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Don't Forget the Soap

Don’t Forget the Soap

4.8 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings
(5 customer reviews)

$14.95 $10.47


by Marie Claire Lim Moore

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 everyday 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.

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Book Information

Book Information

Edition Paperback
ISBN 978-1-927559-60-4
Book Size 6X9
Number of pages 221
Published Date 09-2013

Reviews (5)

5 reviews for Don’t Forget the Soap

  1. 5 out of 5


    Don’t Forget the Soap (And Other Reminders from My Fabulous Filipina Mother) by Marie Claire Lim Moore is easily the best memoir I’ve ever read. The stories are truly inspiring, and happy, and so damned positive.

    I was probably smiling the entire time I was reading this book. I have a lot of things going through my mind and the first one being that this is what happens when one isn’t afraid to take risks and go after what they wanted. Yes, the book speaks of balance in life but then, we could never deny that leaving the country and their (the author’s parents) family behind and going to an unfamiliar country was a huge risk. It took a lot of courage on their parents’ part for sure, so was making the decision to leave an already comfortable and happy life in Canada in exchange of a new one in New York. There was a lot of determination in there (not to mention hard work) and I guess that that’s what made Marie Claire’s parents so successful, and ultimately, Marie Claire herself, as well as her brother.

    I also couldn’t help but think that a lot of their happiness and success were also due to the family members’ huge hearts. I know helping other people (whether or not you’re in dire straits), is hard. But in the end, one can never truly live and be truly happy if one doesn’t try to learn how to make a difference in other people’s lives.

    In this life, it’s so easy to be cynical, but living a happy life takes a lot less toll physically and emotionally. We are already living in a world full of pain, why inflict them upon others needlessly? This is what the book tells us mainly, among a lot of other things.

    I’m so glad I picked this book up. It gives off positivity. I’m not simply referring to the way the author writes her book. It’s not just the stories as well. Looking at the pictures in the book, one can easily tell that the author is truly a cheerful and vibrant person. And beside her is a supportive family starting with her wise parents.

    I seriously love the author’s mom. And her father (I really find the Philippine Carinderia episode really, really amusing, lol). I would love to read more about Justin and the rest of the family.

    This book also reminded me about a lot of things that I already know but have forgotten. It’s so easy to get caught up with some things and forget/cast aside the others.

    Looking forward to reading the next book. ^__^

    *I rate this 5/5 stars and I recommend this highly to everyone.

    – Josephine, Goodreads Reviewer

  2. 5 out of 5


    Becoming a mother is one of the things that has made me a fulfilled and complete person, and everyday, I am thankful that my husband and I have been blessed with a darling little girl almost three years ago. Since then (well, maybe even before then, I just didn’t realize it until later), I promised myself that I would try my very best to be a good mother and role model to my daughter, to raise her the best way I know how, always keeping in mind the values instilled in me by my own parents. As a mother, my fervent wish is for my child to grow up to become a well-rounded, disciplined and successful person, and for her to also become a good mother to her own children someday.

    That is why Don’t Forget the Soap (And Other Reminders from My Fabulous Filipina Mother) was such a hit with me.

    To say that I enjoyed reading this collection of stories from the real-life experiences of the author, Marie Claire Lim Moore (whom I admire, by the way – who wouldn’t?) and her immigrant Filipino family would be an understatement. This book is overflowing with lessons on family, love and life that it could just as well be a mother’s personal parenting bible that she can occasionally consult for advice or even just inspiration. Unlike your run-of-the-mill self-help or advice books, though, the lessons dished out in Don’t Forget the Soap are told by way of funny anecdotes and humorous stories, making them sound more effective, real, and less preachy.

    I loved the dynamics of the relationships that existed in the author’s family: I loved how the author’s parents (and especially her mother) inculcated discipline in their children without resorting to corporal punishment (my husband and I are totally sold on the “good cop, bad cop” style of dealing with kids), I was envious of how close the author and her younger brother are (my own sibling and I didn’t exactly go the same route), and I admired how the values and ideals that their parents have imbued in them when they were young have been instrumental in the shaping of their future. It is clear that the Lim kids – the author and her brother – would not be where they are today if they did not heed their parents’ advice and considered them every step of the way. The rules and limitations that their parents have set upon them, how they were strict to a certain degree or lenient, if need be, were clearly effective. In this respect, I know that I could take a leaf or two out of their own family book – for that is what Don’t Forget the Soap is all about, really – and file it away for future reference. My own family can surely benefit from the reminders in this book.

    It was also fun to read about stuff that I recognize from my own adolescent years, because I am also a child of the late 70’s and 80’s, and because my own family has been on the receiving end of those balikbayan boxes that our relatives used to ship from abroad: boxes of imported corned beef and other canned food (yes, those with the “keys” on the side), packages of soap, shampoo and various toiletries, used clothing and even toys, and a whole bunch of other stuff crammed into whatever space was available. In the early 90’s, when I was a bumbling and awkward teenager, Beverly Hills 90210 had its popular run (until now, my favorite is still Jennie Garth, aka Kelly), and I could only remember watching foreign or “canned” TV shows because my parents strictly banned local sitcoms in our household, declaring that we wouldn’t learn anything of value from watching them. No one in our family met the Aquinos, but I know them because my parents are staunch loyalistas. So in the end, reading Don’t Forget the Soap wasn’t only about picking up parenting or homemaking tips, but it was also a trip of sorts down memory lane. And it was a lot of fun.

    And because the author has declared in the first part of the book that she makes lists, I’ll make my own list of the top five things that I like most about this book:

    (1) “Who’s going to tell you… [insert name of friend here]??” Or the important distinction between parents and friends.

    (2) “You can make mistakes and you can disappoint us but whatever happens, don’t let your parents be the last to know.” I was guilty of this when I was younger and it is only now I realized how important this advice is. It’ll be a different ballgame with my daughter.

    (3) “Good cop, bad cop” parenting style.

    (4) “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” Or how sympathy and understanding can be even more important than IQ.

    (5) Every single item that falls under the “Practical Tips” chapter. Martha Stewart, move over. 😀

    Highly recommended for parents and for those who are planning to start their own families soon. Oh, and don’t forget the soap!

    “If you prepare yourself at every point as well as you can, with whatever means you may have, however meager they may seem, you will be able to grasp opportunity for broader experience when it appears.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

    – Monique, Goodreads Reviewer

  3. 4 out of 5


    For the (not too many) regular visitors of this blog, it is evident that non-fiction books are not a constant staple on my plate. When I read the title of this book, however, I immediately signed up for the scheduled blog tour, because of two words that caught my interest: Filipina and Mother.
    It is no secret that I am currently trying to read as many local books as I can. Upon learning that the author is a full-blood Filipina, being born to Filipino parents, I knew that I had to read this book. And since I am a (struggling) new mom, I figured that this book would also contain tips which would be of great use to me.

    Don’t Forget The Soap turned out to be a very enjoyable and insightful read. Marie Claire Lim Moore writes simply and candidly, never mincing words as to her being old-fashioned or to the fact that she comments excessively or that she is a sucker for TV shows.

    My initial expectation of the book was that I thought this would be a typical listing of the do’s and don’ts of life. I got this cue from the title which says that the book contains reminders from the author’s mothers. Indeed, Don’t Forget The Soap contains do’s and don’ts but it also contains how-to’s. However, what makes the book more appealing is that the reminders were presented through anecdotes which are usually humorous or embarrassing and not just mere enumerations or listings (although there are several lists here but not without its corresponding relevant tale). And there are photos, too, which offered a glimpse into the lives of the Lims. It would have been lovelier if the photos came with color. 😀

    It is easy to admire the author and her family. More than their achievements and the fact that they had been to too many places together (they had lived in New York!), I admire them for their closeness as a family. It is not common to see families who are able to maintain the kind of closeness the Lims have despite their being immigrants and for the author and her brother to maintain the kind of respect and high regard that they have towards their parents. The set of values that the author espouses is very admirable. Indeed, the author and her family are blessed abundantly, but more than being blessed, they have shown that they are blessed more, they are also willing to give more.

    I must admit that there are things in the book which I couldn’t fully relate to (e.g. the American TV shows, various places in New York) but the tips and lessons mentioned in the book were wise and made perfect sense. Some of the reminders that really stuck to me are about always keeping a balance and giving importance to the persons close to you. And then, of course, there’s the good cop, bad cop parenting style which really provided a lot of insights to me on how to deal with and discipline my own children.

    If I were have to describe Don’t Forget The Soap in a statement, it would be this simple: Of all the things in life, maintaining good relationships are, and always will be, important. And that is a statement I will never argue against.

    “My case is based on universally agreed upon premises. What’s the basis for your argument?” I had asked.

    “The basis is I’m your mother. That tone may work with your classmates at Yale but you will never win that way with me.” (p. 125)

    – Lynai, It’s a Wonderful Bookworld Blog

  4. 5 out of 5


    Prepare yourself for an inspiring and heartwarming read! Through funny and insightful anecdotes about her wonderful family, Lim-Moore imparts valuable wisdom and advice on how to raise grounded, well-balanced kids with an appreciation for the important things that ultimately make a successful life: love of family, treating everybody equally and with respect, taking advantage of every opportunity to make people feel special, and looking out for those who are less fortunate. Impossible to read without laughing out loud, being awed with her inspirational stories of achievement and karmic rewards, and smiling long after you’ve put it down. Thanks for sharing such wonderful stories and advice! Brava on an excellent publication, hopefully the first of many “Moore” to come!

    – Sheila, Goodreads Reviewer

  5. 5 out of 5


    Claire Lim-Moore’s Don’t Forget the Soap (and Other Reminders from my Fabulous Filipina Mother) is the book every grandmother wishes her daughter would write, and every young mother would do well to read in order to raise her children in a loving, happy manner. Not only is it an excellent how-to manual about living the immigrant experience, it encapsulates, with a fine, light hand and a huge sense of humor, whispered reminders and embodied lessons that a second generation can hand down to the next.
    It is not surprising that the discipline, generosity and graciousness of Lenore have touched more than a nerve – in fact, they have burrowed deep into the heart of the writer. Claire’s mom is not a tiger but a quiet silk butterfly, strong as steel, dignified, influential and full of amiability. One can discern that the author’s sensible advice is borne from a mother who has reflected deeply into what makes one successful in an uncommon definition of the word.
    The exuberance of heart, thoughtfulness and affection in Lim-Moore’s book leave the reader with the soaring feeling that what people care about is who you are, and that what is important is how you help others. A stunning debut.

    – Estela A. Reyes, Amazon Reviewer

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