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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

My May 5th Song

  1. FADE IN

  2. Act 1

  3. INT. SITTING ROOM - 14:30

  4. The TV is on. PETER is checking his smart phone.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Today is May 5th of the Chinese lunar calendar - a public holiday to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival.

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The Festival is meant to commemorate a famous patriotic poet Qu Yuan. He committed suicide over 2000 years ago.

  8. Pausing.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Due to the pandemic, the customary rowing of dragon boats has been suspended.

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For the festivals that I like, I've written theme songs. I exchange greetings with them.

  12. Pausing.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I love my May 5th song.

  14. Act 2


  16. EXT. GUANGDONG NORTH - DAY (Oct 2015)

  17. Peter (61) is walking past golden but harvested terraced rice fields built into the mountain slope.

  18. PETER (V.O.): As a first timer to see terraced rice fields, I don't know what to expect.

  19. Pausing.

  20. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Now is Autumn, I shouldn't expect to see green seedlings in flooded terraced rice fields.

  21. Walking further up the slope, Peter sees a few dragon-like sculptures made of straw. He pauses to take images of them.

  22. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's a pleasant surprise to see the art works. I can imagine the farmer's way of life.

  23. EXT. LONGJI , GUANGXI - DAY (June, 2016)

  24. Peter (62), in a rain coat, sees terraced rice fields, from the mountain foot up to the mountain top.

  25. PETER (V.O.): "Longji" means "Dragon Backbone". The terraced rice fields here resemble a dragon's scales.

  26. Walking up the mountain, Peter sees farmers planting green budding seedlings in the well-flooded rice fields.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): They work so hard so that no one would starve.

  28. Raining. Peter opens an umbrella.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Farming in terraced rice fields isn't easy.

  30. Later, the sky is pouring. At a mountain top shelter, Peter and other PHOTOGRAPHERS watch the farmers working the fields down under.

  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's a very special sight but I can't stay here for long as I've to rejoin the package tour.


  33. Peter is surfing the web with his smart phone.

  34. PETER (V.O.): Let me find out when is the best time to see the terraced rice fields here?

  35. Reading.

  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, as a tradition, the farmers would begin to irrigate their terraced fields immediately after the May 5th of the Chinese lunar calendar.

  37. Pausing.

  38. PETER (V.O.): I must bear this in mind.


  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Believing that I needn't repeat the trip that quick, I went to Tokyo, Hainan and Ishigaki in the month of June from 2017-2019.

  41. Pausing.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But due to the pandemic, I've suspended my monthly travelling hobby since March 2020.

  43. Recalling.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In May 2017, I got an early Dragon Boat Festival greeting from a friend in Canada.

  45. Pausing.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Her greeting inspired me to write a song to reciprocate.

  47. Pausing.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Focusing on the objective, I got the raw but real song in about three hours.

  49. Reflecting.

  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Since I began private practice in Sept 2017, I haven't got a song as good as it.

  51. Act 3

  52. INT. SITTING ROOM - 19:30

  53. Watching TV news, Peter sees dragon boats rowing on screen.

  54. PETER (V.O.): A team that rows is a team that grows. I'm glad to see that activities are returning to normal.

  55. Pausing.

  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Perhaps, it's about time I should resume writing my songs.

  57. Pausing.

  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Meanwhile, let me dedicate my May 5th song to all!

  59. Peter checks smart phone notifications.

  60. THE END

  61. FADE OUT

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