Don't give up on CentOS just yet!
A common process for resolving this problem is to tap into the REMI repository in order to obtain current PHP and MYSQL packages.
This should satisfy your request and still keep things manageable via Yum.
You will need the EPEL repository first. Then the REMI files.
rpm -Uvh remi-release-6*.rpm epel-release-6*.rpm
That's all in order to get the repo. For PHP, something like:
yum --enablerepo=remi,remi-test install nginx php php-fpm php-common php-pear php-pdo php-mysql php-pgsql php-pecl-memcache php-gd php-mbstring php-mcrypt php-xml