Kas Thomas (from Adobe/Day) writes that a PHP port of the JCR (called Jackalope) is near completion. A big part of the project was to translate the JCR specification (which, like Java, is statically typed) to PHP's dynamic typing model. The result is a derivative specification called the PHPCR.
PHP developers have had access to JCR repositories for quite some time through Apache Sling (which puts a nice REST interface in front of a JCR). What Jackalope brings to the table is a PHP-based, in-process API that may be faster than hitting a REST interface. However, that doesn't mean PHP developers can totally forget about Java. The current implementation is an adaptor that connects to a JCR (Apache JackRabbit) through webDAV (so http is still in the mix too). The next phase of development will swap out the JCR storage backend with a basic database thereby removing the JVM from the picture entirely.