Her grade nine set thought it was just an ordinary school day but when they entered their classroom they found a portrait had been placed on each of desk. Ms Barcoma had secretly been sketching portraits of every class member throughout the whole of December.
“When they saw the portrait on everyone’s desk, they were surprised, speechless at first, then said, ‘Wow, thank you, Teacher Rose,'” Ms Barcoma told the BBC.
The 35-year-old teaches English to grades six and nine at the Holy Redeemer School of Cabuyao in the Philippines.
“Drawing has been my hobby since I was a kid,” Ms Barcoma says. “My childhood dream was to be a comic illustrator because I thought it would be nice for my works to be admired by a lot of people.”
She may now be a teacher rather than a comic illustrator but her works are indeed now being enjoyed by thousands.
On Monday, Ms Barcoma shared photos of her sketches on Facebook and it wasn’t long before the Philippines’ news website Rappler spotted it and wrote up a story. Rappler’s Facebook post of the story received more than 10,000 shares.
This was the first time Ms Barcoma had drawn portraits for a whole class. She says she wanted to give them something, “special, something unique and personalised” that would inspire and motivate them to study.
“When I saw their smiles, it was worth the effort,” says Ms Barcoma.
Michael Rei Arganosa, 15, was one of the smiling students. “It was a very unique gift not only because it was personally made by Ms Rose for us but it will also serve as a memory for all the effort she has made for us,” Michael says.
He adds that Ms Barcoma has “two sides” to her in the classroom: “She can be really strict but on the other hand she has a funny personality as well because she cracks jokes and inspires her students to study well.”
“I am really overwhelmed by everything that’s happened,” says Ms Barcoma, adding that scores of teachers, students and artists have sent her kind messages.
“I only wanted to make my students happy but now my portraits have inspired many more people.”