The first love of Toni & Rose
KAPAMILYA DAY - Kane Errol Choa (The Philippine Star) - June 25, 2014 - 12:00am

Ultimate Multimedia Star Toni Gonzaga and The X Factor Israel grand winner Rose “Osang” Fostanes both got emotional over their “reunion” with their first love — singing.

Toni started singing when she was three years old. She grew up singing with church choirs and became part of a praise and worship band when she was eight years old.

“Eventually, when I decided that I wanted to pursue singing, I started joining different singing competitions,” shared Toni, who considers the Metropop search in 1997 the biggest competition she joined, where she made it to the Top 13. 
She then became a lounge singer at different hotels until a different kind of break in 2001 changed her life.

“My appearance in the I Love You, Piolo! softdrink TV commercial definitely paved the way for my showbiz career,” narrated Toni, who later became a TV host in  various ABS-CBN hit programs such as Pinoy Big Brother, The Voice of the Philippines and The Buzz.

She also starred in a number of Star Cinema’s box-office romantic comedy films such as My Amnesia Girl, her first big screen team-up with John Lloyd Cruz.

Toni became popular as a TV host and actress, and her love for singing took a back seat. Yet, she wanted to share her singing talent with the public.

“When I somehow gained a voice in my career, I told my management that I also knew how to sing. I really wanted to be a singer,” she said.

Her return to singing this year via her seventh and latest album Celestine.

“This is the best album I’ve ever done. It shows who I really am as a singer and as an artist. The songs here are more personal and closer to my heart. And having been through a lot in this business, I now have a good grip of what each track wants to convey to my listeners,” she explained.

Celestine features 10 tracks, including Toni’s compositions Awit ni Ginny and This Love is Like (co-written by Jonathan Manalo).

Like Toni, Rose prioritized a more lucrative job as an overseas Filipino worker to support her family in the Philippines instead of pursuing a career in singing.

“I started working abroad at age 23. I’ve worked in Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. I had to sacrifice my dream of being a singer because I wanted to give my family a comfortable life by being a caregiver,” said Rose.

But just when Rose thought that she was too old to pursue her dream, the opportunity came for her to join the first-ever The X Factor Israel.

“My Israeli friend believed in my talent and encouraged me to join X-Factor,” shared the 47-year-old singer, who won the reality-singing search with her rendition of the Frank Sinatra classic My Way.

Her story is an inspiration to other OFWs and talented Filipinos who want to take risks and reach for their dreams.

“I just want to do what I really love, which is singing. Better late than never,” said Rose, who is grateful to her supportive employer. 

Her first album in the Philippines titled Rose Fostanes: My Way is a realization of her dream. It includes two of her personal favorite songs — This Is My Life and her winning piece My Way.

(Toni and Rose’s albums are now available in record bars nationwide and the tracks can also be downloaded via iTunes, www.amazon.com, www.mymusicstore.com.ph and www.starmusic.ph.)

FRANK SINATRA GINNY AND THIS LOVE I LOVE YOU JOHN LLOYD CRUZ JONATHAN MANALO LEBANON AND THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES MY WAY SINGING TONI
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