IT'S complicated, and it does not refer only to the relationship status in someone’s Facebook page. It’s also about the way things are between Mayor Tomas Osmeña and his family, particularly vis-à-vis his wife Margot and his sister Georgia.

Not that the mayor had swung as wildly as Tiger Woods did among his women. Hand to his heart, the mayor could even hold a candle to any devoted husband. Never mind if his detractors have been demonizing him as a cold-blooded curmudgeon. But there’s no way you could accuse him of being lukewarm about his love for the missus. So fond of her is he, truly. So much so that you could even trust him to have her on his lap even if he would sit on an electric chair.

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In the heat of her husband’s love, Margot could only blush. “It’s never been done before,” says she about the mayor’s affectionate antics. It’s reportedly his idea to put her photo on the food packs, which was distributed to some 400 guests in last Sunday’s Sinulog parade. “So I guess he’s really just teasing me,” she explains, likely giggly.

Gritting her teeth, however, is the mayor’s sister. In Georgia’s eyes, the mayor’s offering to the guests is plain and simple politicking. Her sister-in-law, after all, is running for councilor. Margot is piggybacking on the mayor’s resources, grumbles Georgia even as he retorted thus: many of the guests who got the 300 food packs are not even among the city’s electorate.

But Georgia is slighted, still seething after City Hall allegedly ignored her request for a VIP pass during the parade. She might as well count herself lucky, though, to have missed the guest list, lest she’d be sick to her stomach if she got one of the lunch boxes with Margot’s Facebook-perfect profile.

Unappetizing? Ask the mayor who believes being an Osmeña doesn’t make Georgia a VIP, much less worthy of the mayoralty. Wary at her warm-ups to succeed him in the forthcoming elections against his party’s bet, he’s blunt about her prospects.

“Ang yabang naman,” Georgia gripes in response, “look at the mess the city is in; how neglected it is. It is run by an arrogant Osmeña who uses the resources of the government to abuse others.”

Hell hath no fury like a sibling scorned. If blood is thicker than water, Georgia seems fit to scour and scrape it with a knife off her brother’s wounds.

Indeed, enemies are redundant with a sister who could kiss him only with a grunt. And so we can’t blame him if he’s bent to show he’s not a man only his wife could love. At the awarding ceremony, even one of his political opponents, Lahug Barangay Captain Mary Ann de los Santos, greeted him and got a kiss on the cheek. “I was just being polite,” says the mayor. “It’s a good PR.”

Public relations, however, are a tricky affair if bad blood—so intimate—would go on trickling more than enough to mess up his lovely intentions, splattering on him and his wife’s face.

(geemyko@gmail.com)