One’s Narrow Perception

Published last week in my column was: Dealing with Uncle Sam Leaves Guam Few Options.

Here is a flashback of the latter part of it:
“If Uncle pays the $150,000 we’ll purchase his friends one-way airline tickets to stay at his house instead. Oh, they’ll be a lot happier there than here. And if our house continues to deteriorate because Uncle doesn’t pay, we’ll also follow suit and stay too at his big house, his compliments. Many of our tribes are already there and more are leaving. It’s cool and modern over there!”

“What will finally happen to our house, our ancestral home?” I asked in a worried tone.

“Well, Uncle will ultimately have it anyway and use it for his military,” and my kids added: “Subsequently, the Chinese, Russians, and perhaps the North Koreans shall be happy using it.”

Since tourism business is my sideline, I became alive, wide-eyed, and then optimistically interrupted: “As a tourist vacation spot?”

“No, Tata, for their target practice!”

This article was first published 13 years ago and lifted from by book. Current events are leading to the realization of this scenario – Guam will not only be used as a target practice, but, sad to say, a potential real target, so Uncle Sam must deploy the anti missile defense shield or system.

Herewith is the interesting reply of Mr. Dan Aflleje also published in my book with his permission:

Pat Duque enlightened us with his thoughts about what a conversation between Uncle Sam and his nephew, Juan, would be like concerning the current situation with the economy and compact impact. However, he neglected to let Uncle Sam relate his perspective:

“Juan, I am not totally unfeeling. I hear what you are saying but I am disappointed with your tunnel vision. You fail to acknowledge the considerable contributions that I have given you roads, power, water, airport and harbor facilities, and much more. I have provided you great assistance after natural disasters, while not requiring your fair contribution.

“Juan, consider the millions that you have wasted paving private driveways, on computer systems that have failed to work, extravagant statues, outlandish travel expenses, frivolous overtime, an extravagant 20-year retirement program, early retirement and so much more. Your waste far outweighs the ‘burden’ of my guests that you refer to.

“How can I take you seriously and help you when you do not take yourself seriously and do little to help yourself? You cry for help only after you have wasted your years of bounty, destroying the chance of helping yourself.

“You also complain about not having enough freedom to make your own decisions. Well, look at the quagmire you’ve gotten yourself in. Recognize how you got there and you will see you do not have the maturity to take charge.

“Juan, as others and I have given you more, you have found more ways to waste it. Will this time be any different?

“Although we have situations we need to discuss, I am not the cause of your suffering. You, Juan, are the cause.

“Grow up and understand that!”

Dan Aflleje, Mangilao, 2002


Patrocel Duque is the author of four (4) books and a musical drama: Mathematical Proofs that God Exists, Fighting for a Cause, Manning the Maritime Industry, Guam in War & Peace (poetry) and Our Life is Your Life (musicale).

Available worldwide:, National Office Supplies, bookstores in Guam & Philippines.