OUR TEAM

A staff from the editorial team will keep in touch with you

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Matthew Balicudiong

Matt is a multimedia writer and producer who loves creating value-adding content. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Next Upgrade.

Aside from his web magazine stint, this YouTube-certified producer is currently leading content creation projects on YouTube and Twitter.

Matt spent most of his career in the media industry working as a TV News Writer and Segment Producer at CNN Philippines. After his 6-year TV stint, he took on the role of a Multimedia Content Producer at a Makati-based digital publishing network. In 2022, he made his debut as a screenwriter, writing and producing his first documentary film series featuring Filipino Paralympians entitled "SULONG".

Matt graduated from Philippine Christian University - Manila with a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication major in Broadcasting and Print Media. He earned his Master's degree in Marketing Communications from De La Salle University - Manila.

Outside his corporate life, Matt helps multi-national organizations and brands tell stories through engaging and meaningful content on social media.

Elaine Calderon

Elaine is the epitome of a commuting/carpooling middle-class Asian with a regular 9-5, a semi-adaptive vocabulary, and a shopping problem. She is currently the managing editor of Next Upgrade, while also balancing her work in a Sydney-based social media agency and a local events company. She became a writer and editor for ABS-CBN Publishing’s campus magazine Chalk for more than nine years, starting as an editorial assistant until becoming the Editor-in-Chief in 2014. During this time, she also became a regular contributor for other titles such as Metro, MYX, and Working Mom, to name a few. From 2017 to 2020, she also became the General Manager and acting Editor-in-Chief of a Hong Kong-based startup company where she led a team in the company’s Philippine office. Elaine graduated with a degree in Communication Arts from the University of the Philippines Los Baños in 2008.

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Excel Dyquiangco

Excel started writing short stories and novels even before he hit adolescence. With inspirations such as Stephen King, Christopher Pike, RL Stine, and even the classic murder-mystery show Murder, She Wrote, his stories were initially filled with foreboding images, dark tones, and an array of thrill and suspense. His tales soon transcended into writing for publications and publishing children’s books, having penned two bestsellers, I Don’t Like to Eat published by Adarna House, and Lala Burara by Hiyas Books. Because of his career in writing, Excel often gets invited to speak at symposiums and webinars, and he was once featured in ANC News Channel and Reader’s Digest Asia. As a content writer for Next Upgrade, his focus is on Sports & Fitness as he often works out and likes to get fit. Excel graduated from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City with a degree in Bachelor in Secondary Education.

Gracey Maala

Gracey is the lead content writer for Next Upgrade’s Technology and Gaming sections—topics she loves exploring and learning for work. The pandemic had forced her to choose writing as a career, but she ended up loving it!

She was a former Senior Multimedia Producer at YugaTech where she developed her love for all things tech. Now, she enjoys being a content writer for Next Upgrade and a social media manager at Mustard Digital. Despite her busy schedule, she still finds time to socialize with her friends, watch K-Dramas, and bond with her mom and dogs!

She is a graduate of AB Communication from Lyceum of the Philippines University - Laguna.

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Janice Roman

Janice is a mix of everything—a scholar, writer, researcher, and lecturer in communication and media studies. On regular workdays, she is Next Upgrade’s main writer for Wellness, Pop Culture, and Entertainment sections as well as the managing editor and instructional design manager at C & E Publishing, Inc. Her previous writing experience includes being a contributing writer for entertainment at ABS-CBN Corporation, a writer for a marketing company in Auckland, New Zealand, a freelance press release writer, and an author for coursewares in communication and media studies. She was a Binibining Pilipinas 2018 finalist, representing her hometown, Tondo, Manila. Her reading interests include Nick Joaquin’s books and pride literature. Janice is a Ph.D. student in Communication at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, with local and international publications and conference presentations to her name and upcoming textbook publications, such as Media and Information Literacy and Oral Communication, to name a few.

Karess Rubrico

Karess serves as the lead writer for Next Upgrade’s Productivity and Steals & Deals sections. She is also a freelance content writer and editor.

Since 2009, Karess has written and created content for a range of industries, including non-profit organizations, publishing, real estate, finance, BPOs, local and international SMEs, and healthcare. She pioneered the social media specialist role at a church in the Philippines. Her lifestyle pieces are featured in ModernFilipina.ph, an online webzine for women. In addition, her copyediting work includes the 2019 and 2020 Giving Journal for The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Philippines.

Karess majored in Communication Arts at De La Salle University-Manila.

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Angela Arcega

Initially aiming to solely be a video editor, Angela eventually explored multimedia as a means for more creative freedom. She’s currently the graphic artist for Next Upgrade, but her experiences vary from being a video editor for ASEAN Basketball League and a multimedia artist for both Tatler Philippines and Sydney-based agency, If and When. On regular days, she’s a video editor for e-commerce company Ashford Point.

Angela graduated from De La Salle University-Dasmariñas with a degree in Graphic Design and Multimedia. In the rare times that she’s not creating content, she’s either diving into her tall stack of TBR books or playing with her dog Balenciaga.