Geej Williams has performed in many countries around the world, and has composed music for various theater productions. She toured extensively as a performer and theater trainer with the internationally renowned Kaliwat Theater Collective then led by Nestor Horfilla, and with the Asian Council for People’s Culture Theater for the Environment Network (ACPC-TENT) led by Al Santos. She also conducted many trainings in music and theater for the Cultural Center of the Philippines and was Vice-Chairperson of the Dramatic Arts Committee of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
As a thespian, Geej has nearly 30 years of working with various groups as performer, music composer, director, playwright, and trainer. She was Performing Arts Director at The Foundation Academy in Jacksonville, FL in Aug 2017-Jan 2019 where she also taught Orff and Drama.
Geej has very strong theater foundations in the Philippines. Her notable achievements include:
- Artistic director, dramaturg, composer, and performer in the multi-media concert-theater production of “Salima,” written by Arnel Mardoquio and produced by Earthmusic Foundation, which toured in Mindanao, Philippines and was performed at the National Theater Festival and Mindanao Theater Festival (Adindanao);
- Director, co-librettist, co-playwright, and performer of Panaw by Mebuyan Peace Project—choreographed by the world-renowned choreographer Agnes Locsin—which was performed at the Asian Women’s Theater Festival in India, and at the Asia Pacific Conference for Women in the Arts held in Manila;
- Co-composer for the internationally renowned Integrated Performing Arts Guild’s dance-drama “Uwahig,” which toured Asia and Europe, and the dance-musicale “Sita: Ramayana Revisited” by the same performing group, which debuted at the 8th APB Festival in Singapore; and
- Co-composer for Don Pagusara’s adaptation of Brecht’s “Mother Courage” performed by the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ resident theater company Tanghalang Pilipino; which was nominated for Outstanding Musical Composition in the annual Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group (PHILSTAGE) performing arts awards.
One of Geej’s songs from the play “Uwahig” was performed on “The Voice” in the Philippines, which to date has 8 million views on Youtube.
As a musician, Geej is one of the founding members and songwriters of the prestigious band, Mebuyan, in her hometown Davao. She was also award winning songwriter at the Tunog Mindanaw World Music Competition for two consecutive years. The music video of her instrumental music, ONE, by Elvert Bañares, is entry to three short music video festivals, including Blackbird 15 and World Music Videos.
Geej started writing songs in English after moving to the US in 2011 and has since released her first solo recording, entitled “Journey,” which is available in CDBaby, Itunes, Spotify, etc. (See Geej Williams Music). She also performs with Ken Anoff’s Time to Drum and Mark Williams and Blue Horse.
Geej Performing with Time to Drum
One of the things Geej has held close to her heart has been her involvement with various non-profit organizations doing cultural, international, and peace work for over 30 years. As a member of Kaliwat Theater Collective in Davao, Geej worked alongside indigenous peoples in their quest for their ancestral domains and conducted research on indigenous peoples’ myths, legends, and traditional art forms. She also became involved with the Initiatives for International Dialogue as its Publication and Global Education Coordinator. The institution was the secretariat for the Free Burma Coalition (FBC) and the Asia Pacific Coalition for East Timor (APCET), which worked towards the democracy and sovereignty in Myanmar and East Timor, respectively.
Geej was also communications and popular education director for the Mindanao Commission on Women for six years, where she trained women political leaders in peacemaking. She documented and co-facilitated the commission’s project “If Women Negotiated the Peace Panel”—the results of which were presented to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Government of the Republic of the Philippines GRP) Peace Panels for their series of peace talks in 2008.
Geej, whose full name is CECILIA BAJO WILLIAMS, is also known by the following names: Geejay Arriola, Geej Lang, and Geej Langlois.
Geej in a reunion concert with MEBUYAN, December 2016, Davao City, Philippines
Geej with MEBUYAN