Guest Post: “Raising Kids in a Multicultural Environment” by Marie Claire Lim Moore

The “Don’t Forget The Soap” promo blog tour makes its second stop here at The Girl Who Read and Other Stories with a guest post (the very first that I’m hosting) by the author herself!

Marie Claire Lim Moore is now raising her kids in an environment similar to where she was raised–surrounded by various cultures. In this guest post, she talks about the advantages of raising her kids in a multicultural environment and the challenges she encounters as a mother.

The advantages of raising kids in a multicultural environment are endless. Children gain exposure to a diverse set of cultures and values that reflect a microcosm of the world, which often leads to unique opportunities. My brother and I were fortunate to have had this kind of upbringing and to this day I’m so grateful for these enriching experiences.

That being said, there are also challenges for parents when they set out to provide a multicultural environment for their kids. It is far simpler to bring up children in a setting where everyone has the same culture and values that you do. The “no sleepovers” rule is easier to maintain in an environment where slumber parties are few and far between. When I was growing up in New York City and it was the cultural norm for kids to date and have boyfriends and girlfriends in their early teens I know my parents sometimes wished they were back in the Philippines where they recalled only group outings at this age were socially acceptable. I also caught them wincing on occasions upon hear stories about grandparents being put in nursing homes not because they were sick with special care needs but because their children didn’t want them living with them.

My parents somehow managed to embraced new cultures and opportunities while maintaining traditional Filipino values at home. It took a lot of conscious effort on their part to make sure they continued to be the biggest influence in our lives. This was done through continuous open discussions, sitting down together for dinner every night, and regular family bonding — many times over karaoke or mahjong!

❤ ❤ ❤

Don't Forget the Soap Book CoverDon’t Forget the Soap (And Other Reminders From My Fabulous Filipina Mother) is a collection of anecdotes: stories from the tight-knit Filipino community in Vancouver mix with memories of her move to New York, experiences at Yale and travels as a young executive. Underlying this narrative is the story of a global citizen who does not want to forget the fundamental values that come along with the “immigrant experience” as she and her husband raise their children in the increasingly glitzy expat bubble of Singapore. Her parents continue to remain a big influence in her life and her mother’s reminders a grounding force.

Share this inspiring book with the awesome women in your life! The book is available online via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also pick up a copy at Fully Booked (Php650). If you are in Singapore, copies are available at MPH and Kinokuniya (SGD 18.60).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
marie claire lim moore - author photoMarie Claire Lim Moore is a Filipina-Canadian-American working mother and author of Don’t Forget the Soap. After spending the early part of her childhood in Vancouver, Claire moved to New York City and attended the United Nations International School. She went on to study at Yale, climb the corporate ladder at Citi and travel around the world. She met her husband, Alex, while working in Sao Paulo, Brazil and they married in Manila, Philippines shortly before moving to Singapore. Now Mom to Carlos and Isabel, Claire also manages the Global Client business for Citi in Asia. She enjoys juggling career and family and likes to throw in community and politics for fun by campaigning for US political candidates, fundraising for organizations that advance the role of women in business and promoting foreign direct investment in the Philippines. She is also a guest contributor at Sassy Mama Singapore.

Don’t forget to join the GIVEAWAY! Just click on the image below:

GiveawayPrizes

Read my review of “Don’t Forget the Soap” here.

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Celebrate Mother’s Day with “Don’t Forget The Soap” by Marie Claire Lim Moore +Giveaway!

Don't Forget the Soap Book CoverDon’t Forget the Soap (And Other Reminders From My Fabulous Filipina Mother) is a collection of anecdotes: stories from the tight-knit Filipino community in Vancouver mix with memories of her move to New York, experiences at Yale and travels as a young executive. Underlying this narrative is the story of a global citizen who does not want to forget the fundamental values that come along with the “immigrant experience” as she and her husband raise their children in the increasingly glitzy expat bubble of Singapore. Her parents continue to remain a big influence in her life and her mother’s reminders a grounding force.

Share this inspiring book with the awesome women in your life! The book is available online via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also pick up a copy at Fully Booked (Php650). If you are in Singapore, copies are available at MPH and Kinokuniya (SGD 18.60).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
marie claire lim moore - author photoMarie Claire Lim Moore is a Filipina-Canadian-American working mother and author of Don’t Forget the Soap. After spending the early part of her childhood in Vancouver, Claire moved to New York City and attended the United Nations International School. She went on to study at Yale, climb the corporate ladder at Citi and travel around the world. She met her husband, Alex, while working in Sao Paulo, Brazil and they married in Manila, Philippines shortly before moving to Singapore. Now Mom to Carlos and Isabel, Claire also manages the Global Client business for Citi in Asia. She enjoys juggling career and family and likes to throw in community and politics for fun by campaigning for US political candidates, fundraising for organizations that advance the role of women in business and promoting foreign direct investment in the Philippines. She is also a guest contributor at Sassy Mama Singapore.

And now it’s time for a GIVEAWAY! Just click on the image below to join.

GiveawayPrizes

Read my review of Don’t Forget the Soap here.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the hard-working moms out there! 🙂

The “Don’t Forget The Soap” Blog Tour: Book Review

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Don't Forget the Soap Book CoverDON’T FORGET THE SOAP (AND OTHER REMINDERS FROM MY FABULOUS FILIPINA MOTHER)
Author:
Marie Claire Lim Moore
Read Date: 25 November 2013
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

At the center of many good stories – inspiring, entertaining, admittedly corny – is Marie Claire Lim Moore. Ask her about the time she and her family sat down with former Philippine President Corazon Aquino. Or the time she built houses in Mexico alongside former American President Jimmy Carter. Equally engaging are her every day experiences and perspective on life. You will be interested to hear what she thinks is a relationship “deal breaker” or why Christmas should be regulated or why kids shouldn’t say, “I’m bored.”

Don’t Forget the Soap is a collection of anecdotes from different points in Claire’s life: stories from the tight-knit Filipino community in Vancouver mix with memories of her move to New York, experiences at Yale and travels as a young executive. Underlying this narrative is the story of a global citizen who does not want to forget the fundamental values that come along with the “immigrant experience” as she and her husband raise their children in the increasingly glitzy expat bubble of Singapore. Her parents continue to remain a big influence in her life and her mother’s reminders a grounding force. These stories will warm the heart and resonate with people of any culture.

I normally shy away from reading any form of memoir by someone I do not know or recognize. But it’s not them; it’s me. I have nothing against people who write memoirs, but I don’t want to be reminded of just how boring my childhood was (gasp! this will put me on Ms. Moore’s and Mrs. Lim’s hit lists, but seriously if my life were any more interesting, I would have already joined the ranks of people who have written said memoirs), of all the regrets, and of how far I’ve come compared to other people near my age (not very far at all, no.)

But I decided to lock the cynicism inside the closet for a while and join this blog tour because after reading the synopsis of the book:

  1. I got curious about how someone who was born abroad can have “the immigrant experience”;
  2. If an author can admit that some of what she wrote is corny, she sounds like someone I’d like to get to know more;
  3. I really wanted to know more about that titular soap;
  4. Regulating Christmas sounds like something I should be implementing with my nephew;
  5. No, really. The soap. Really.

And it was worth making this book an exception. Who knew I’d be getting something like “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, but a Filipino version, with cultural quirks and situations that I can relate with?

It was interesting to read about how what we experience here in the Philippines is very similar to the experiences of those who were born abroad to Filipino families and communities.

And it was great to read about what it’s like at the other end of the balikbayan box odyssey, considering I’ve only ever been on the receiving end. Certainly, I knew my aunts lived by similar rules like “Don’t Forget The Soap” (they also practiced Don’t Forget The Silverware and Always Bring A Ziploc To A Crab Leg Buffet), being vigilant of yearly department store sales and buying in bulk, and being able to make one packet of Swiss Miss go a long way.

More than the familiar anecdotes, though, I appreciated that Ms. Moore shared all those other invaluable insights her mother taught them. What resonated with me were:

  1. How Balance is important in everything and how it can save you a lot of stress.
  2. As a corollary to Balance, how important taking on challenges and playing to your strengths at the same time can be.
  3. Give back and don’t forget the people who have touched your life.
  4. There’s no need to wait to do what you’ve always wanted to do just because your plate seems full. Just manage your time. (Maybe easier said than done, but I guess there’s no need to wait to try to implement this either.)
  5. Regulate Christmas. *evil laugh*
  6. All the parenting tips.

I also appreciated how earnestly written this book was. And it seems that all the “Tone it down a notch” advice and efforts to un-corny-fy the stories worked, but I can still feel the author’s sincere admiration for the people she wrote about, especially her mother.

I don’t know about other readers, but personally, I deem a book based on personal stories a success when it makes me feel like the author is someone that I would like to meet in person, whether it be to get the chance to talk to them more over coffee or to perhaps give them a satisfying punch in the face (it happens). In this case, I think I’ll leave the punching to Manny Pacquiao.

☼☼☼❤☼☼☼

 
If you haven’t read “Don’t Forget The Soap” yet, you can check out the following links:

DON’T FORGET THE SOAPGoodreadsOrder via AmazonOrder the E-book

To know more about MARIE CLAIRE LIM MOORE, visit her on: Twitter.

Visit BOOK JUNKIE BLOG TOURS for other exciting book tours!
 

The “Cover (Story) Girl” Blog (De)Tour: Review and Scoring the Book

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Cover Story Girl Book CoverCOVER (STORY) GIRL
Author:
Chris Mariano
Read Date: September 2013
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

1) She has amnesia.
2) She’s on the run from her father’s creditors.
3) She’s enjoying her last days on earth.

Ever since Jang Min Hee walked into Gio’s small museum, she’s given him one excuse after another about why she’s vacationing at scenic Boracay Island. Rarely has Gio’s neat and organized world been shaken like this. Soon he finds himself scrambling over rocks, hiding in dressing rooms, and dragging her out of bars. But how can Gio tell what’s true from what isn’t? Their worlds are getting unraveled — one story at a time.

So this blog tour made a detour back here, and this time, I’m posting my review of “Cover (Story) Girl”.

It is more difficult for me to review novellas compared to full-length novels because my reading list for the past few years consisted mostly of novel series. I’ve taken a liking to reading about a lot of story details, and I’ve learned to be patient when reading about how character relationships play out. And so when I read novellas, I feel like it operates on a different time frame, and more often than not, I feel like things are rushed, especially when it comes to the development of relationships.

That’s exactly how I felt for most of “Cover (Story) Girl”—that things moved a little too fast for our couple. Considering that Min Hee is from a different country and culture, I felt like Gio should have had a little more of a challenge adjusting to Min Hee, and vice-versa.

I’m not averse to a whirlwind romance in a romance novella, of all things, but because of the character profiles, I expected that Min Hee’s foreign-ness would have played more of a part as a challenge in the relationship than her mysterious circumstances. This would have “slowed” things down a little for them (emotionally, perhaps, more than time-wise), and the development would have felt more natural. But that’s just me. Maybe I’ve been watching too many Korean dramas that I already half-expect there to be a lot of roadblocks in romance plot lines, and for someone to push for extra episodes to prolong the agony if the ratings are high enough.

I did not feel Min Hee’s foreign-ness much, actually. The author has said that because it was difficult to get into Min Hee’s mindset as a foreigner, she wrote the character with a lot of caution, and it looks like this is how that caution became most evident. But, on hindsight, I’d rather have this cautious writing of the character than a forced, unbearably awkward caricature.

I did enjoy reading this story very much despite the above. It was well-written and fun and peppered with a lot of cute moments.

I love that Boracay felt like another character, so much so that the island seems more…real than how some other travel documentaries and blogs describe it. Believe it or not, I haven’t been to Boracay, but how it is described in this novella is probably how I will expect it to be if I finally get the chance to visit. I suppose the love that I can feel Gio has for the place reflects the author’s own love for her hometown; it’s a nice feeling to get from reading a book.

As was already obvious from my author interview, Chris Mariano and I share an interest in Korean entertainment. I appreciated all the references to dramas and music, celebrities and the fan culture. Fellow fans will surely spot all the meta, but for those who aren’t, those references serve to build Min Hee’s world a little more.

I also like that this was written from the guy’s perspective. It’s hard to resist using fan-ish fiction defaults even when writing original stories, so this could just as easily have been a foreign-guy-meets-a-local-girl thing. I’m glad it’s different because man, the climactic scene was worthy of a k-drama, and it wouldn’t have had the same effect otherwise.

My song choice as the book’s theme music/musical score is, of course, by a Korean artist and one of my favorite bands: Nell. People who have been reading this blog for a while now will be familiar with how much I like this band; I’ve used their song for a Scoring the Book post before.

The song is called “Beautiful Stranger”, and it’s sung entirely in English, so I’m not going to link to translations anymore. Enjoy!

Safe
I barely know you,
but yet I feel secure when I’m with you.

Strange
I don’t even know you,
but yet I feel so strong and bold when I’m with you.

My beautiful stranger.

☼☼☼❤☼☼☼

 
If you haven’t read “Cover (Story) Girl” yet, you can check out the following links:

COVER (STORY) GIRLGoodreadsOrder via AmazonOrder via Smashwords

To know more about CHRIS MARIANO, visit her at the following sites: FicsationTwitterGoodreadsTumblr

Visit BOOK JUNKIE BLOG TOURS for other exciting book tours!
 
 

The “Cover (Story) Girl” Blog Tour: Author Interview and Giveaway

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Cover Story Girl Book Cover1) She has amnesia.
2) She’s on the run from her father’s creditors.
3) She’s enjoying her last days on earth.

Ever since Jang Min Hee walked into Gio’s small museum, she’s given him one excuse after another about why she’s vacationing at scenic Boracay Island. Rarely has Gio’s neat and organized world been shaken like this. Soon he finds himself scrambling over rocks, hiding in dressing rooms, and dragging her out of bars. But how can Gio tell what’s true from what isn’t? Their worlds are getting unraveled — one story at a time.

As of this writing, there is a tropical depression that’s moving nearer and nearer to where I am in the Philippines, so it’s been raining for the past few days.

Chris Mariano’s “Cover (Story) Girl” is the perfect book to read on days like these because it’s set in sunshiney Boracay Island. Not that it never rains there, but…well, reading the book is like entering a portal to a place where the lovely weather never changes. I’m so envious of all the fun things the characters got to do, the yummy food they ate (calamansi muffins!), and of course, the sea, the sea! I’m pretty sure that if we had the chance to ask her, Min Hee would say that falling in love is more fun in the Philippines. 😉

I’m sharing my Q&A with Chris below. I’m also including my comments and reactions to her answers, as well as additional questions which I never got to ask her / tell her as I would during a face-to-face interview. Feel free to join in the conversation via the Comments section. 🙂

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The “Interim Goddess of Love” Blog Tour: Author Interview and Giveaway (Int’l/PH)

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College sophomore Hannah Maquiling doesn’t know why everyone tells her their love problems. She’s never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn’t stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise when the cutest guy in school tells her that she’s going to have to take on this responsibility — but for all humanity.

The Goddess of Love has gone AWOL. It’s a problem, because her job is to keep in check this world’s obsession with love (and lack of it). The God of the Sun, for now an impossibly handsome senior at an exclusive college just outside of Metro Manila, thinks Hannah has what it takes to (temporarily) do the job.

This is my first time to participate in a blog tour. I’m excited! Yay! I don’t normally sign up for tours because my schedule is erratic, and I’m worried that I will not be able to do my part after I’ve committed. But “Interim Goddess of Love” is special to me because it’s a great story, and I tagged along with both Mina’s and Hannah’s journey from the beginning.

Back when the first book came out, I was able to interview Mina for an author profile for GMA News Online. We talked about a lot of things, but the profile ended up mostly chronicling how she got published—both independently and traditionally—and her aspirations as a writer.

When we did the IGoL Trilogy Audio Commentary, it was Mina’s turn to ask questions. And so I still haven’t managed to ask her things about IGoL and other random stuff. I finally got another opportunity through this tour!

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