Dancing around the world with the Aldeguer sisters
CITIZEN OF THE WORLD - Edu Jarque (The Philippine Star) - November 11, 2012 - 12:00am

The storied career of Terri and Laly Aldeguer, the famous dancing duo of the late ‘60s and ‘70s, started with a commercial in TV, radio, and print. It was for Tancho Tique, then the most desired pomade stick that styled even the most unruly hair. The girls were so effective in the promotion of its advertisements that complete strangers would call them “Tancho Tique” or “Tancho” wherever they went.

Soon, the Aldeguer Sisters were doing guest spots on TV shows like Tony Santos Presents, Nite Owl, and Darigold Jamboree, morning, noon, and night. They were interviewed for lifestyle and entertainment sections of newspapers and even graced the covers of showbiz publications and ladies glossies. Before they knew it, they were present in launches, inaugurations, and celebrations and became the first act for international shows, as well.

At this time, every young girl wanted to be a model or a flight stewardess. But when the pair exploded on the local scene, girls instead dreamed of becoming lively and beautiful dancers like the Aldeguer sisters.

With their newfound fame, Terri and Laly expanded their dance studio, and were the first to popularize Polynesian dances such as Tahitian and Hawaiian movements in the islands.

Eventually, the pair moved to Los Angeles to open a dance school, the Aldeguer Sisters Performing Arts Center, where they taught the children of Fil-Ams. They also organized shows for residents and visiting Filipino artists.

Today, the sisters have resettled in Alabang. And because dance is in their blood, they have opened a branch of their school here. Recently, the ladies shared about a group of 36 neurosurgeons whom they taught to waltz and learn the steps for the rigodon de honor for their anniversary ball. A few sessions later, these doctors, who are more accustomed to performing miracles with their hands, were surprised at the feats they could now do with their feet.

Terri and Laly have also gone into a new venture. Together with a partner based in Dubai, they provide manpower for spas and salons to the UAE city. They groom local manicurists into sophisticated nail technicians, who rightfully receive higher pay for their professional skills in nail extensions, fake eyelashes, and makeup applications. The duo also works with masahistas, who they turn into wellness therapists.

After they are fully transformed, these women are ready to conquer the world. Terry and Laly say that their work uplifts their souls. For these more-than-just dancers, who are still moving their feet and hands and everything else — and please don’t forget the head and the hair — to the beat of their own drum, it certainly puts a heartwarming smile in their hearts.

PHILIPPINE STAR: What do you remember of your first trip abroad?

TERRI ALDEGUER: Oye, that was a very long time ago, but what I do remember was being totally amazed or, better yet, shocked about how different everything was.

LALY ALDEGUER: Oh, wow! I was so young and so curious about everything.  I always wanted to be ahead of the group. So what do you expect? Well, I went astray and got lost! I will always remember how terrified I was! And of all places, it was at the main train station of Tokyo.

What won’t you leave home without?

TERRI: I would never leave home without my camera. It feels like an extension of myself. I just love taking pictures constantly of my everyday adventures and experiences. It captures happy memories that I would not want to forget.

LALY: My toiletries. Oh my! Can you imagine me without my eyebrows, my lipstick, and my perfume? And of course, my rosary, so I can pray that turbulence would not come my way. I’m still nerviosa after all these years of traveling.

How do you pass time at airports?

TERRI: I usually settle down, listen to my music, and read magazines to get me relaxed and, with hope, put me in travel mode.

LALY: People-watch, while keeping an eye on signs so I don’t lose my way around, most especially while in transit. Buying souvenirs and testing all the latest scents of perfume.

Who is your ideal traveling companion?

TERRI: I am open to travel with anyone, just as long as they don’t snore loudly, know how to carry on a conversation, and, most important, are trustworthy.

LALY: Ideal? It certainly depends where I go. I choose my traveling companion according to the different countries I visit. I make sure they’re not the complicated ones! (Laughs)

What would you consider a must-do activity in every foreign city that you visit?

TERRI: Try the local food. The various flavors of the cuisine will always help me understand its people and culture.

LALY: Visit a shopping mall to check out the latest fashion and trends.

Describe your most memorable trip.

TERRI: It has to be my trip to New York during my younger years. I was forever running from one play to another, trying to take in as many Broadway shows as possible, while, at the same time, hopping from one dance class to another. I always look forward to more visits to New York to enjoy another musical or attend another dance class and collaborate with different choreographers to learn different techniques and styles.

LALY: It was our very first tour with my mom complete with all my brothers and sisters and their families. Looking at the face of my mom, glowing continuously upon seeing her favorite places and buying all her favorite sweets, how can I ever forget that particular trip?

What is the strangest thing you have done on a trip?

TERRI: Recently, I went to Dubai and tried the Sand Safari not knowing what exactly it was about. I didn’t realize nor did I ever imagine how fast the vehicles would go up and down the sand dunes. You could just feel the car slide down. I really got so scared, since I was so out of my comfort zone. I had to tell the driver to stop. But to no avail, he would not. Ay madre mia. I will never attempt to ride on anything like that again. Dios mio.

LALY: Hmm... (Laughs)

Favorite city abroad.

TERRI: My favorite city would be Noumea in Tahiti, because it has an exotic mix of beautiful cultures. Everything is just so beautiful. No hay etro igual.

LALY: Geneva, Switzerland. For starters, it is so clean. I love the panoramic mountain scenery, especially aboard a slow-moving train. And the people! Even their air. So fresh!

Favorite spot in the Philippines?

TERRI: Bacolod! That’s where I grew up and have all my happy childhood memories.

LALY: Our family beach house in Danao, Cebu where privacy reigns. It’s hard to beat the good food, including the famous Cebu lechon. The service is also fantastic.

Favorite airline?

TERRI: Emirates Airlines because of its comfortable seats, great food, and excellent service. It’s their country’s pride.

LALY: Virgin Airlines otherwise known as “the red airline.” Everything and everyone is in red. Even their toothpick looked red to me. Seriously now, they breathe service!

Favorite airport?

TERRI: LAX airport in Los Angeles. I know my way around it by heart. And that’s comforting.

LALY: The Geneva International Airport in Switzerland. It’s amazing how I never get lost in that huge airport. Besides, the local people are so disciplined and most helpful. I was there right after Christmas and the décor was just breathtakingly pretty. Did I tell you that they have the biggest chestnuts I’ve ever seen? ¡Verdad!

Favorite museum? And if you could take home a piece of art, which one would it be?

TERRI: My favorite museum would have to be the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. As soon as you walk in you are totally in awe of everything that you see.

LALY: I would likewise say the Smithsonian. Call it luck, but I had one good tourist guide that explained everything in detail without being pesao. He got me so involved with every piece. And if I could take home a piece of art, it would be a painting by Albert Bierstadt, the artist known for his landscapes of the American West. I like his subjects and his style.

Favorite hotel?

TERRI: The Waldorf Astoria in New York City, the very best where the world’s best have stayed. I love the thought of that.

LALY: The Schoonbronn Park Hotel in Vienna. Just staying there, surrounded by the beautiful interiors, I felt like I belonged to the royal family. I felt like a queen! That is, of course, before I got the bill. Then, reality sunk in. Ay que dolor — but worth every centavo.

Favorite landmark/building/park?

TERRI: That’s easy. It has to be the Statue of Liberty for how grand she looks and, more so, for all that she stands for. ¡Que preciosidad!

LALY: The Schoonbronn Park in Vienna, Switzerland. The landscaping is so breathtaking. I’ve never seen another park that could duplicate this work of outdoor greenery.

Favorite musical or play?

TERRI: My all-time favorite musical is Chorus Line. It was the first musical that I watched in New York.

LALY: Chorus Line, watched it five times or even more, danced to its music a million times, and, believe it or not, had the privilege of watching the last show, wherein over a hundred dancers joined the finale number! My latest favorite is Wicked.

Favorite mall or store?

TERRI: My favorite store abroad is Marshalls. In the Philippines, SM tops the list.

LALY: The Americana in Glendale, California because I used to live a few minutes away from it and I knew exactly where to go to obtain the various desired items.

Favorite restaurant or bar?

TERRI: The Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater in Los Angeles, California.  Where else can you have impeccable dining and a great Broadway show at the same time?

LALY: Hmm, so many. I can’t choose one.

Name an event anywhere in the world you would like to participate in?

TERRI: At least for once in my life, a bullfight in Spain! I would love to be in the crowd. I want to hear the cheers as the bull runs toward the matador. The “Oles!” and the “Bravos!” I want to see the matador versus the bull live.

LALY: I have always wanted to be at the Wine Festival in Napa Valley.

Name a city you have never visited but would like to someday?

TERRI: Jerusalem in the Holy Land for obvious reasons.

LALY: Jerusalem in Israel. Religion and spirituality play a major role in my life. I feel rather incomplete for I have not visited the Holy Land yet, so it’s certainly on the top of my bucket list.

Name a country you wish to explore

TERRI: I would love to explore Spain. From all the stories I have heard, it sounds like a captivating, enchanting, and beautiful country. España has a soft spot in my heart.

LALY: India for all the different reasons. I would love to visit the Taj Mahal, walk around in a sari, and of course, get mehndi body art.

What would you say is the worst part of travel?

TERRI: Packing to go back home. It’s not that I’m sad that I’m going home, I’m sad because I usually would have spent more than I ever planned to. The same old story.

LALY: Repacking. Not only does it signify the end of my trip, but it also reveals that I brought so much stuff. You know the feeling when you are at the airport and you hope your luggage is not overweight? And you see people digging through their suitcases and redistributing the weight? Yep! I always remind myself that it could happen to me with all the padalas. The agony of it all! I’ve promised myself not to go through it. And yet…

If you could reside anywhere in the world aside from the Philippines where would it be?

TERRI: Townsville in Australia. Just imagine: a lake with a boat or a seaplane, right in your own backyard! Now, that’s retirement and living life.

LALY: I already consider LA my second home. It’s got everything I love and features limitless options, from shopping to dining, from arts to culture. I can hit Malibu Beach or go play in the snow in the mountains nearby. Las Vegas and San Francisco are just a few hours away. I’m starting to miss it just by talking about it.

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