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She was a dancer on TV and movies in the Philippines.

posted Jul 3, 2014, 5:01 PM by Joyce Evans
You might know Shonee Henry as chair of PSAR’s Global Real Estate Council. She also serves as the National Association of REALTORS® as NAR’s regional coordinator to the Asia Pacific and United Arab Emirates.
But did you know that Shonee also was a professional dancer as a teenager, appearing in TV shows and movies while growing up in the Philippines? Before she started dancing, she was a gymnast. At age 14, she missed advancing to the Asian Games by 1/10th of a point. Held every four years, the Asian Games are considered a qualifying tournament by the International Olympic Committee.
Shonee’s family grew up in Manila. Shonee’s actual first name is Asuncion (Shonee is a nickname). The family lived on the grounds of a Catholic school campus. Her father, an industrial engineer, was in charge of the building contracts and supervision at the school. She was the fifth of nine children (four boys, five girls).
As a dancer, she appeared in several motion pictures as well as TV variety shows, including “An Evening with Pilita Corrales.” Corrales is a Filipina pop singer and actress who has appeared with such artists as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr. and Julie Andrews. Known as “Asia’s Queen of Song” in her home country, Corrales’ TV show, which aired from 1965 to 1972, is considered a benchmark in Philippine broadcasting history.
At first, Shonee’s father voiced strong opposition to his daughter dancing in public. “My family is very conservative and he believed that everyone who works in the entertainment industry had bad morals. But, I asked him to give me a chance and I would show him that I was different than the others. Later, he changed his tune and started boasting to everyone about his daughter’s dancing.”
At age 18, she was set to travel to Hong Kong to dance on a TV show there. But, those plans ended when Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos placed the entire country under martial law on Sept. 22, 1972. “We decided right then to start the process of moving to the United States, and an older brother serving in the U.S. Navy at the time made it possible,” Shonee said.
From age 19 to 24, she danced with a group associated with Far Eastern University (FEU), one of the leading private universities in Manila. At age 21, she was named director of FEU’s dance company. In 1979, at age 24, she moved to San Diego for one year, working as a file clerk at Fotomat Corp., a once-thriving, San Diego-based retail chain of drive-thru kiosks with golden yellow pyramid shaped roofs located in shopping center parking lots (the company is no longer in business).
Shonee returned for one year to the Philippines to lead FEU’s dance company, but then came back to San Diego in the early 1980s and began working at SAIC in 1983. At SAIC, she worked in administration and was promoted to management positions before leaving in 1994 to open her own dance studio, Allegro Dance, which she operated until 2004. She earned her real estate sales license in 2002.
Shonee said she started working in real estate to help achieve her dreams of sharing wealth and wisdom with those less fortunate, including providing educational scholarships for underprivileged students.
“I got into real estate to make money to give it away,” Shonee said. “Before I got my license, I met a family who had a son who wanted to be a doctor. I decided to pay for the boy’s first year tuition in medical school. So, I went into real estate to earn the tuition money.” The young man eventually graduated from De La Salle University in Bacolod and practices today as a family physician.
Shonee worked for Century 21 and RE/MAX before opening her own brokerage, Allegro Realty International, in 2006. Her latest humanitarian project is the Bantayan Safe and Resilient (B-SAFER) Communities Fund, a nonprofit created to build 60 reinforced homes for poor families affected by the November 2013 typhoon Yolanda. Details are available at
She served two terms, from 2007 to 2013, as a member of the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Committee, an appointee of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. She also is the founding president of the Asian Real Estate Association of America’s San Diego chapter and founding president of the Philippine American Society for Arts & Culture.
Shonee and husband Richard Henry have been married for 25 years. They met when they both worked at SAIC. Richard was an engineer at SAIC, he is now retired. They have three grown children, a daughter age 21 and two sons, ages 22 and 23. The daughter, attending the University of California at Davis, recently joined the Prytanean Society, the oldest collegiate women’s honorary society in the U.S.
Since 2009, Shonee has served with NAR as a global representative (her website is Her role with NAR has been to establish partnerships in other countries to promote NAR educational programs and professional designations, including the International Realtor Membership (IRM) and Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). In 2011, she increased NAR membership in the Philippines from 2 to more than 700.
As a regional coordinator, she is working on establishing NAR alliances to 13 countries in the Asia Pacific, as well as the United Arab Emirates. She recently visited Dubai and received a plaque of appreciation from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, who serves as head of the Dubai Land Dept.
“I believe in helping people succeed and providing positive energy,” said Shonee. “There’s always a solution to a problem.”

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