Sparse principal component analysis (PCA) and sparse canonical correlation analysis (CCA) are two essential techniques from high-dimensional statistics and machine learning for analyzing large-scale data. Both problems can be formulated as an optimization problem with nonsmooth objective and nonconvex constraints. Since non-smoothness and nonconvexity bring numerical difficulties, most algorithms suggested in the literature either solve some relaxations or are heuristic and lack convergence guarantees. In this paper, we propose a new alternating manifold proximal gradient method to solve these two high-dimensional problems and provide a unified convergence analysis. Numerical experiment results are reported to demonstrate the advantages of our algorithm.