Daz was born in 1952 on the small island of Bohol in the Visayas region in the Philippines. His parents Sofronio and Regina migrated to Mindanao, known as the “Land of Promise”, when Daz was an infant; they settled in Davao Province. His grandparents (father’s side), were small farmers while his grandparents (mother’s side) were small fishermen, known to be descendants of the native people of Borneo. Daz has five siblings; two were Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW); two are small farmers and one is a government employee. Daz is the first child to go to college; he received a diploma in radio communications at Rizal Memorial Colleges in Davao City; he earned a Labor Studies degree at City College of San Francisco; a Certificate in Human Resources Management at SF State University; a Certificate in Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School; and several certificates of attendance at various trainings conducted by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and other AFL-CIO union affiliates.
At age 18, while working at a hospital in his home province of Davao, Mindanao Island, Daz joined the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), a progressive national labor union that opposed the Marcos Martial Law Regime. At age 22, while working as a Paramedic at a banana plantation in Davao province, he was elected the first president of the FFW Local Unit, representing more than 2000 workers. At age 26, he joined a cadre of union organizers and labor educators under the auspices of the Jesuit Pastoral Office in Davao City. In 1978, he, along with several church workers were arrested and detained by the Marcos military for alleged “subversion”. They were released under the custody of the Catholic Bishop of Davao City after more than 24 hours of intensive interrogations and physical abuse by the Philippine Military.
In 1980, Daz was selected as one of the delegates to the “Church and Labor Conference” at the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland; in 1984, Daz received a scholarship to attend a 5-month intensive Justice and Peace Theological Studies in Ireland. In 1985, Daz came to the U.S. during the height of the Martial Law repression in the Philippines; in 1987, he became a union organizer with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) local union in the Bay Area; in 1988, he joined the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as an organizer, field representative and trainer for three SEIU local unions in Northern California (Local 250; 790 & 1021). For two years, he worked as a Senior Field Representative of the International Union Office of SEIU advising and assisting SEIU local union affiliates in the Western Region. At present, he is working as a Field Representative of SEIU Local 1021based in San Francisco.
In 1992, Daz, along with several Asian American labor leaders founded the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), the first national organization of Asian Pacific American union members in the U.S.A.; he served for several years on the National Executive Board. He is currently the president of the APALA San Francisco Chapter. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Filipino American Democratic Club (FADC) of San Francisco and the Secretary of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NAFFAA) in Region 8. Daz received the Warrior Organizer’s Award from SEIU Local 790 in 2002. He was a recipient of the Alston/Bannerman Fellowship Award in 2005.
As an active labor leader and as an immigrant, Daz is passionate about helping immigrant workers and is committed for positive social and economic change.