All posts tagged: Charisse Baldoria



A sepia-tone image showing a young girl with a ribbon in her hair smiling next to a piano, one hand affectionately resting on the edge of the lid. The wall above is adorned with elephants.

Photo courtesy of author.

Manila, Philippines

In the lanai’s half-light, a softened sun to my left and amber on the keys, I played the piano for my father who did not know the names of notes. I-bitin mo, he said in Tagalog, shrouded in incandescent glow as I shifted from one chord to the next, a nine-year-old on the cusp of competition learning how to cadence. And so, I slowed into suspension, this bitin near the end of the phrase—and all stakes hung in the balance like the last inhale of a life or the final somersault before the thunder of disappointment or applause.