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Pioneer tech journo, UpgradeMag.com co-founder Melba-Jean Valdez-Bernad dies at 49

Melba-Jean Valdez-Bernad, a technology journalist for almost three decades, died on February 12 after battling cancer. The former editor of Computerworld Philippines and co-founder of Upgrade Magazine, was a two-time awardee of the Catholic Mass Media Awards.

Melba-Jean Valdez-Bernad, a technology journalist for almost three decades, died at 1:48 AM on February 12 after battling cancer.

Born on January 6, 1972, Valdez-Bernad grew up in Papua New Guinea, even if she was proud to say she was 100% Pangasinense, with her mother’s family hailing from San Carlos and her father from Basista. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2017. She underwent chemotherapy sessions in the months that followed, but by March 2018, the cancer cells spread to her back; and by February 2020, to her whole brain.

Valdez-Bernad’s foray into the tech industry started in December 1993, when she started working for Computerworld Philippines. She helmed the publication as its editor until 2013, when she left Media G8way Corp. (MGC), publisher of the title in the Philippines.

Following her departure from MGC, Valdez-Bernad co-founded Upgrade Magazine (an online publication focused on IT for the enterprise and consumer sectors) with other former MGC staff Michael David Tan, Lanie Centina and Reynaldo Vicente. At the time of her passing, Valdez-Bernad was Upgrade Magazine‘s editor-in-chief.

She also co-published and edited Zest Magazine, Upgrade Magazine’s sister publication, which focuses on health and wellness.

Valdez-Bernad similarly worked for Networks Asia (Singapore), SMBWorld Asia (Singapore), and CFO Innovation Asia (Hong Kong) from 2008-2017.

As a journalist, she was a two-time awardee of the Catholic Mass Media Awards (Best News Coverage in 2003 and Best News Coverage for Print in 2004); and an awardee of the first Philippine Cyberpress Journalism Award.

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Valdez-Bernad is survived by her husband Miguel Bernad, who works for the Italian Embassy.

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