MANILA, Philippines - Anyone who encounters the words "SLAMAT LORRRD" for the first time will no doubt scratch their heads and say "Huh?"
Is it a prayer? A text message?
Actually, it's the acronym of the Liberal Party's (LP) 12-man senatorial ticket for the 2010 elections.
The acronyms stand for Sonia Roco (S), Danilo Lim (L), Neric Acosta (A), Martin Bautista (M), Alex Lacson (A), TG Guingona (T), Yasmin Lao (L), Sergio Osmeña III (O), Ruffy Biazon (R), Ralph Recto (R), Risa Hontiveros (R) and Franklin Drilon (D).
Their initials form the words SLAMAT LORRRD, which sounds much like "Salamat Lord (Thank you, Lord)."
Though the effectivity of using mnemonic devices in campaigns is debatable, LP campaign manager Sen. Francis Pangilinan said he hopes the mnemonic might help voters remember the names of LP's senatorial bets-- just like mnemonics help students in exams.
Pangilinan presented the acronym to students of the Philippine Normal University in Manila during a campaign sortie.
The Liberal Party's slate is led by presidential candidate Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and vice presidential candidate Sen. Manuel "Mar" Roxas II.
Of the 12 senatorial candidates under LP, Osmeña's inclusion was a surprise. He had previously announced that he would not rejoin the LP campaign if it would continue to support the senatorial run of Recto, a former Economic Planning Secretary and a former administration ally.
The LP said Osmeña is still in the ticket as a guest candidate.
Mnemonics in campaigns
Other candidates who have used acronyms in their campaigns include presidential candidate Gilberto Teodoro Jr. whose campaign slogans bear the words "GIBO" which means "Get Intelligent, Brave Outstanding president for 2010."
In some commercials, Teodoro's initials G and T were used to stand for "Galing at Talino (Skill and Intelligence)."
In the 2007 national elections, mnemonics were also used by major campaign parties.
Administration-backed TEAM Unity came up with the long mnemonic for its senatorial slate, "MaS PARA SA KiDZS Mo", which stood for Magsaysay, Singson, Pichay, Angara, Recto, Arroyo, Sotto, Aquino Oreta, Kiram, Defensor, Zubiri and Montano.
In the same year, the TEAM Unity's opposing party, Genuine Opposition, used the mnemonics "Plan Co Revolt" and "PLANT A LOVER" for its Senatorial candidates.
"PLANT A LOVER" stood for Pimentel, Loren, Aquino, Nikki, Trillanes, Alan, Lacson, Osmeña, Villar, Escurdero, and Roco. With a report from Anthony Taberna, ABS-CBN News