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…

Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

“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.

71 Replies to “Israel ‘X Factor’ champion Rose Fostanes: symbol of the Philippines’ chronic impoverishment”

  1. 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.

    1. 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…

  2. 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

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    1. 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.

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

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    1. 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.

    2. 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?

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. “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.

    1. 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.

    2. “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.

  10. 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 SEA Games? These Men and Women that have gone through rigorous training to represent our country not themselves? I think not.

  11. 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 ng pag-aaklas sa Thailand ngayon.

  12. 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!

    1. If this “pride” in bring Filipino that everyone is pushing everyone to feel cannot be objectively substantiated by measurable achievement at a collective level, then it all amounts to no more than nebulous bluster.

  13. 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!!!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 have made her win. So that the Filipinos will send more of its OFW slaves .

  17. When a citizen of Jamaica named Tessanne Chin won the 2013 US version of “The Voice”, there was Jamaican pride celebration the country’s president, declared a public holiday to honor the new pride of Jamaica.

    Rose Fostanes is an unlikely winner because for a migrant worker to have any kind of public profile is highly unusual in Israel, and to win the country’s most popular show is a total surprise to many. Fostanes is fat and ugly. I think she might have been judged purely on her vocals because in most singing competitions, looks is a big factor. She could be the Philippines’ Susan Boyle of the UK?

    Fostanes case is different because of her situation. Most “X Factor” winners can expect a record deal, a chance at being a professional singer and become a celebrity, but she may not receive any of these prizes.

    But one thing is evident about Rose Fostanes that she is one person that doesn’t have the “Below the Belt” mindset. An attitude that most Filipinos think that what’s happening to most of them is everyone else fault…outside of their control.

    1. @Krokodil (another name for Buwaya):

      You must be a YellowTard…you love to read the Blogs/articles of the people writing here in this GRP website. You know, that people like me; and the GRP writers/Bloggers are PESTS to you and the Feudal Oligarchs, like the Aquinos. Truth hurts, like the bite of the ubiquitous mosquito. You must be a MASOCHIST. You love to be hurt/bitten. Stay in your PRO PINOY Website. Where you can continue to sing praises your RETARTED President and kiss his Ass…

      Kingston, Jamaica was the hiding place of the Carribean Pirates, who were waiting to ambush their fellow Pirates: the Spanish Galleon ships laden with loots (gold, silvers, etc…) of the Incas, Mayas, etc…

      It was also the transit point of Slave Traders. To fatten their slaves; before selling them to the U.S. plantation owners in the past. Until the British took it as a British colony.

      What a disturbing paralellism. Aquinos, Lopezes, Cojuangcos, Lucio Tans, Sys, etc…the present day Pirates with their loots in the form of: Hacienda Luisita, Pork Barrels, government contracts., OFW earnings,etc…

      OFW slaves…these feudal oligarchs are the
      biggest slave traders in our times (OFW slaves)…bound for foreign countries…

      Record deal for Fostanes?

      Israel is surrounded by Arab countries, who are their enemies. Let us see , if the Fostanes records will be bought by the Arabs. And bring PEACE to the volatile Middle East.

      Below the belt?

      Aquino sends his computer hackers to hack our computers…this is below the belt.

      Anyway, “Bato bato sa langit, ang tamaan ay huwag magagalit…” Aray ko po!!! Tinamaan ako sa Bayag….courtesy of the YellowTard Lacierda…

      1. @ Hyden Toro

        “Krokodil” and “crocodile” as we know it are not of the same species. “Krokodil” is a new Russian designer drug deadlier than anybody would dare try. Go ahead, type in the word and see what “krokodil” is all about.

        I visit GRP 2 or 3 times a week when I start decompressing myself from the weeks activities and make comments on articles that interest me. That’s all. I’m not yellow or blue, but like the deadly drug, I sometimes enjoy “krokodilling” peoples nerves, you know what I mean?

        Again, your understanding of the term “below the belt” as we know it does not mean the same thing in the way psychologists use it. “Below the belt mindset” belief means: a person playing the blame card on other people for his misfortunes, for being poor, uneducated and unproductive are all societies fault. Sounds familiar?

        @ Hyden…toro-hin mo na si Pnoy.

  18. “The Filipino has an innate advantage when it comes to the arts….”

    If this is true, then I guess Lacierda’s mastered the art of lying (if you can consider it an art).

    Yabang pa, pinoy, yabang pa. Kaya naman pala maraming ayaw mag-apologize para dun sa Hostage drama na yun. SOBRANG yabang kasi.

  19. To the people who are still into this “PINOY PRIDE” crap, stop this nonsense about Filipinos being the most superior of all nations – no nation is superior to one another if I may say (I’m just annoyed when some Filipinos say they are a race. Correction: We are a nation, idiots). This reminds me of Nazi Germany with their “Aryan race superiority” thing going on during WW II.

    Whenever I hear our fellowmen making a fool of themselves with their “PINOY PRIDE,” I just shake my head, knowing the fact that we associate ourselves with just about anything not involving the Philippines at all.

    I still love my country but not in a foolish “PINOY PRIDE” way.

  20. “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.”

    I think you overly expressed this statement. The palace only released those statements mentioned above because of the media. There was a briefing in Malacanang and of course, the normal reaction would be to congratulate her. The Spokesperson only meant that Filipinos excel in some particular aspect like singing contest but should not be literally equated as a pride in other developmental and societal approach in the Philippines. Those past Philippine Presidents since Marcos era were also akin in doing to congratulating Filipinos in the field of entertainment. You should not directly relate this to a more cumbersome and burdensome problems in the Philippines that badly need to address. In the USA, the president even took time to bring in the Champion of NBA basketball in the White House even if it has nothing to do with the country’s impending issues.

    Don’t take it literally for it is the role of a leader to be cozy with his/her words when something desirable or pleasing in the eyes coming in whatever aspect.

    1. @Jig:

      Congratulating a Pinoy winner is very much different, from using the Pinoy winner for your political agendas, like “Pinoy Pride”.

      The Aquino Media (ABS-_CBN, etc..) are quick to evaluate Fostanes singing win to: record deals; popularity; singing contracts, etc…and they are promoting her, like we will go deaf, if we don’t listen to her singing and buy her records…

      A political leader who has nothing to show to his people , as accomplishment; will grab on anything to bouy up his hope of gaining his popularity that is spiraling down…

      1. “Pinoy Pride” in terms of singing. You are misconstruing the point.

        So what if ABS-CBN is planning to make a deal with fostanes? It’s pure business. I think you envy her achievement. It just shows you don’t know how to respect what fostanes has accomplished so far. She has done nothing to you and yet you take a bite of bitterness on her. what a crap!

        No accomplishment? are you blind and deaf? go check out every department, bureaus and offices of governments from 2010-2013 and you will find a lot of it. if you doesn’t still believe then go back to your own crib and continue to suck your thumb!

        1. “So what if ABS-CBN is planning to make a deal with fostanes? It’s pure business. I think you envy her achievement. It just shows you don’t know how to respect what fostanes has accomplished so far. She has done nothing to you and yet you take a bite of bitterness on her. what a crap!” – I was under the assumption that you understood the article posted above. Guess not.

          Yes, Fostanes won…congrats to her, but I won’t be shouting “PINOY PRIDE!” because it’s her OWN EFFORT and not the effort of all Filipinos that made her win.

          There is nothing wrong with having a little bit of pride but “PINOY PRIDE” has gone so far as to turn people into egotistical and capitalist idiots and going so far as to declare our nation to be the most powerful “race” in this world. Please, even my foreigner friends are laughing about us being the most powerful “race” when we can’t even help our own country and people.

        2. I understood but the problem with the article is that it links the singing contest to the problems of the country and the mindset of all Filipinos which is irrelevant. There are many types of achievement in this world and what Fostanes has achieved cannot be done by every Filipino. It’s just because of the TV that she becomes famous compared to other unknown achievers but the important thing here is that each achiever excel in their own field. That voice of her is a gift. Not all Filipinos are gifted in singing. As I said, we should take pride of her in terms of singing only, just like Pacquiao in terms of boxing.

          Other nationalities cheer and take pride of their own representatives in whatever field they are good at. I just find it exaggerated that all of you are presuming that this “pinoy pride” covers all aspects of life when it certainly not. I hope you understand my point.

        3. That’s your opinion man. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. Because as far I can see it, it is relevant and it offers a multitude of solutions. Perhaps you need to look deeper.

          Also, benign0 never emphasized that he’s trying to cover “all” aspects of life with his article. He’s merely addressing the problem and the effects it has brought and is still bringing.
          It’s either you need to read the article again, or you need to think deeper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.