MANILA - Filipina singing caregiver Rose Fostanes was only in her teens when she first met Mel Adel -- now her girlfriend for over 30 years.
The 47-year-old, however, revealed on "Aquino & Abunda Tonight" that half of those years were spent apart as she found work in the Middle East, settling down as a caregiver in Israel.
"I was 16 nung nag-meet kaming dalawa. I think she was only 22," she said.
At first, the "X-Factor Israel' winner recalled the difficulty in maintaining a long-distance relationship, considering they didn't have cellphones back then.
"Wala pang mga cellphone nung una at Skype. Pa-letter letter lang and voice tapes," she said.
But despite being apart, she remained loyal to Adel, who had to stay back in the Philippines. "Sa kanya lang talaga."
Fostanes credited her girlfriend for her recent feat, saying that seeing her in the studio audience gave her the much needed confidence.
"Malaki 'yung naitulong kasi nung nanuod siya kailangan ko magyabang sa kanya. Kailangan galingan ko 'yun," she said.
Asked if she felt scared to reveal her relationship on live television: "Wala. Kasi hindi ko siya pwede itago dahil hindi naman kami isa, dalawang taon lang. 30 years na kami."
Last January, Fostanes captivated the hearts of Israelis, as well Filipinos, through her voice on her way to winning "X-Factor Israel."
Her gutsy renditions of both classic and contemporary songs led her to become the first ever winner of the talent show, and also inspired many overseas Filipino workers.