Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Elenita dLR Garacia

Defense Panel Chair

Gansham T. Mansukhani

Defense Panel Member

Napoleon M. Mabaquiao Jr.
Christine Carmela R. Ramos
Florentino T. Timbreza
Noelle Leslie dela Cruz


This paper is a study of compassion and intersubjectivity in the Philippine metrical romance Don Juan Tenoso. The title Compassion and the Other indicates the necessary relation which a compassionate response entails: there must be an other as beneficiary of this response thus the concept of intersubjectivity is an important part of the paper. The paper explores a paradigm of compassion describable in terms of the philosophies of intersubjectivity found in the writings of Gabriel Marcel, Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas but also asks whether a new, more expansive notion of compassion, based on these philosophies of intersubjectivity, can be forged, upon a close examination of the metrical romance, in conjunction with the theories of the abovementioned philosophers.

Joseph Campbell notion of a Journey of the Hero, and Gabriel Marcel idea of a broken world whose healing depends on a secondary reflection, is used to examine the narrative/story. Campbell provides the structure of the story and the analysis of the story in terms of the Journey of the Hero is used to illuminate the pattern or structure of this story. Upon this narrative structure an existential narrative, read in terms of Gabriel Marcel notion of a broken world in need of a healing of its brokenness, is imposed. Campbellâs idea of the heros journey is read as an existential journey of the self in search of meaning and authentic humanity. The Don Juan Tenoso is read on two levels- on the level of a Journey of the Hero (literature/myth), and on the level of the Journey of the Self (existentialist/philosophy).

The hero of the story, Juan Tenoso, has been called a bayani ng pag-ibig and is praised as compassionate.The meeting between the prince and the giant in the story becomes a site for compassion to occur. This intersubjectivity is an important component of Marcel secondary reflection, and the resulting participation of the self in the unity of experience and being. To further characterize compassion in this narrative, Buberconception of the I-Thou, dialogue, and Levinas emphasis on the Other and the Face of the Other will be made use of.

Juan Tenoso is a self open, available and responsible, who while compassionate is also just the giant, a Thou/Other marked by difference, exceeds the concept of Other of both Buber and Levinas. This papers contribution to existing literature on the Philippine metrical romance and intersubjectivity lies in its tying up the notion of compassion with intersubjectivity, and examining how, in the Don Juan Tenoso, these notions are both fulfilled and exceeded in the narrative. Between prince and giant a dialogue in truth takes place for the compassionate prince the Others Face becomes a summons that the prince responds to. In the events that unfold, it is shown that the prince is also just he is then compassionate in just measure. The giant suffers and calls out to the prince like a suffering human being but as keeper of powerful magic, which he bestows in gratitude to the prince, he also represents the unknown, the call from the Other, and Life, that the brave, just but compassionate individual can respond to. A world of possibilities thus opens up for Juan Tenoso, which unfolds for us in the narrative of the metrical romance.

Abstract Format



Ladderized program.





Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

iii, 197 leaves, 28 cm. ; Typescript


Philippine literature (English); Don Juan (Legendary character); Don Juan Tenoso; Romance literature

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