Israel ‘X Factor’ champion Rose Fostanes: symbol of the Philippines’ chronic impoverishment

Filipinos are once again celebrating on the streets as “one of their own” has again chalked another one for ‘Pinoy Pride’. Long-time caregiver Rose Fostanes last Wednesday won the grand prize in the first airing of X Factor (a popular reality TV singing contest) in Israel.

Malacanang, true to form, was quick to salute the newest Filipino “international celebrity”.

“We know the situation she was in and we are very proud that she has again given the Philippines pride in the showcase of her talent,” President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters Wednesday.

Lacierda further says…

“The Filipino has an innate advantage when it comes to the arts…. It clearly shows that the excellence of the Filipino can be expressed anywhere, everywhere, when they are given the opportunity to show their talent.”

New Filipino national hero: Rose Fostanes
New Filipino national hero: Rose Fostanes
… which really is a dangerous concept to propagate. The notion of opportunities being “given” is something deeply-ingrained in the Filipino psyche. A “lack of opportunity” and a dearth of opportunities being “given” to “deserving” Filipinos is the de facto national excuse for its more than half century track record of chronic impoverishment. It is dangerous because it encourages waiting for opportunity rather than creating opportunity.

Indeed, the philosophy of real winners is this:

Real winners create their own opportunities.

Rather than sit around waiting for the proverbial fruit to fall off the guava tree, true achievers plant a guava orchard.

It is telling that what is seen to be a crowning achievement (by Filipino standards) such as that of Fostanes’s winning a singing competition hosted by a foreign society is much-celebrated in Philippine society to the point of warranting a mention coming from no less than the chief mouthpiece of the administration of Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino.

In reality, Filipino overseas foreign workers (OFWs), many of whom, like Fostanes, work as caregivers in affluent but rapidly-ageing societies, are a standout reminder of how the Philippines has failed to create an environment where its citizens can prosper and achieve a broad-based standard of living they could be proud of. Unfortunately this failure was successfully whitewashed by many many national governments across several decades using that now widely-lapped-up notion of OFWs-as-National-Heroes mantra. Because just about every Filipino today has a relative, a friend, or at least knows someone who “heroically” scrapes a living overseas, Filipino politicians have made pandering to this OFW subculture a standard operating procedure in their campaigns and routine rhetoric.

More specifically, winning a television contest has become a national aspiration in the Philippines. Many Filipinos take this aspiration very seriously. In 2006, hordes of Filipinos desperate to get into the popular ABS-CBN variety show Wowowee went on a deadly stampede in a bid to grab free tickets being handed out. The melee left 78 dead. Many of the hopefuls had spent their life’s savings traveling to Manila from the remotest parts of the Philippine hinterlands for the occasion.

No surprise then that reality shows and singing contests are even bigger business in the Philippines. Enticing Filipinos to invest their life’s savings and risk life and limb for the chance to be in shows like Willie Revillame’s Will Time Big Time and Wowowee is like fishing in a barrel. The sorts of people whose idea of an investment strategy is betting the family fortune on what amounts to no more than a perverse lottery constitute the bread-and-butter audience of these shows.

Similarly, overseas employment is seen by many Filipinos — and most Philippine governments and their “journalist” lackeys that cheer this notion on “business” magazines such as Businessweek — as a quick ticket out of the poorhouse. Today, remittances sent by OFWs back to their families prop up the Philippine economy to the tune of more than 10 percent of its national “output”. This contribution, unfortunately, is not national product in the real sense as there is no actual production taking place whenever OFW dollars are added to the national economic statistics. The only economic activity OFWs really spur is consumption. It makes the Philippines a bonanza for the world’s real producers — a lucrative dumping ground for the vast surplus of real goods and services exported by other countries. The Philippine economy also supports a huge retail industry into which much of hard-earned OFW cash is sunk by their dependents as these foreign goods exchange hands.

Rather than aspiring to invent that elusive longer-lasting lightbulb, Filipinos aspire to be Fostanes. Rose Fostanes, however, deserves to be congratulated for her achievement as an individual. For an entire country and its president to latch on to her as a national symbol of “hope” is all but revealing of the fundamental character of a nation that has become a fascinating case study of slow, grinding, macro failure.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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71 Comments on "Israel ‘X Factor’ champion Rose Fostanes: symbol of the Philippines’ chronic impoverishment"

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muhammad tan
Guest

What a disrespectful fag you are. Instead of being happy, you bring your countryman. U have to talk shit about others coz if you talk about ur life nobody will give a shit.

joeld
Guest

You blithering idiot, in what sense did the author disrespect your oh so precious pinoy pride?

eko
Guest

not disrespect, he told you the reality of the situation, u probably didnt understand the whole point of the article maybe try to read again…

domo
Guest

Implying that you are also proud to have malicious immigrant officers like this inutil:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=701994943166818&set=a.264190480280602.69002.260546060645044&type=1

libertas
Guest

Rose fostanes for president.
Would her girlfriend be first lady or first gentleman

muhammad tan
Guest

At the end of the day, she is a winner. Already earned israeli money. Famous and prospering. Look at you, maybe ur still flipping burgers while writing this. Ur writing is only good for wiping shit

joeld
Guest

And at the end of the day, she won, so how does that really benefit all those people living on pagpag just to get through the day?

Only imbeciles like you keep harping on about other people’s achievements while you fail to see the real issues in the Philippines. The mere fact that the care-giver was there is a manifestation of the country’s problems, and you don’t even see it. Come to think of it, you wouldn’t know shit even if it hit you on the face.

wombat
Guest

Muhammad, you’re an idiot, without a show of doubt. You’re digging a big hole for yourself by your stupid comments. Better to crawl in it and shut up.

domo
Guest

And what about you inutil. What are your own achievements? Kayong mga pinoy praydists talaga ay mga dakilang palamunin. Go make your own and not riding with someone’s success.

muhammad tan
Guest

Ahh i forgot pinoys use their hands to wipe their asses. God damn u guys are nasty. Even dogs are cleaner than u lmao

Chris
Guest

This brings up an interesting thought. Westerners take a piece of paper and smear shit all over their ass then put their clothes back on. Filipinos on the other hand, wash with soap and water after defecating then put their clothes back on. FYI: I am an American and have used a pail and dipper for over 7 years now. My ass and hands are clean. I no longer take a piece of paper and smear shit all over myself.

muhammad tan
Guest

What is this site anyway? People are getting full retard here lmao. I guess you watching too much beat the geeks . Weirdddd

joeld
Guest

The only retard here is you.

Johnny Derp
Guest

Looks like we have another retard from malacanang attacking this site.
Don’t you guys ever learn from your failures?
Read the article again, twatface.

scarletpro
Guest

I know right!!! Style nila bulok.. Another username???

domo
Guest

Look whose talking now inutil. What part of this article that made the author gone full retard? Cite specifics please if you’re really using your head and not your heart.

muhammad tan
Guest

This is not even worth reading only for wiping ass. This writer plagiarizes from facebook news agency headlines. Inventing light bulbs lmao why not invent originality ha ha

OnesimusUnbound
Guest

Care to cite the original facebook news agency that you claim?

WinterSoldier
Guest

Very disrespectful, uncivilized human being.

In other words, a TROLL. 😀

Get lost, prick.

domo
Guest

If that Facebook news agency you’re talking about are abias-cbn, oinquirer and rappler then I see your bs mediocrity.

janisa
Guest

This is very true.Even the likes of Enrique Iglisias and Bruno Mars music videos were filled of “proud to be pinoy”comments.I cringed whenever I read such declaration of pride which has nothing to do with being a Filipino at all.

muhammad tan
Guest

Filipinos cannot be measured by capitalistic standards. What we contribute to the world enriches humanity through arts, sports, music, film, etc. What a dumb thing to say that fostanes is not worth emulating. U guys crack me up trying to me genius but iq is still 86 lmao

joeld
Guest

What contribution to art, sports and music? Your idiocy is showing, careful.

Amir Al Bahr
Guest

Just because Filipinos add another “artist” of their own to the already numerous pool of global “talent” does not necessarily mean that something/someone of quality was added, nor does it mean that said quality of pool of “talent” is improved overall.

As-salaam alaykum.

domo
Guest

But do you really have your own talent? O isa kang dakilang palamunin na sumasabay lang sa tagumpay ng isa tapos ipagyabang mo na magaling ka when in fact isa ka lang inutil na gustong magpasikat?

Loraine
Guest

I agree with your analysis 100 percent… I am sad that we could not make a good living in our own country. My husband told me we are scattered nation.

muhammad tan
Guest

Pinoys cannot be measured by capitalistic standards. What we contribute to the world enriches humanity through arts, sports, music, film, etc. What a dumb thing to say that fostanes is not worth emulating. U guys crack me up trying to me genius but iq is still 86 lmao

WinterSoldier
Guest

And your IQ is actually 86.

Just look at your horrible grammar. 😀

Kenneth
Guest

Your IQ is 86? Better go to Google and search on what category thus your score lands.

libertas
Guest

BBC today

pinoys also contributing 100,000 children for sex
pinoy parents raping and abusing their own children aged from 2 – 10 in cybersex dens in manila, cebu, angeles etc.

words fail me

OnesimusUnbound
Guest

Well, a very twisted concept of children “helping” their parents. Tsk tsk tsk.

Johnny Saint
Guest

Some Filipinos have a very broad interpretation of free market capitalism.

ross
Guest

When opportunity is given, the prize is considered received. When the opportunity is created, the prize is considered earned. From this rational, one must have the right type of opportunity for the prize to mean something. Without the correct combination of opportunity and prize, every thing that happens in between really amounts to nothing.

Johnny Saint
Guest

What are you talking about?

Amir Al Bahr
Guest

So what’s the answer to this riddle you like to keep talking in?

ross
Guest

It is not whether the opportunity is either given or created. It should not even be about the prize. It’s what one does in between opportunity and prize. In other words, what really counts is the process. Ms. Fostanes work ethic, perseverance, courage, humility, kindness and talent are the major parts of the process. That these traits, not the prize or the opportunity, are being portrayed as inspiration and a source of pride for people is within good governance.

Johnny Saint
Guest

“Good governance” is NOT a reality competition. If you insist on drawing parallelisms between some vacuous celebration of narcissism and the human condition, at least acknowledge the fact that in a competitive environment, the first requirement is technical skill, competence and professionalism. Good intentions and a feel-good attitude will only get you so far.

domo
Guest

Did you just made that riddle to make yourself look like you have a great mind only to win an argument you desperado? Troll harder dummkopf.

NeoGeo
Guest

“When opportunity is given, the prize is considered received. When the opportunity is created, the prize is considered earned.”

Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” makes more sense than that.

Kenneth
Guest
Just wondering the coincidence that whenever there is a major downfall on our country, then there is something like this. A Filipino won the Israeli X-Factor, and the local media goes wild. Her fame for winning, is being use by the media to cover more serious matters. Her achievement as an individual is being use to direct the attention of the masses. No offense to Rose Fontanes, she joined the show for her own benefit, she doesn’t represent our country as a whole, but as herself as Rose Fontanes. Do we have the same aspiration for the athletes during the… Read more »
ChinoF
Member

Eeeeeeexactly!

Tao
Guest
Sa totoo lang, hindi na magbabago ang bansang minamahal natin dahil karamihan sa mga pinoy hirap makaalis sa comfort zone nila at mas nagsstick sa nakasanayan na. Hindi uunlad ang bansa dahil walang gusto lumaban para sa pagbabago. I suggest magbago na lang ng citizenship yung mga disgusted sa pagiging Pilipino. Ang dami niyong nasasabi sa bansa pero at the end wala pa rin naman mangyayari. Hindi naman Noli Mi Tangere o El Filibusterismo ang article na ito para magspark ng pag-aaklas laban sa gobyerno. Kulang ang salita para magising ang mga Pilipino, walang gusto magsakripisyo ng mga buhay kagaya… Read more »
Joseph
Guest

this is one of those topics where we share the exact same sentiments benign0. but goodness me, you should know by now that WE (Filipinos) will never change… if entertainment is all we’re good at then we are in deeper sh** gaddammit!

Jerry Lynch
Guest

Some woman winning a singing contest somewhere is national news because…? Oh my…she is a Filipino so of course her singing is more important than the poverty and corruption in the country she had to LEAVE in order to even get a damn job!!!

ChinoF
Member

OK, there you go… saying that Filipinos have an INNATE advantage in anything is again that ethnocentric, superiorist, nazist drivel. That will only encourage Filipinos to cling to other achievers and not work to make themselves better.

Sea Bee
Guest

ChinoF…Well said! Unfortunately, most leaders use demagoguery and arguments based on emotion rather than reason. The “us against them” proposition is one they frequently exhort in order to gain personal power.

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[…] or whatever gameshow is on locally? Will the Prime MInister of Israel make a statement or anything like what Noynoy’s office did yesterday?   I doubt it. Plus I can imagine the racist taunts from the local audience. Poor Phillip […]

Hyden Toro
Guest
Aquino and Lacierda, the two kinds of YellowTards, are quick to hitch their wagons to the singing contest champion, Fostanes. We can sing, but we cannot manufacture even a microphone. We go abroad as caregivers, because there are no Job Opportunities, that Aquino and Lacierda can create. Instead, these two YellowTards has been living on Fostanes, and the rest of OFWs remittances. Thru their Pork Barrels, they are also Stealing some of the OFW remittances. How Pathetic these people are, in making such a singing contest event, like Israeli singing contest event, a big and important event. The Israelis may… Read more »
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