Guest Author - Rachel Meneses-Ponce
Manners for Moving Up is about etiquette in modern times. While the author targets the “people on the way up” as the book’s audience, I find the tips and recommendations apply to people of all ages.
It is a small book, only 80 pages in all. Written in an easy, humorous manner it is interspersed with sketches and cartoon-like illustrations.
The book’s intention is to serve as a guide in the practice of good manners whatever it is one is doing, wherever he/she is, either with family, the significant other, relatives or strangers. Etiquette or good manners, according to the author will take one faster to his/her destination, with finesse and self-confidence. One can even have fun along the way, acquire a good reputation and even become popular.
The author covered areas in daily living. For example, the proper use of mobile phones and other digital gadgets popular these days. She reminds the readers to turn off the cell phone in church, while driving, before start of a meeting, before boarding a plane, while in a hospital and even in a spa.
She also gave tips on how to make introductions. A simple rule to remember she said is to always mention the name of the lady/woman/girl first. Exception is when the other party is older, an authority or holds a high position.
In a formal dinner, she reminds the reader with great humor, not to panic when faced with an array of table “arsenal”, that is, glasses, plates and a variety of silverware laid out neatly in front of him/her. It is wise to wait for the host/hostess to pick up the table napkin before touching anything on the table she said. Then do the same, always with the left hand and the table napkin placed at the lap. Now, which of the spoons/forks/knives to use first? It’s always the ones farthest from your plate, and you go inner as the dinner progresses.
The author also tackled proper decorum while in malls, attending a concert, performing, being a good wedding guest, how to give gifts, first date manners, dressing right, saying thank you, when to break the rules, among others.
I find the contents of the book still relevant to this day even though it was published in 1996. After all, good manners never go out of fashion.
Ed. Note: The author, Jullie Y. Daza, is a well- established society page columnist in the Philippines and has written other books as well. Her best seller is Etiquette for Mistresses, with 2 volumes.
I bought my copy of Manners for Moving Up at National Bookstore, the Philippines’ biggest chain of bookstores.