Centuries of Spanish occupation of Manila and its neighboring areas has greatly influenced the culture of Cainta. Notably, the Senakulo is a product of such occupation.
The Senakulo, or commonly known as the passion play on the life of Jesus Christ, finds its beginnings in Cainta sometime in 1904. It originated from Barrio Dayap, which is now the entire area of Barangays Sta. Rosa, Sto. Nino and Sto. Domingo. Since most of the residents then believed that calamities were brought on by evil spirits, they erected a cross on a vacant lot and lit the same every night. One night, during Lent, a distinct fragrance emanated from the cross and news of this spread out quickly.
Since then, the residents of Barrio Dayap and the whole town of Cainta have vowed to read the Pasyon, a narrative of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, told in a lyrical manner. To add to this devotion, the residents began to stage the passion play, Senakulo, during the Lenten season, beginning Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday. To this day, this tradition is still being observed by the whole town, and several groups in Cainta participate in the Good Friday procession along Barrio Dayap.
To date, there are eighteen (18) groups engaged in the yearly Senakulo and Panata Lenten commemoration. The oldest are Samahang Krus sa Nayon ng Cainta and Samahang Nazareno.
The Samahang Nazareno has the distinction of being awarded by the Cultural Center of the Philippines the Gawad CCP for the Arts in 1993. Likewise, the Samahang Krus sa Nayon ng Cainta was recognized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in 2009.