Jaja Santiago offered to change nationality to Japanese
MANILA, Philippines — Jaja Santiago has been getting a lot of offers lately as far as her volleyball career goes.
One of which was to change her nationality to Japanese, the Filipino volleyball star revealed.
“Kalagitnaan pa lang ng liga kinakausap na nila ako na sana mag-stay pa ako nang maraming taon,” Santiago said in an interview with Anton Roxas on Volleyball DNA, referring to her Japanese volleyball club Saitama Ageo Medics.
(They already told me in the middle of the season that they wish I could stay with them for many years.)
“Gusto nilang palitan yung nationality ko actually. Gusto nila akong mag-stay pa doon tapos gusto nila akong tulungan na palitan yung nationality ko.”
(Actually, they wanted to change my nationality. They want me to stay with them longer and they want to help me change my nationality.)
Santiago, who first played with Ageo Medics back in 2018, was a vital piece in the team’s championship run in the Japanese Volleyball Cup last March 28.
The 25-year-old Santiago also said one of her goals is to play in the Olympics and she intends to help the Philippines get into that stage someday.
“Well, may dream ako na maglaro nang Olympics pero gusto ko muna, siyempre may pride pa naman ako, Pilipino pa rin naman ako diba. Gusto kong tulungan yung bansa natin na, doon sa goal ko na yon, gusto ko kasama ko yung mga kapwa Pilipino ko diba?”
(Well, my dream is to play in the Olympics but I still have my pride and I’m still a Filipino. With that goal of mine, I want to achieve that while being with my fellow Filipinos.)
Santiago, though, did not close the door on the possibility of changing her nationality in the future.
“Kung wala talagang chance, why not? Why not diba? Pero it’s on the back of my mind na pwede, pwede akong mag-change nationality,” she admitted.
(If there’s really no chance [for me and the Philippines to play in the Olympics], why not? But it’s at the back of my mind that I can, I can change my nationality.)
The Philippines is ranked 119th in the FIVB Rankings while Japan, among the perennial world powers in the sport, is at seventh. Japan finished fifth in the 2016 Rio Olympics.