Joey Catalig Miranda III knows that his Guam teammates have pinned a lot of 'grave' expectations on his slim shoulders. The Western Pacific island's top tenpin bowling hope is used to such ribbing from his compatriots for when he is not setting the alleys alight with his hook and spin, Joey runs a funeral parlour. 'I also drive the hearse,' he grins mischievously. 'But seriously, this job has given me another perspective on life. I have seen death so often that I have come to realise that you should live your life to the fullest,' says Joey the philosopher. Joey, 34, a bronze medallist at the last East Asian Games in Osaka in the men's singles, is compassionate by the very nature of his job. But when the alleys start to ring to the noise of falling pins, Joey says he will transform into his ruthless alter ego. Of Filipino extract - he was born in Guam but his parents emigrated from the Philippines - Joey is the funeral director of Our Lady of Peace, one of the many parlours in the capital Hagatna. 'I run a tenpin bowling centre, too. But when I'm not working there, I'm at the funeral parlour. I am lucky in that I see both sides of life. I see grief and sadness as well as people enjoying and having fun. These two sides to life makes me a humble person and helps me to keep my feet on the ground,' says Joey. He is one of eight members of the Guam bowling team who carry the main hopes of the organised unincorporated territory of the United States. The rest of the small Guam contingent comprise three athletes in taekwondo, two in karate and a swimmer. 'We are a very small territory, a dot in the ocean and about the size of Macau and Taipa put together. But we hope to win a few medals at these games and I guess our best chance lies in tenpin bowling,' Joey said. Joey will take part in all five events in tenpin bowling - singles, doubles, trios, five-man team and the Masters. Only the top 16 bowlers in the All-Event category, a compilation of the other four categories - will qualify for the Masters. A total of 12 gold medals are up for grabs, six for men and six for women. If Joey manages to win a gold medal, it will be a huge feat for Guam. Sports is hardly a priority in the territory of 150,000 souls whose main livelihood is tourism - mainly Japanese - and servicing bases of the United States armed forces. 'I'm quietly optimistic of winning a medal. I believe we have a talented team, one which hopefully will deliver when it matters,' said Joey who is also the secretary-general of the Guam Tenpin Bowling Congress. Dead or alive, a medal is high on Guam's most-wanted list and the man the islanders will be pinning their hopes on is Joey, tenpin bowler, funeral director and hearse driver. 'Not everybody can handle what I do. It is not easy to be around dead bodies. But I have been able to channel my emotions and I'm not overwhelmed by death,' he said. A cool head and a steady hand will serve him well this next week in Macau as he tries to live up to all those 'grave' expectations.