough immigration policies.
Fostanes, the only foreign contestant, lives in a crowded apartment in an area inhabited mostly by foreign workers in Tel Aviv.
"Not all workers and cleaners from the Philippines are in a position like this: It's like Cinderella, you know," she told the show in an earlier interview uploaded on YouTube. - with a report from Agence France-Presse