Thursday, June 12, 2008

When You Do Things You Don't Have To (Going the Extra Mile)

My oldest son knows I go nuts over hipon. Sometimes, when he returns from visiting a special girl in Pampanga, he’d bring home a kilo or two of the expensive crustacean, knowing it is ever out of reach of my skimpy budget.

It is enough he goes out of his way and dents his wallet to get it for me without being asked. But not to him. When I come home, the gambas would be simmering in the pot, wafting a peppery scent that makes me forget my name. Excited, he would drag me to the table, serve the steaming casserole himself, and watch me demolish the shellfish, morsel after exquisite morsel.

That’s love, no doubt. But I also call it walking the extra mile.

A friend is sometimes asked by her boss to draft a client proposal. After sitting with him to agree on the broad coverage and work plan, she’d research on it, consult experts, and write the document while running a constant spelling and grammar check.

When she submits the proposal to the boss, she would have prepared as well a covering letter, a Power Point presentation of its highlights, plus whatever annexes of budget and timetable it will finally require.

The boss receives the “complete package” with an astonished smile. All he expects, after all, is the bare proposal.

That is commitment to work, of course. But I also call it walking the extra mile.

The average person does things to comply, to satisfy. The extra-miler delights, surprises, takes one’s breath away.

Extra-miling makes one memorable, even irreplaceable, in the family, in the workplace, in the hearts of men. It invites the reaction: “You didn’t have to but I am glad you did.”

You didn’t have to finish the report today, as it is needed next week – but I am glad you did.

You didn’t have to call up a hundred National bookstores to get me the only Ann Tyler I haven’t read, but I am glad you did.

You didn’t have to tuck a sliced lemon into my tea, but I am glad you did.

You didn’t have to crack the butong pakwan I love to eat while watching TV, but I am glad you did.

You didn’t have to give me three dozen roses, as three stems would do -- but I am glad you did.

And you didn’t have to shield my eyes from the sun while I slept, but -- bless you!! -- I am glad you did.


ysrael said...

That was nice and cute. I seldom eat sinigang na sugpo mahal kasi.

soloops said...

Isn't it wonderful that a person would go that extra mile for no other reason than wnating to do his/her best?

lei said...

hi po. your blog is worth reading.. link ko po kayo. thank you.

Leah said...

What about this lady i know who sent a birthday gift across the miles to a blogger she's never met....but she extra mile indeed!

btw, I love sinigang na hipon - yummy.

myepinoy said...

You didn't have to write excellent entries, a good one will do but i am always glad you always did.

You didn't have to comment on my blog, visiting my blog is good enough but i am more than happy you did.

Alam mo, magandang lagyan ito ng melody, pwedeng pwedeng gawing isang magandang awitin.

Maraming salamat.

Annamanila said...

Actually, it's really sinigang (sugpo, swahe) that I always get served with .. but I want gambas, for a change. And you know, gambas goes better with the phrase "morsel after delicious morsel)". I sometimes take liberties with my narratives, don't you? hahaha. Yes, sarap ng sinigang, pag steaming hot.

Annamanila said...


Wonderful yes! Moms should include "walking the extra mile" among the prescriptions for their children. It really makes the difference anywhere.

Annamanila said...


Thanks for visiting. Link away. and i will soon get to your site. All best, hija.

Annamanila said...


She also walks extra .. this wonderful young mom in Ontario who has sent a bagful of goodies from
Canada, burns favorite CDs, puts together a birthday slideshow, and makes someone in Pinas -- old enough to be her mom -- feel very very special. Luv ya!

Annamanila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annamanila said...


That almost made me cry.

You the comments that you post do not only comply and satisfy but truly astonish, impress delights, and sometimes take my breath away.

Thanks, EM!

Gina said...

Don't extra-milers just melt your heart?

Especially that delightful son of yours, spoiling you rotten ;-)

I have the feeling that you are one extra-miler yourself and thus, deserve to be pampered and spoiled!

karthik said...

I dont think u r a nuts.

Annamanila said...


Awww yes, my heart goes drip-drip. You should know. You are at both the giving and receiving end of extra-miling.

Annamanila said...


Oh yes, I am nutty sometimes. :) Nutty nice, I hope.

lei said...

thank you po ulit.


soloops said...

Ms. Anna,

I was so inspired by your post that I want to write a similar one. Only with your permission, of course. There's just something so rejuvenating (after a long week), about appreciating people who go that extra mile.

julie said...

Walking the extra mile, well that is very special. People are rewarded, not by monetary gains but by trust, the gift of friendship and esteem. Those that can't be bought by money.

My hubby would do that, I probably would too, depending on the situation and the mood :)

karthik said...

Friend proposal to boss is really funny..IN proposal there is no extra mile according to me.U can even try to pull the moon for ur loved one.

Annamanila said...


I would love that -- your own extra-miling vignettes (as doer or as recipient).

We can even make a meme out of it. :)

Annamanila said...


I know -- you look like an EM too! That one about shielding one's sleeping love from the sun -- I borrowed that. :) It sounds so sweet, ano? Haaay.

Annamanila said...


Aha, we can pull the moon for a loved one. We can also do something similar in the workplace. :)

lady cess said...

hmm... this post made me remember the extra mile i did for one person wc was unappreciated and ignored and eventually trashed. i console myself with the fact that the Lord sees all extra miles even if people on earth may not notice or acknowledge.

dimaks said...

ang gusto ko, alimasag na may gata.. waaaa.

Annamanila said...

Lady Cess!

You're right, what we do (or omit to do) has a way of being recorded in the "book of he universe." It comes around .. spinning wheel. :)

Annamanila said...


Gusto ko din yun! We do it with calabasa.

Ang mahal dyan ng crabs ano? But I guess there is canned gata, di ba? So you can cook it there .. on very special occasions.

pining said...

this reminded me when I was there... my uncle came all the way from the south just to give us crabs and pusit; and then this woman blogger whom I met not so long ago, whose present we use to serve our cuppa teas... she's terrific!

Annamanila said...


The terrific (ahem) blogger will be awfully glad to know her present is being used for English tea. Wow!

And though the chocs and body shop products she received from an awesome young expat pinay are now a pleasant memory, the joy of meeting her remains intact.

durai said...

Hi Annamanila, your article is very much interesting to have a read..its useful to spend time in reading your blog..

Marnellie said...

Hi Ms. Ana!

Nice blogs. You write well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Keep them coming..:)

Be blessed!

Heart of Rachel said...

I think this is a touching piece. It makes me think of my parents who always goes the extra mile for me and my brother.

I love the last one. On our way to school, Yohan often falls asleep. I shield his eyes from the sun so he can enjoy a good nap before we reach his school.

raqgold said...

awww, sometimes those simple gestures are the ones that really come from the heart. and my husband would always cook breakfast every weekend :D

Annamanila said...


Am glad you found the piece interesting and useful. Will try to write more such stuff. Ty ty.

Annamanila said...


Bless you too. You, too, keep on blogging. Will visit you and the others soon.

Annamanila said...


You're Yohan will grow up to be the son, the brother, the friend who will give of his best and more. You are raising him well and you know, we cannot teach or give something we do not have.

Annamanila said...


Your husband does seem to be the type who would delight and make one breathless.

Belle said...

i love sinigang na sugpo, with kangkong and sili.

come visit me to Catanduanes and i will treat you to a delicious lobster and fresh mahi-mahi. am not kidding, i have extra room for you.

exskindiver said...

dear ms. manila,
your posts never disappoint--when you write you make sure it is worth the while of people reading it.
that is going the extra mile.
and the son and the shrimp?
behind every thoughtful man--is a fantastic mother.
ms. manila wanna-be.

Annamanila said...


Does that mean you're here in Pinas?
Have gone to Albay, Naga, Daet but not yet to Catanduanes. But who knows. That's an invite hard to resist. I see frozen mahi mahi filets at Makro. What do you do with them?

Annamanila said...

Chesca, ex-skin diver

You give me more credit than I am due. I guess my blog pieces make me sound betterthan polyanna. Thanks miles, heaps, tons, just the same.

Abaniko said...

I wish I can say this to someone:

You didn't have to buy that top-of-the-line Canon DSLR camera for me but I am extremely glad you did!

dimaks said...

yes, de latang gata meron, usually from thailand :)

Rudy said...

"You didn’t have to crack the butong pakwan I love to eat while watching TV, but I am glad you did" - But... but.. what if it was a stranger who offered to do that? Eeeww... :-D

Seriously though, walking the extra mile is nice, but it could also be an open invitation to abuse, especially from people who love to take advantage of other people's kindness...

Sorry, was just being crabby because no one had ever walked the extra kilometer (metric system na tayo di ba?) for me, huhuhu. :-D

Annamanila said...


Hmmmm ... asa ka pa! Giga mile ang gusto mo.

Annamanila said...


What about crabs? Ilang thousand yens kaya to the kilo?

Annamanila said...


Corek ka jan! Hindi na extra miler ang tawag pag nagpapa-abuso, uto-uto na. :)

We your blog friends are willing to walk extra meters for you. maybe a kilometer. serious.

Toe said...

Can I adopt your son? :)

Annamanila said...


Bawal yatang magadopt ng mas matanda pa sa 'yo?

Seriously, this is the kind of son that ordered to specs and can't be bought off the shelf.

rowena said...

Hi AM, what a sweet son...Can he be my friend coz, shrimps are my fave, kahit one week yan ang ulam di ako magsawa especially drooling here. Nice post again AM. By the way, every time you visit and leave comments in my site, I feel so happy and honored. Hope we can get to see you again one of these days...

Annamanila said...

Yes, my son is one in a million. :)

Forever blog friends, di ba! So whether you like it or else, I will keep on visiting and posting on "the sweet life."

Cheers to e friendship?

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