Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Filipina caregiver wins first X-Factor Israel

Ms. Rose Fostanes, with girlfriend Adel and friends, celebrates victory at a
bar in Tel Aviv.
Whenever a certain individual of Filipino lineage becomes a cynosure of international beauty or singing contests, some people from other cultures and even fellow countrymen themselves would either make a potpouri of comments that are sometimes unimaginable and unreasonable.

Last year, the Philippines bagged at least four international beauty crowns (Miss World, Miss International, Miss Supra International and Miss Tourism International, plus two 3rd runners-up finish). Consequently, one of the commentors,  believed to be a Singaporean citizen, had made a negative comment which equated the beauty titlist as part of the "nannies" kingdom. What happened next was that she was penalized by the Singaporean government for making such a negative comment in the social media.

In view of these circumstances, I'm beginning to realize that winning international competitions, be it a beauty or singing contest, they're always equated with nice looks, good height or high-pitch, husky voice that is comparable to the tunes being belt out by some of the popular international singers in the world.

Someone who doesn't look beautiful or sing so well, have no place in this sphere. That's always the equation that most people think about when making their own judgment one somebody else's talents.

And who would think that Miss Megan Young would win the Miss World? Everybody knows that Latina beauties are always the biggest and close competitors of Filipino beauties. And I wouldn't be surprised at all why Venezuela won the Miss Universe 2013 again. However, it was shocking to learn that Young, a
FilipinoAmerican beauty, would bag the crown.

In the past, there were several attempts by Filipino-American contestants to join the American Idol, but the farthest distance that one of them could go was second place or third place at the most. Never had I known that a Filipino-American singer ever bagged first place in that contest. Was it a reason of ethnicity that is counted as one of the factors for their failure to rise up to the occasion and win first place? Or it could be that judges were always discriminating to ethnic contestants?

But then again, my negative impression of Israel to be a discriminating country has ebbed this week. That's when, perhaps,  most of the Jews set aside ethnicity in favor of an outstanding talent that any human could prove to the world. Such was the case of Rose Fostanes, a Fililipino working as a caregiver in Israel for at least seven years now, who was given a chance to prove her worth in singing before the wide audience of the first "X-Factor Israel." From top four, the constestants were reduced to two. A short, stout Filipino caregiver against a beautiful and slim contestant from Israel, the competition was considered a fair game for the world to see and vote.

"Ate Osang" had belted a female version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" and there it had caused madness of admiration when she reached that high-pitch of a last note to bag the first prize of X-Factor Israel. I'm sure it wasn't for beauty but for the best singing voice Israel has ever heard. It proved once more that ethnicity is out of the picture, but outstanding talents are factors that count the most.

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