Are you asking me out, Winter?

My Jagiya Annyeong!
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Kinabukasan, bigla na namang nagtagpo sina Karina at Winter. Ngunit, napansin ni Winter na medyo mahirap itong magsimula ng usapan kay Karina dahil Ingles ang kanyang ginagamit, samantalang mas komportable si Winter sa Tagalog. Sa kanilang muling pagkikita, kitang-kita sa mata ni Karina ang tuwa at pag-asa, subalit agad itong napalitan ng kaba. Lumapit si Winter, tila ba may duda sa kanyang mukha. Bagamat may language barrier, nagtagumpay si Winter na mag-umpisa ng usapan. "Uh, hi! Good afternoon." bungad ni Winter, na nag-iisip kung paano makipag-usap kay Karina. "Hello! Didn't expect to see you again so soon." masiglang sabi ni Karina, na naka-ngiting nakatago sa likod ng kaba. Winter, na nagpupumilit gamitin ang Ingles, "Yeah, me neither. I, um, enjoyed our jeepney ride yesterday." "Oh, definitely! It was a unique experience. Your singing was amazing." "I just thought... um, maybe we could talk again?" aalanganing sabi ni Winter. Karina, taas-kilay, "Sure thing! Why the hesitation, though?" Ngumiti si Winter, "Well, you see, I'm not very good at English. But I want to try." Karina, nagbibiro, "No worries! I can teach you. Game?" Winter, nakangiting pumayag, "Game! Let's do this." Sana all Winter, may taga turo. Turaan ka din magmahal ni Karina. Bagamat unti-unti nang nag-aadjust sa English, muling bumalik ang masayang usapan. Sa bawat salita, tila mas malalim ang koneksyon na unti-unting bumubuo sa kanilang pagitan. Winter, na namumula, "Thank you! I was a bit nervous, but I'm glad you liked it." "No need to be nervous. You're really good. By the way, how did you end up as a viral jeepney driver? Aside from being a good Samaritan." Winter, nagtatawan, "It's a funny story, actually. People started noticing me because they thought I looked like a K-pop idol. Next thing I knew, videos of my rides went viral." Karina, na nakipagbiruan, "Well, you do have that K-pop idol aura." "Is that so? Maybe I should consider a career change." "Who knows? You might become the first K-pop idol jeepney driver." Sumabay naman si Winter sa biro ni Karina, "Wouldn't that be something? So, what brings you here again today?" Karina, na tila walang kahirap-hirap sa pagsagot, "Oh, just wanted to see if the charming jeepney driver was around. And here you are." Inasar ito ni Winter, "Charming, huh? I'll take that as a compliment." Ang harot niyo naman ang daming single dito oh! Sa kabila ng kanilang masayang biruan, tila ba mas naging komportable na sina Winter at Karina sa isa't isa. Ang connection na unang nagsimula sa wikaang kanilang ginagamit ay tila lalong umigting at nagbigay daan sa mas malalim na ugnayan sa kanilang pagitan. Winter, may kaba sa tinig. "Hey, Karina, can I ask you something? Why are you here in the Philippines?" Karina, na ngumingiti. "Oh, I'm here on a break. Our group decided to take some time off, and I thought it would be nice to explore different places. That's how I ended up here." Hindi sinabi ni Karina ang totoo kay Winter dahil nahihiya ito, lalo na sa ginawa niya kahapon na paghalik kay Winter. Buti nalang at walang nakakitang paparazzi at mga fans niya. Winter, na medyo nag-aalangan. "Ah, I see. Sorry if my English is not perfect. Sometimes, I make mistakes." Karina, reassuringly. "No worries at all! Your English is good, and I understand you perfectly. Don't stress about it." Winter, ngiti. "Thanks for understanding. I'm still learning, but I appreciate your patience." Karina, palihim na nagbibiro. "Well, it's a good thing I find your attempts cute. Adds charm to the conversation." Winter, naglakas-loob. "Haha, thanks for being kind about it. So, what made you choose the Philippines for your break?" Karina, nagmumula sa puso. "I've heard so much about the beautiful culture and warm hospitality here. Plus, I've always been intrigued by the language. It's a great opportunity to learn and connect with people." Winter, ngiti. "That's cool. I'm glad you're enjoying your time here. And, uh, I hope we can spend more time together." Karina, nagbibiro. "Are you asking me out, Winter?" Winter, natatawang. "Well, yeah. If you're up for it." Karina, may ngiti. "Sure, why not? I'd love to spend more time with the charming jeepney driver." Winter, nagtatawan. "Charming, huh? I think I like that title." Nagpatuloy ang masayang usapan, at tila ba unti-unti nang natutuklasan ni Winter ang mas magaan na pakiramdam sa pagsasalita kay Karina. Winter, feeling more at ease, continued their conversation. "So, Karina, what's been the highlight of your trip here so far?" Karina, reminiscing. "Hmm, definitely the jeepney ride with you. It was unexpected and fun. Oh, and your singing was a pleasant surprise." Winter, with a playful smile. "Glad you enjoyed the mini concert. Maybe I should consider a singing career on the side." Karina, teasingly. "Why not? Charming jeepney driver turned K-pop idol who sings during rides. Sounds like a hit." Winter, laughing. "You have a vivid imagination, Karina. But who knows? Life is full of surprises." As they shared more stories and laughter, the language barrier seemed to fade away. Winter appreciated Karina's patience and genuine interest in getting to know her. Karina, on the other hand, found herself drawn to Winter's warmth and the unique connection they were building. Unti-unti na ring nawala ang agam-agam ni Winter sa pagsasalita kay Karina. Bagamat hindi perpekto ang kanyang English, ramdam niyang mas nauunawaan na siya ni Karina at ito'y nagbibigay ng kakaibang kumpiyansa sa kanya. Winter, curious, turned the conversation back to Karina. "By the way, Karina, is there anything specific you want to explore or experience here in the Philippines?" Karina, thoughtful. "I'd love to immerse myself more in the local culture, maybe learn a bit of Tagalog, and definitely try more Filipino dishes. Any recommendations?" Winter, enthusiastic. "Oh, for sure! There's a lot to explore, and I'd be happy to show you around. We can start with some delicious local food. How does that sound?" Karina, appreciative. "Sounds perfect. I'm looking forward to it, Winter." Naiwan niyang naka-park ang jeepney malapit sa isang kanto, "Karina! Would you like to join me for a little adventure? I was thinking of exploring the street food scene here. Ryujin was supposed to come, but she's not feeling well, so it's just me for now. Interested?" Tumango si Karina ng may kakaibang excitement. "Sure, Winter! I'd love to. Street food sounds like a great idea!" Para namang alam mo kung ano iyon Karina. Habang naglalakad sila patungo sa makulay na jeepney, napag-usapan nila, "I'm curious about Filipino street food. I heard they have unique and tasty offerings. Do you have any favorites?" Winter, ngiting namumula, "Oh, definitely! I love isaw, fish balls, and balut. Have you tried any of those?" Karina, nagmumula ng curiousity, "Isaw? Fish balls? Balut? Those sound interesting. What are they exactly?" Nag-umpisa si Winter sa pagkulit tungkol sa iba't ibang serye ng Filipino street food. "So, isaw is basically barbecued chicken or pork intestines. Sounds odd, but it's delicious! Fish balls are these round, deep-fried snacks made from fish paste. And then there's balut, which is a fertilized duck egg with a partially developed embryo." Naguluhan si Karina, pero nagpumilit na maging bukas sa kakaibang karanasan. "Oh, that's...unique. I've never tried anything like that before. But hey, I'm up for new experiences." Hindi pa niya natry pero narinig na niya ito sa manager nilang si Aeri. Masaya ang ngiti ni Winter, natutuwa sa excitement ni Karina. "That's the spirit! Filipino street food is all about flavors and adventure. You'll love it." Napansin ni Karina ang kanyang kakulangan sa wika. Paminsan-minsan, nagkakamali siya sa pagbigkas, at parang nag-aalala na baka hindi maintidihan ng maayos ni Winter. Nag-adjust si Winter, sensitibo sa nararamdaman ni Karina. "Don't worry too much about the words, Karina. Exploring the street food is about enjoying the experience. It's okay to stumble a bit with the language. I'm here to help and guide you through it." Napangiti si Karina, natuwa sa suporta ni Winter. "Thanks, Winter. I appreciate your understanding. I'm excited to try these... unique dishes." Habang naghihintay ng pagkakataon na tikman ang iba't ibang street food, nagbahagi sila ng kwento at tawanan, at mas lalong lumalim ang koneksyon nina Winter at Karina, na tila ba mas nagbukas sa kabila ng wika at kultura. Si Winter at Karina ay pumunta sa paboritong street food vendor nila ni Ryujin na si Manang Susan. Tuwang-tuwa si Karina sa mga nakikita niya, kumpleto ang binibenta ni Manang Susan – may barbecue, balut, at fishball. Kasama ni Manang Susan ang kanyang anak na si Marion, at malaki ang kanilang pwesto. Tinatanong ni Karina si Winter sa iba't ibang street foods na binebenta ni Manang Susan, gusto niyang malaman kung ano ang mga tawag dito. Winter approached the familiar street food vendor, Manang Susan, with Karina in tow. Ang nakakatakam na amoy ng inihaw na barbecue at ang malutong na tunog ng pagpriprito ng fish balls ang nagbigay buhay sa paligid. Manang Susan, mainit na bumati, "Oh, Winter! Matagal na tayong di nagkita. At sino itong kaakit-akit mong kaibigan?" Winter, nagpapakilala kay Karina: "Manang Susan, ito si Karina. Kaibigan ko siya mula sa Korea. Karina, ito si Manang Susan, queen of street food here in our place." Manang Susan, ngumiti, "Kamusta, Karina! Maligayang pagdating sa aming munting lugar ng street food. Ano'ng gusto niyong order ngayon?" Winter, nagta-translate para kay Karina, "Karina, Manang Susan said how are you and she's welcoming you here, also asking what you'd like to try. We've got barbecue, balut, fish balls, and more." Karina, curious, "Oh, I'm fine and thank you. And everything looks so interesting. What do you recommend, Manang Susan?" Manang Susan, may malambing na ngiti, "Para sa mga baguhan, sige lang ng sige. Pa-mekus-mekus tayo ng barbecue, balut, at fish balls?" "Mekus-mekus? What's that? Is that kind of food also?" Curious na tanong ni Karina na nakakunot pa ang noo. Natawa si Winter, "No, Karina, Manang said for first-timers, she'd suggest trying a bit of everything. How about a mix of barbecue, balut, and fish balls?" Pagtranslate ni Winter. Karina, medyo nag-aalangan, "Ah, I see! Alright, let's go for it." Wag kayo kakain ng balot si Karina. Habang inihahanda ni Manang Susan ang kanilang order, patuloy na nagtatanungan si Karina tungkol sa iba't ibang klase ng street food, nagpapakita ng kanyang kuryusidad na subukan ang mga lutong Pinoy. Ang masigla at masayang usapan kina Winter, Karina, at Manang Susan ay nagbigay kulay sa animadong kanto ng street food. Winter, with a teasing grin, "Karina, you're in for a treat! Manang Susan's recommendations are always on point. You'll love the mix of flavors." Karina, with an intrigued smile, "I'm excited to try everything. It's a bit different from what I'm used to, but that's the fun part, right?" Winter, nodding, "Absolutely! It's all about embracing new experiences. And Filipino street food is a delicious adventure." Habang nag-aantay ng kanilang order, nadama ni Karina ang init at buhay na buhay na paligid ng street food corner. Nakakatuwa para kay Winter na makita si Karina na bukas sa pag-eksplika ng kakaibang kultura at pagkain. Manang Susan, presenting their order: "Eto na ang inyong combination: barbecue, balut, at fish balls. Enjoy, mga anak!" Winter, translating for Karina: "Karina, Manang Susan said this is our combination: barbecue, balut, and fish balls. Let's dig in!" "Karina, say salamat po, to manang Susan. It means thank you and also excited na ako tikman ang mga ito." Kahit na may pagtataka sa mukha ni Karina ay sinunod niya parin si Winter. Hirap ito sa pagbikas pero nagawa niya naman kahit bulol at talagang may accent. Sa isip ni Winter ang cute lang! Puwede kabang ibulsa Karina? Karina, with a grateful smile, "Salamat po, Manang Susan! Excited na ako tikman ang mga ito." Nakangiting proud si Winter. Tumuloy sila sa maliit na lamesa sa tabi ng kanto, nagbahagi ng tawanan at kwento habang masigla ang usapan sa pagitan nina Winter at Karina. Sa bawat kagat at subo, tila mas bumubukas ang pag-unawa ni Karina sa kultura ng Pilipinas. Winter cracked open the balut, excited to share the Filipino delicacy with Karina. As the shell revealed its contents, Karina's eyes widened in surprise. She noticed what looked like a tiny chick inside, and a mix of confusion and sympathy crossed her face. Karina, still puzzled by the sight of the balut, curiously asked, "What is this? Is this a chick?" Winter, with a playful grin, explained, "It's called balut. It's a fertilized duck egg with a partially developed embryo inside. A bit unusual, but many find it tasty. Try it!" Karina hesitated, expressing reluctance to eat what seemed like a little chick. Winter, finding amusement in her reaction, chuckled softly, appreciating the cultural differences playing out in their culinary adventure. The two shared a light moment, bridging gaps through laughter and the joy of discovering new tastes together. Karina gave it a try but insisted she didn't like the "chick" part. Winter chuckled at her reaction, finding amusement in her honest response. Karina, with a hint of sympathy, remarked, "I feel sorry for the little chick. I'll pass on that part, Winter. Let's stick to the safe ones." Ang babaw ng luha ni Karina. Parang maiyak na ito. Winter, still amused, teased Karina, "Aw, don't worry, it's not a real chick. It's part of the balut, a Filipino delicacy. The chick is fully cooked, and some people find it delicious. But hey, no pressure. You can enjoy the other parts." Habang sila'y nag-eenjoy sa kanilang street food, aprovechó ni Karina ang pagkakataon na matuto ng ilang mga ekspresyon sa Tagalog kay Winter. Sa kanyang bibig na puno ng barbecue, sinubukan ni Karina bigkasin ang mga salita. "Uhm, Winter, ho.. how do you say this correctly? 'Gusto ko pa,' is that right?" Karina asked. Tumawa si Winter, "Close enough! It's 'gusto ko pa.' Good try, Karina. You'll get the hang of it." Karina, tumango, "Ah, 'gusto ko pa.' Thank you, Winter. Tagalog is challenging, but it's fun." "You're doing great! Tagalog can be tricky, but you're picking it up. Keep going!" Sa gitna ng tawanan at pagsusubok sa pronunciation, mas lumalim ang kanilang usapan. Sa bawat pagkakamali ni Karina, tila lumalakas ang kanilang koneksyon, luwagang nagdudulot ng masiglang pagtawanan at mas matinding ugnayan. "Uh, Winter, sorry, but I'm kinda confused with the different 'p' and 'f' sounds. Is 'pareho' the same as 'pareho ba iyon'? Oh, it's 'pareho ba iyon,' by the way." Natawa na naman si Winter, "Close enough! But stop, 'pareho ba iyon.' Nice try, Karina. Tagalog is tricky, but I appreciate your effort." Saya mo niyan Winter? Ngumiti si Karina, "Thanks, Winter. It's really challenging, but I want to get used to it." "You're making progress! Don't stress too much. Enjoy the experience, and the language will come naturally." "How do say 'delicious' in Tagalog?" she inquired, her words carrying a distinct Korean accent. Winter, amused by the language exchange, replied, "It's 'masarap.'" Karina, determined to catch on, repeated, "Masarap. Got it. 'Thank you'?" Winter, smiling, instructed, "That's 'salamat.' You said earlier to Manang." Karina echoed, "Oh? Sorry I forgot. Salamat. Easy. 'Good morning'?" Winter, encouragingly, shared, "That's 'magandang umaga.'" Karina, earnest in her efforts, declared, "Magandang umaga. I'm getting hang, I think." As they continued savoring the diverse street foods, Karina persisted in learning more Tagalog phrases. "How say 'I like this'?" she questioned, her determination evident despite her occasional linguistic stumble. Winter, patient and supportive, responded, "It's 'gusto ko ito.'" Karina repeated, "Gusto ko ito. Great!" Karina, catching on, grinned, "This is fun. 'I enjoy your company'?" Ginawa mo namang translator si Winter, Karina. Winter, touched by Karina's enthusiasm, shared, "That's 'natutuwa akong kasama ka'" Karina, genuinely expressing, said, "
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Ghad20
30 streak #1
Chapter 4: Congratulations
ryujinie__
675 streak #2
Chapter 4: My heart 🥹🤍

Promoted, congrats!! 🥳
Gungdaengie
38 streak #3
Chapter 3: Heartwarming 😭🥺
EzraSeige
#4
Chapter 3: Uwu 😣😤😍💙❄
Kael_neo #5
Chapter 2: ang cute lods. matakot ka na winter, may papalit na sa'yo as jeepney driver of the year. ヾ(*’O’*)/
Gungdaengie
38 streak #6
Chapter 2: Grabe ang cutee
ryujinie__
675 streak #7
Chapter 1: CUTEEEEE 🤧🤍
howdoyouknowmee
521 streak #8
UY MY TYPE!!!!
Kael_neo #9
Chapter 1: wdym end?? 😞😞
dork_seulgi_k
843 streak #10
Chapter 1: ang cute hahaha