international volleyball

After call-up, Jaja Santiago hopes Japan grants citizenship bid

Philip Matel

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

After call-up, Jaja Santiago hopes Japan grants citizenship bid

STANDOUT. Jaja Santiago in action for the JT Marvelous in the Japan V.League


Months after Jaja Santiago got invited to train with the Japan women’s volleyball team, the 6-foot-4 Filipino volleyball star says her citizenship bid is ‘in the process’

MANILA, Philippines – Towering volleyball star Jaja Santiago awaits for her Japanese citizenship to be granted, two months after the Japan women’s volleyball team invited her to join the national training pool.

Santiago, who plays for JT Marvelous in the Japan V. League Division 1, said her citizenship application is “in the process.”

The 6-foot-4 Filipino spiker is also married to Japanese coach Taka Minowa, but Japan laws do not grant automatic citizenship to a foreign spouse. 

“[It’s] in the process, hopefully, it gets approved,” said Santiago on Wednesday, May 8, two days after arriving from Japan.  

Last March, the Japanese Volleyball Association announced that Santiago had been added to the original 24-woman national training pool. 

But while here, Santiago won’t suit up for Chery Tiggo unlike before where she still saw action in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) in between her Japan stints.

“I will not play because I’m in the process [of obtaining citizenship]. It’s hard to risk,” said Santiago.

Santiago attended the Chery Tiggo Crossovers training on Wednesday, but did not participate.

The former Philippine team standout said she will still watch Chery Tiggo’s game against the Petro Gazz Angels in the PVL All-Filipino Conference battle for bronze on Thursday, May 9.

Santiago also watched her former collegiate team, the NU Lady Bulldogs, march to the UAAP finals on Wednesday after disposing of FEU in the do-or-die semifinals. 

While in the country, Santiago also gets to spend time with her husband. 

Santiago and Minowa switched countries while working as the Japanese mentor currently calls the shots for the Nxled Chameleons in the PVL.

“I’m proud of my husband, he’s been really doing good,” she said. “He’s working hard, even though it’s a different level [of play]… he’s from Japan, then went to China, the level of competition is higher there than here.” 

“He wants to level up the competition here,” she added, “so I’m really proud of him that he is slowly uplifting the level of Philippine volleyball.” 


Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!