By James Tabafunda – Northwest Asian Weekly
September 18, 2015
Business owners Chera Amlag and George “Geo” Quibuyen know quite a lot about leadership and activism – universal human connection, in other words.
The husband-and-wife team work as volunteer community organizers who are not only interested in social change but also in showing that their ideas can help make that change happen.
Quibuyen, 35, expresses his ideas through hip-hop music and rhyme as rapper Prometheus Brown and uses them as vehicles to take on issues like racism and youth empowerment.
“My approach to the music was always just be myself. Write about what I know so you’ll hear a lot of my own personal history,” he said. “It’s also about your place within a community.”
Born in Long Beach, California, he lived in National City before moving with his family to Hawaii at age 2. They eventually moved to the mainland city of Bremerton, Washington where he met Amlag, an immigrant from Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines who arrived before Quibuyen with her own family in 1986.
At the University of Washington (UW), Quibuyen met fellow student Alexei Saba “DJ Sabzi” Mohajerjasbi in 1999. They formed the hip-hop duo Blue Scholars in early 2002, and Quibuyen took on the role of emcee as MC Geologic.
“After (I worked) four years at the Wing Luke museum, we finally got an opportunity to actually go on tour, put out our music as independent artists, and I’ve been doing that ever since,” he said.
“I said, ‘I’m going to do this rap thing. I’m going to go on tour. We’re going to do shows, but when I’m not doing that, I’m going to actually be in the community, doing the education, doing workshops.’”
While attending a UW Filipino American Student Association conference, Amlag, 35, learned about impoverished Filipino women who travel overseas to earn money as domestic workers, many of whom unknowingly become victims of human trafficking.