Despite experiencing mishaps for his naturalization, Bienvenido Marañon keeps a positive spin that he is getting closer to his dreams of playing as a ‘certified’ Filipino for the Philippine Azkals.

/ 22 May 2021

Marañon’s plea will have to wait a little longer as his naturalization process was delayed following an amendment on the immediate effects of his naturalization.

With the setback, still, the 5-foot-8 winger chooses to keep his faith up that soon enough, his Filipino citizenship will be granted to him. 

“First of all, I want to congratulate (Angelo Kouame). He deserves to be a Filipino. We were face-to-face to become Filipino… But he was the first to get it and I’m very happy for him. I think he deserves it. I think he will be a very big addition to Gilas. I used to watch basketball. I will love to watch him in the stadium so I’m very happy for him,” he told 2OT x Crossover, powered by SMART, Thursday. 

“And then when I got the news, I knew that my papers weren’t on the president’s table. I was just waiting for Kouame, after him it’s my time. So now we have to be quiet, we have to be calm, and soon for sure, it will be my time. So now we have to celebrate his naturalization and then it’s my time,” he continued. 

It was a disappointment for the 35-year-old star that it cost him the chance to play with the Azkals in their upcoming joint 2023 AFC Asian Cup/2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in Suzhou, China, next month.

The author of his bill in the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, had no choice but to follow up with the amendment. 

The 2020 Philippines Football League top scorer Marañon, though, is thinking straight that his naturalization process will come at the right time. 

“We all are waiting for the signature of the president. I am sure soon he will sign this one and then the last step to get the passport in my hand is to do the oath. I can do it at the Philippine embassy here in Spain. Last Wednesday, they attended to my request and they said yes so I’m just waiting for the papers of the president then I will go here to the Philippine embassy here in Madrid and then I will do the oath,” Marañon averred. 

“After that, I will get the certificate and I can join the Azkals… Also, as Cedelf (Tupas) said before, not only for the Azkals but also for my team (United City) it will be good because we can add another foreigner. We can lift the level and we can improve the team in that time,” he added.

Maranon’s plea deal may have been set a little longer and cost him to miss out Azkals’ training camp in Doha, Qatar, he is maintaining his wellness, preparing to play with United City, which will prepare for the upcoming 2021 AFC Champions League group stage in Dubai.

“If I cannot go with the Azkals, I will go with my team. Maybe we will start next week in Dubai with United City. I will be ready also. I want to prepare myself for the World Cup qualification games. If it’s not possible, I’m preparing myself for the Champions League with United City,” he said.

“I want to keep training hard. I want to keep going to the gym. I want to keep preparing myself and my mind and everything for the Azkals or United City and give my 100 percent. I think if I stay in my 100 percent, I can do something great there.”