I’ve been working in Makati for about a decade now (well that certainly dates me! Lol) and a good friday lunch out would have me and my officemates walking along Paseo De Roxas to get to Greenbelt. we would always pass by Pioneer House along the way and I have always noticed colorful banners in front of that building with images and signs about about a female crime fighting character with the name Private Iris.
I didn’t put two and two together until my classmate in AIM, Gilbert who works in Pioneer Life introduced me to one of his colleagues, Jo-I who lent me two copies of Private Iris. She also explained to me what the comic books were all about. I surely appreciated the connection between Pioneer and the wonderfully smart and quirky Iris Able after that and I’d love to share what I found out with you!
Private Iris is a comic book that’s helmed by Jamie Bautista and Arnold Arre YES the ARNOLD ARRE. I read two issues (or cases as they call them) of Private Iris on a recent day trip to Tagaytay and I loved that the stories were very engaging and that the characters are very well developed.
You have Iris Able, the smartest Kid in Macguffin Plains but who keeps to herself a lot of times thus earning her the nickname “Private Iris”. She’s best friends with Danton Cord, the popular kid in school. They both remind me of BDW and myself. Growing up I was a geeky kid who actually loved learning (nerd alert!) and although BDW went to a different school, I found out that he was one of the popular kids in their area because he was a jock and well he was cute too (wehehe). Easy-going, friendly Danton is the perfect foil to the super serious and sarcastic Iris Able.
What’s the connect between Private Iris and Pioneer? well Pioneer has a savings product called SPARX for kids. Pioneer also wanted to reach out to the young’uns to teach them about managing their money and being financially responsible.
Private Iris’ cases all tackle themes on money management. In Club Wars! the student council at Private Iris’ school is in trouble because they spent so much on a stage decoration that there was not enough money left for the school’s other exhibits.
This lesson though was hidden in a clever detective story so that kids get to “discover” what the issues are together with Private Iris. They thus learn a super important lesson without it being forced down their throats.
I also love the fact that the stories are never patronizing nor are dumbed down for kids. Private Iris is smart and sophisticated for a kid her age and she’s not afraid to use what she knows. Best thing about Private Iris too is that she’s a girl!! Girl power indeed!
The Pioneer tie up doesn’t end there though. Each purchase of a Private Iris comic book comes with a code. You can use this code to top up your kids SPARX special savings account. You can register your kids SPARX account by calling 750-Life. Once you’ve registered, you can scratch the code that comes with a Private Iris comic book and you can use that to add more money to your kid’s account. Half of the cover price of Private Iris actually goes to your kids savings account. So whenever your kid buys the comic book, he/she actually gets to keep half of it for his/her own 🙂 It’s a really innovative way of saving and a great supplement to the good old piggy bank method.
If you want to learn more about SPARX please visit their site HERE.
Private Iris’ online headquarters is HERE . You can also add Danton as a friend in facebook HERE. If you’re a fan of Private Iris, you might not know it yet but you can subscribe to the comic books now! You can download the subscription form HERE.
*pic of Iris Able from http://bauzon.ph