Asst. Prof. Alphita J. Enojo
For many, the Harry Potter was a perfect treat for their imagination. It held them captive to the magic that unfolded at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And while the series of seven fantasy novels caught them on the same level of excitement, Harry Potter was more a source of bonding moment for Assistant Prof. Alphita J. Enojo and her children.
“When Harry Potter first came out, that was when my daughters were starting to read books. So we read it together — the three of us, and we talked about what happened every scene before jumping to the next chapter,” she said.
It did not come as a surprise that Harry Potter became their favorite novel. They looked forward to every book that came out, and never failed to draw a mother-daughter connection from each of the series.
“It became a close-knit reading material for me and my children, a source of bonding with my daughters. And so I really looked forward to each book that came out,” Alphita says.
And asked who her favorite character is: “Dumbledore!” A loyal fan, she explains: “He is the one who knew everything. In the end, he had to sacrifice himself because he felt it was the right thing to do.” The noble act of Dumbledore makes Alphita reflect on it: “If I can be as brave as he was, to be able to sacrifice myself for the good of something, then maybe I can become as great.”
Away from Harry Potter, Alphita divides her time as a teacher, mother and wife.
A professor of chemistry, she does her best to be within her students’ reach 24/7. “On the first day of class, I write all my phone numbers. I tell them: ‘In case you need someone to talk to in the middle of the night, feel free to talk to me.’”
This willingness to be a shoulder to cry on stems from her experience with students who give up on life because of problems and lack of access to people who can listen to them. Alphita explains that it is usually between 12 midnight and 5AM when people with trials often experience their most difficult time. “At this moment, you will think morning will not come and your problems are like huge mountains,” she shares.
Alphita started teaching in 1989. It was in the same year when she finished her bachelor’s degree in chemistry, cum laude, in Silliman. In 1998, she completed in the same University her Bachelor of Laws degree, and in 2009, obtained her master’s in chemistry from the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. Responsive to the needs of time, especially with the K+12 educational reforms of the Philippine government, she equipped herself by pursuing units in Education.
“I love teaching. It is an art,” she says. And with chemistry ranking as among the more difficult subjects, Alphita takes on the creative challenge of putting chemistry into the hearts and minds of students, in order for them to grow an appreciation for it. Acing her exams is only the cherry on top of an ice cream; what she aims for is for her students to understand the lessons she imparts and develop love for chemistry.
As a wife and mother, Alphita never fails to find time to serve her family: husband Richard, and children, Grace, Mary Antonniette and Mark Vincent. “I spend whatever free time I have with my family, and do my best to be there for them when there are activities in school or special events.”
Balancing time for her three children and husband is not all the time easy for Alphita. But she has found it enjoyable. “It’s just a matter of managing your time, trying to do as much as you can. Better lose sleep than let go of the opportunity to be with them,” she says. Alphita tries to make herself available to her husband whenever there are functions that he needs to attend. Hands-on, she accompanies her children to church and encourages them to join church activities.
Putting her life on a canvass may already show a perfect picture of Alphita. But until this day, she holds one frustration, her greatest in life: not being able to play a musical instrument. “I would love to play the guitar and piano. I used to tinker with the piano at the SU Church, but I didn’t have the time to enroll in formal piano lessons.”
Trials test everyone. And her faith in the Lord is what keeps Alphita stand above them. “Without my faith, I will buckle down to whatever trials come my way,” she says with a smile.
Let’s get to know Alphita more:
Describe yourself in three words.
Happy. Talkative. God-fearing.
What is your mantra in life?
Do what you can do today because it will never come again.
What makes you laugh/cry?
Very simple things make me laugh. What make me cry are those so many things in this world happening that are beyond my control and make me feel hopeless, whenever I feel I can’t do anything to change it.
What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?
Sunday, we consider it a family day. Every Sunday, we set aside everything else to go to the church early in the morning and stay together until we go home to our house in Zamboanguita.
What do you love doing when not working?
Reading. I read everything that I can get my hands on, from the ordinary newspaper to novels.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
In the university, when I am not in school, I am in the Church. I grew up here in Silliman. When I learned to walk, my parents brought me to Sunday school. My Saturdays and Sundays were spent in the Church when I was still a kid.
What makes you blush?
Little things like text messages from my husband.
If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
Tell us a fact about yourself.
I am a “true Red”: I was born in the Katipunan Hall, I lived just at the back of Vernon Hall, and my playground was the gym and tennis court.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
In elementary, I was the captain ball in softball. In high school, I played baasketball and football. In college, I was in swimming. …I was really into sports back then.
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
Doing something that you enjoy.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
Anytime they need someone to talk to, 24/7, I am just a text away.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
“…Why have you chosen me?” — the line of the Christian song that I learned in elementary. I forget the title of the song though.
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
What’s your idea of a family?
The family is always there to share your life with you in times of joys and troubles.
(This article was first published on February 12, 2012.)