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Migrants need to keep their hearts at home

/ 12:06 AM December 01, 2013

LIM MOORE (center) with her mother Lenore and husband Alex.

Marie Claire Lim Moore, a Filipino-Canadian-American mother and bank executive, is back in Manila, and she has definitely not forgotten the soap, so to speak—this time beautifully wrapped in a 220-page book full of remembrances, photographs and useful tips.

Claire’s book shares tips on how to keep one’s balance in a globalized world. Many helpful tips were passed on to her by her mother, teacher and artist Lenore Lim.

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The book hit No. 1 on Amazon’s Parenting and Adult-Child Relationships category when it was released in September 2013.

Claire, 37, enjoys juggling her career as a top banking exec, as mother to two growing children, and as fund-raiser for Filipino community events, among others.

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After spending the early part of her childhood in Vancouver, Canada, Claire moved to New York City when she was 12 and attended the United Nations International School where she sang on stage with singer Debbie Gibson and received her high school diploma from former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. She went on to study at Yale and eventually climbed the corporate ladder at Citi. Her job has taken her to many parts of the world.

She met her husband, Alex Moore, while working in Sao Paulo, Brazil. They married in Manila shortly before moving to Singapore. Now mom to Carlos and Isabel, Claire also manages the Global Client business for Citi in Asia.

From someone who is probably among the highest-ranking Filipino-Americans in global finance, her book is not about corporate competitiveness or how to get to the corner office. It is about how her mother, an early education teacher and artist, taught her the importance of balance—in work and in love, in academics and socials,  in time and money.

These teachings, she said, helped “keep her feet on the ground” while she traveled and worked her way up in the corporate world of banking and

finance.

The secret, she shares, is to “keep your heart at home,” and that includes never forgetting little things that would show people at home that you have not forgotten them.

In an interview with themoonlostafaerie.blogspot.com, Lim Moore said that her parents inspired her to write her first book. “Once I had my kids and started thinking about what kind of people I hope they will grow up to be, I started reflecting on my own past, my own childhood and everything I learned from my parents.”

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Memorable moments

In the book,  Claire shares memorable moments like when she and her family sat down with former  President Corazon Aquino. Or the time she built houses in Mexico alongside former American President Jimmy Carter. But equally engaging are her everyday experiences and perspectives on life, as shaped by her upbringing and values, including always thinking of others.

Her mother had urged her to get a balanced education and to find ways to ease stress. “If you’re going to take econometrics, balance that with art history instead of another quantitative course that will just be stressful for you,” her mother had advised when she was in college.

Balance things out

Claire said she has applied this advice to other aspects of her life. “Balance can be applied to everything: If you had a salad for lunch, enjoy dessert after dinner. After the dense Economist read, indulge in some light Us Weekly. If you’ve splurged on a lavish party … contribute generously to a cause that helps others. If you’ve spent years plotting out your education and professional track, take time off to think about your personal life. ”

In her book, Claire also shares stories from the tight-knit Filipino community in various places she resided. Underlying this narrative is the story of a global citizen who does not want to forget the fundamental values that may often be forgotten or taken for granted in the “immigrant experience.” She and her husband are raising their children in the increasingly glitzy expat bubble that is Singapore.

Home to help

Her parents  remain a big influence in her life. Claire and her family continue to return to the Philippines to help with  causes like Paaralang Pag-ibig at Pag-Asa/School of Love and Hope Special Education.

Gratitude is what she hopes her readers will take away from her book. “Never take anything for granted: not all the experiences you’re blessed with. Not your ability to make a difference in a small way. Not each person who helped you along the way. This is the message I would like to leave with readers.”

Claire and her mother will be in Manila for a “Don’t Forget the Soap” book launch and signing on Dec. 6, 2013, Friday, 7 p.m. at Fully Booked in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

In the spirit of not forgetting the soap, and giving back, espoused in this book, Claire will donate the proceeds of the book launch to the victims of Supetyphoon “Yolanda.”

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TAGS: books, Don’t Forget the Soap, Global Pinoy, Marie Claire Lim Moore, People
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