A day after Rose Fostanes' win in the final of the Israeli X-Factor, Israel's Filipino community is basking in reflected glory and bursting with pride. The 47-year-old caregiver arrived in Israeli from the Philippines six years ago, and has put a human face on the thousands of migrant workers from her homeland working primarily as low-paid carers for the elderly and infirm.
The issue of our origins and our nationality are no longer a factor in our future in Israel," said Jonny, a migrant worker from the Philippines.
Even those who did not watch the show heard of Rose's win and shared in the excitement.
"All of the Filipinos are proud of her," says Juna, who works in the central bus station in Tel Aviv.
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"We all believed that she deserved to win, but she was worried that the fact that she isn’t Israeli would stop her winning. The show yesterday proved that it doesn’t matter where you are from, if you are fat or thin. In the end, her vocal abilities were the deciding factor. Now we feel like we belong, we are not just looking after the old, we are all human beings, and doors are opening."
Rosin, who lives near Fostanes in south Tel Aviv, was delighted that her neighbor had won such broad support.
"I want to thank all the Israelis for voted for her and the Filipinos who united around her. All the Filipinos are proud of her and the way she has represented us," she said.